Postgraduate Certificate in Education, university College LondonM.S., imperial College LondonB.S., Heriot-Watt University
Alistair Boddy-Evans is a teacher and also African background scholar with more than 25 years of experience.

You are watching: Why was ethiopia able to remain independent


There are two nations in Africa considered by some scholars come never have been colonized: Ethiopia and also Liberia. The truth, however, is that quick periods of differing levels the foreign control during their early on histories have left the question of even if it is Liberia and Ethiopia important remained fully independent a subject of debate.


Ethiopia and Liberia space widely believed to be the just two African nations to have actually never been colonized.Their location, economic viability, and also unity aided Ethiopia and Liberia protect against colonization.Ethiopia was officially well-known as an independent state in 1896, after ~ decisively defeating invading Italian pressures at the battle of Adwa. During its quick military occupation during world War II, Italy never ever established early american control end Ethiopia.Despite being founded by the United states in 1821 as a place to send its complimentary Black residents, Liberia to be never colonized after acquiring its full independence in 1847.

Between 1890 and also 1914, the so-called “scramble because that Africa” caused the rapid colonization of most of the african continent by europe powers. By 1914, about 90% the Africa was under european control. However, because of your locations, economies, and political status, Ethiopia and Liberia avoided colonization.

What Does emigration Mean?

The process of emigration is the discovery, conquest, and settlement the one politics body end another. That is an old art, exercised by the Bronze and also Iron age Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and also Roman empires, no to cite the post-colonial realms of the united States, Australia, new Zealand, and also Canada.

But the many extensive, many studied, and arguably the many damaging the the early american actions is what scholars describe as the west Colonization, the efforts of the marine European nations of Portugal, Spain, the dutch Republic, France, England, and eventually Germany, Italy, and Belgium, to overcome the rest of the world. That started in the late 15th century, and by human being War II, two-fifths that the world"s soil area and one-third that its populace were in colonies; another 3rd of the world"s territory had actually been colonized but were now independent nations. And, many of those independent countries were consisted of primarily of the progeny of the colonizers, therefore the impacts of Western emigration were never truly reversed.

never Colonized?

There room a handful of nations that were not subsumed through the juggernaut of west colonization, including Turkey, Iran, China, and Japan. In addition, the countries with longer histories or higher levels of advancement before 1500 have tendency to have actually been colonized later, or no at all. Qualities that drove whether or no a country was colonized by the West appear to be how an overwhelming it is to reach them, the relative navigating distance indigenous northwestern Europe, and also the absence of a safe overland i to landlocked countries. In Africa, those nations arguably contained Liberia and also Ethiopia.

Considering it important to the success of their economies, the imperialistic European countries avoided the outright colonization of Liberia and Ethiopia—the only two African countries they thought about viable football player in the trade-based human being economy. However, in return for their obvious “independence,” Liberia and also Ethiopia were required to give up territory, agree come differing degrees of European financial control, and also become entrants in europe spheres of influence.


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Modern downtown Monrovia, Liberia.Patrick Robert/Corbis via Getty Images

The sovereign country of ​Liberia is often explained as never colonized because it was created so recently, in 1847.

Liberia was started by american in 1821 and also remained under their regulate for simply over 17 years before partial freedom was accomplished through the explanation of a commonwealth on April 4, 1839. True self-reliance was asserted eight years after that July 26, 1847. Native the center 1400s through the late 17th century Portuguese, Dutch, and also British traders had maintained rewarding trading posts in the region that came to be known as the “Grain Coast” because of its diversity of melegueta pepper grains.

The American society for emigration of complimentary People of shade of the United states (known merely as the American emigration Society, ACS) was a society initially operation by white americans who believed there was no ar for cost-free Blacks in the U.S. They thought the federal federal government should pay to return free Blacks to Africa, and eventually its administration was taken end by complimentary Blacks.

The ACS developed the Cape Mesurado colony on the Grain coast on Dec. 15, 1821. This to be further broadened into the swarm of Liberia top top Aug. 15, 1824. Through the 1840s, the colony had become a financial load on the ACS and also the U.S. Government. In addition, because it to be neither a sovereign state no one a recognized swarm of a can be fried state, Liberia confronted political dangers from Britain. As a result, the ACS bespeak the Liberians to explain their independence in 1846. However, also after getting its full independence a year later, the europe nations ongoing to watch Liberia as an American colony, thus staying clear of it during the scramble because that Africa in the 1880s.

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Some scholars argue, however, the Liberia's 23-year period of American domination until independence in 1847 qualifies it to be related to as a colony.