The Commonwealth of Liberia is an autonomous part of the United States of America located in West Africa.
The colony that would become Liberia was founded in 1820 by the American Colonization Society as a place for former slaves from the United States. The early colonists faced much hardship, due to disease and hostile natives. Despite these problems, the colony grew. By the 1840s, the ACS's power over the colony had begun to decline. In 1846, the colonists drew up a constitution, establishing Liberia as an autonomous part of the USA.
The Early Years
The first years of the commonwealth were marked by territorial and economic expansion. In 1857, the Republic of Maryland-another ACS colony which had gained independence in 1854-merged with the commonwealth. At the same time, the government began to sign a series of treaties with indigenous tribes that would expand the commonwealth's borders.