Beginning in 1820, the region was colonized by blacks from the United States, most of whom were freed slaves. These immigrants established a new country with the help of the American Colonization Society, a private organization which believed that former slaves would have greater freedom and equality in Africa. African captives freed from slave ships were also sent there instead of being repatriated to their countries of origin.
In 1847, this new country became the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modeled on that of the United States, with Monrovia as its capital city. The colonists, known as Americo-Liberians, led the political and economic sectors of the country.
Following the end of one-party regime of True Whig Party after the 1951 general election, Liberia began to liberalize its economy and strengthened its Pan-African stance. Liberia was a founding member of the United Nations and the African Economic Union.
The coup attempts by the military in 1969 and in 1975, brought a political and economic instability for Liberia. Liberia began to recover its democracy and economy in the late 1990s although about 85% of the population continue to live below the international poverty line.