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Liberia History Timeline

Liberia's Information

Flag of Liberia
Land Area 96,320 km2
Water Area 15,049 km2
Total Area 111,369km2 (#102)
Population 4,299,944 (#128)
Population Density 44.64/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $3.79 Billion
GDP Per Capita $900
Currency Dollar (LRD)
Largest Cities
1800s
  • (1820) The American Colonization Society (ACS) began sending African American volunteers to the Pepper Coast in order to establish a colony for freed African American slaves
  • (1847) Liberia becomes an independent nation and a constitution modeled after the U.S. Constitution is drawn up
  • (1890s) Boundary lines are formally designated in response to the European 'Scramble for Africa'

1900s
  • (1917) Liberia declared war on Germany, giving the Allies a base in West Africa during World War I
  • (1926) The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company opened a rubber plantation making rubber the backbone of the economy
  • (1936) The government takes action in abolishing forced-labor practices
  • (1943) William Tubman is elected president
  • (1944) In response to World War II, the Liberian government declared war on the Axis powers
  • (1951) Women and indigenous property owners are allowed to vote in the presidential election for the first time
  • (1958) Racial discrimination is outlawed
  • (1971) William Tolbert Jr. is named president following the death of William Tubman
  • (1978) A trade agreement is signed with the European Economic Community
  • (1979) Rioting over an increase in the price of rice killed more than 40 people
  • (1980) A military coup, led by Msgt. Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group, overthrew and killed President Tolbert; the constitution was suspended and Doe assumed full power
  • (1984) A multi-party system is re-established following pressure from the U.S.
  • (1985) Doe is elected president
  • (1989) An uprising is staged against the government, led by Charles Taylor of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), triggering the First Liberian Civil War
  • (1990) Doe is executed
  • (1992) Rebels of the NPFL launched an assault on West African peace keepers in Monrovia and were in turn bombed outside the city limits, sparking one of Africa's bloodiest civil wars
  • (1995) A peace agreement is signed
  • (1997) Charles Taylor is elected president
  • (1999) Ghana and Nigeria accused Liberia of supporting the Revolutionary United Front rebels in Sierra Leone prompting Britain and the US to threaten a suspension of aid to the country
  • (1999) Rebel forces thought to have come from Guinea attacked the town of Voinjama; nearly 25,000 people are displaced from fighting

2000s
  • (2000) A "massive offensive" is initiated by Liberian forces against the rebels in the Lofa region
  • (2001) Borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea are closed after a civil war is sparked
  • (2002) President Taylor declared state of emergency
  • (2003) Fighting between the government and rebels for control of Monrovia intensified; President Taylor is exiled and an interim government is established with Gyude Bryant as head of administration; a major peacekeeping mission is launched by the UN
  • (2005) Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is elected president and is the first woman to be elected as an African head of state
  • (2006) The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is founded to investigate human rights abuses between 1979 and 2003
  • (2006) Generator-powered street lights are turned on in Monrovia, which had been without electricity for 15 years
  • (2007) Trial began for the war crimes committed by Charles Taylor
  • (2008) The first census of Liberia since 1984 is conducted
  • (2009) A state of emergency is issued in response to a plague of crop-destroying army worms
  • (2011) Johnson-Sirleaf is re-elected president
  • (2014) Seven people believed to have had the Ebola virus died in Monrovia
This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.

Liberia Trivia

Are There Any Female Heads of Government?

There are many powerful women in politics around the world. Some examples are Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the President of Liberia and the first female head of state in Africa.

10 Female Heads of State

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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