Liberia


Introduction
This paper is about a small country on the west coast of Africa called Liberia. It is a country built with the help of The American Colonization Society. I was established to place freed blacks in the days of slavery in the United States in the 1800s. The government was modeled after of the United Stats. Monrovia, the capital and principal, port is named after a president of the united states James Monroe. This country has historical significance for african Americans. As Africa\'s oldest republic, established by former black American slaves, Liberia played and important role as a model for African colones seeking independence.

LIBERIA


HISTORY
Liberia\'s tribal peoples migrated to the area between the
12th and 16th centuries. The Portuguese arrived in 1461 and began a trade in ivory, pepper, and later in slaves. In 1820, the first colonists arrived. Their successful settlement was named Monrovia in 1824. More colonists gradually arrived and established separate colonies. In 1847 the colonies united and Liberia became the first independent republic in black Africa.
The new nation faced many problems. Some of them were tribal wars, low exports, and land claimed by other countries. Liberia was able to maintain its independence only with the help of the United States. Following World War II, the modern port, airport, hospitals, hydroelectric station, and other projects, all financed by the United States, were opened. There has been frequent military conflicts and civil wars. In August 1990, forces from several African countries entered Liberia to try and stop the bloody civil wars. The fighting only became worse and the Prospects of a negotiated settlement were dim.

LAND AND RESOURCES
Liberia\'s straight sandy coast is 350 miles long. It is broken by lagoons and mangrove swamps. It gives way to a low rolling plain about 20 miles wide. Further inland, foothills ranging in height from 600 to 1000 feet high are found. They become mountains in the north and east. The highest point in the country is Mt. Wutuvi which rises to 4,531 feet. Land area of the country is 43,000 square miles.
Liberia\'s rivers are short and flow parallel to one another from the mountains to the ocean. The largest rivers are the St. Paul, St. John, and Cavalla.
Liberia\'s tropical climate is hot and humid. The usual temperature ranges from 60 degrees to 87 degrees. Annual rainfall, as much as 177 inches at the coast, gradually decreases inland to 96 inches. The rainy season occurs between May and October. A dusty winter wind blows during December.
There are 90 different kind of usable wood in Liberia\'s vast timber resources. Mineral resources include large deposits of iron ore, diamonds, and gold.
The country is rich in wildlife. More than 100 species of mammals have so for been identified. There are fifteen species belonging to the cat family, among which the largest is the leopard. The number of leopards has been decreasing rapidly along with the elephant and bush cow. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and antelopes swarm. two rare mammals found here are the manatee and the pygmy hippopotamus. In addition to mammals, there are more that 100 species of birds, including eagles, kites, and hawks.

PEOPLE
Liberians of black American ancestry who migrated from North and South America between 1820 and 1856 are known as Americo- Liberians. They live along the coast and make of up about 5 percent of the more that 2 million population. The bulk population consist of native cultural groups. Each has its own language. There is also a large group of English speaking people. The largest native group is the Kpelle which is 19% of the population. The Bassa group makes up 14% of the population. It is estimated that 18% of the people practice traditional African religions. About 68 percent are Christians and about 14 percent are Islamic. Liberia is officially Christian.
Almost half of the country\'s city population lives in the capitol of Monrovia, which is the largest city. The population of Monrovia was 425,000 in 1984.
Education was formerly provided by Christian missions but most schools are now government operated. Although education is free and required between the ages of 6 and 16, less than half of the school-age children attend, partly because of a teacher shortage. The University of Liberia was founded in 1862. It is located in the capitol city of