Postgraduate Certificate in Education, University College LondonM.S., Imperial College LondonB.S., Heriot-Watt University
Alistair Boddy-Evans is a teacher and also Afrideserve to history scholar with even more than 25 years of suffer.

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There are 2 countries in Africa taken into consideration by some scholars to never have actually been colonized: Ethiopia and Liberia. The truth, but, is that brief periods of varying levels of foreign control during their early on histories have left the question of whether Liberia and Ethiopia truly remained fully independent a subject of controversy.


Ethiopia and also Liberia are commonly believed to be the only 2 African countries to have actually never before been colonized.Their location, economic viability, and also unity assisted Ethiopia and also Liberia stop colonization.Ethiopia was officially known as an independent state in 1896, after decisively beating invading Italian forces at the Battle of Adwa. During its brief army occupation throughout World War II, Italy never established early american manage over Ethiopia.In spite of being established by the United States in 1821 as a location to send its complimentary Babsence inhabitants, Liberia was never conquered after acquiring its complete freedom in 1847.

Between 1890 and 1914, the so-dubbed “scramble for Africa” brought about the fast emigration of a lot of of the African continent by European powers. By 1914, around 90% of Africa was under European control. However, because of their locations, economic situations, and also political status, Ethiopia and also Liberia avoided colonization.

What Does Colonization Mean?

The procedure of colonization is the discovery, occupation, and negotiation of one political body over an additional. It is an ancient art, practiced by the Bronze and also Iron Period Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Romale realms, not to point out the post-early american realms of the United States, Australia, New Zealand also, and Canada.

But the a lot of considerable, most stupassed away, and also arguably the most damaging of the early american actions is what scholars describe as the Western Colonization, the initiatives of the maritime European countries of Portugal, Spain, the Dutch Republic, France, England, and also ultimately Germany, Italy, and also Belgium, to conquer the remainder of the civilization. That started in the late 1fifth century, and also by World War II, two-fifths of the world"s land location and one-3rd of its population were in colonies; another third of the world"s territory had actually been colonized but were currently independent countries. And, many kind of of those independent nations were consisted of primarily of the descendants of the colonizers, so the effects of Western emigration were never before truly reversed.

Never Colonized?

Tright here are a handful of nations that were not subsumed by the juggernaut of Western emigration, including Turkey, Iran, China, and Japan. In enhancement, the nations through longer histories or higher levels of advance prior to 1500 tend to have actually been colonized later on, or not at all. Characteristics that drove whether or not a nation was conquered by the West show up to be just how hard it is to reach them, the family member navigating distance from northwestern Europe, and also the lack of a safe overland passage to landlocked nations. In Africa, those nations arguably consisted of Liberia and Ethiopia.

Considering it necessary to the success of their economic climates, the imperialistic European nations avoided the outappropriate colonization of Liberia and Ethiopia—the just two Afrihave the right to nations they thought about viable players in the trade-based human being economy. However before, in rerotate for their noticeable “independence,” Liberia and Ethiopia were compelled to give up area, agree to differing levels of European economic regulate, and end up being participants in European spheres of affect.


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Modern downtvery own Monrousing, Liberia.Patrick Robert/Corbis using Getty Images

The soveregime nation of ​Liberia is often described as never conquered because it was produced so recently, in 1847.

Liberia was founded by Americans in 1821 and continued to be under their regulate for just over 17 years before partial self-reliance was accomplished with the declaration of a commonwealth on April 4, 1839. True self-reliance was declared eight years in the future July 26, 1847. From the middle 1400s with the late 17th century Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders had kept lucrative trading write-ups in the region that ended up being well-known as the “Grain Coast” bereason of its abundance of melegueta pepper grains.

The Amerihave the right to Society for Colonization of Free People of Color of the USA (known simply as the American Colonization Society, ACS) was a society initially run by white Americans that thought tbelow was no place for complimentary Blacks in the U.S. They believed the federal government need to pay to rerotate totally free Blacks to Africa, and eventually its management was taken over by cost-free Blacks.

The ACS created the Cape Mesuraperform Colony on the Grain Coast on Dec. 15, 1821. This was further broadened right into the Colony of Liberia on Aug. 15, 1824. By the 1840s, the colony had actually end up being a financial burden on the ACS and also the U.S. federal government. In enhancement, bereason it was neither a sovepower state nor a recognized colony of a sovepower state, Liberia faced political hazards from Britain. As a result, the ACS ordered the Liberians to declare their freedom in 1846. However before, also after acquiring its complete freedom a year later, the European countries continued to check out Liberia as an Amerihave the right to nest, therefore staying clear of it during the scramble for Africa in the 1880s.

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Some scholars argue, but, that Liberia"s 23-year duration of Amerideserve to domination till self-reliance in 1847 qualifies it to be concerned as a swarm.