Liberia ( (listen)), officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, and the Atlantic Ocean to its south-southwest. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 4,900,000. English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population. The country's capital and largest city is Monrovia.
Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U.S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 5, 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, and the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U.S., and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement. The settlers carried their culture and tradition with them. The Liberian constitution and flag were modeled after those of the U.S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence.
The University of Liberia (UL) is a publicly funded institution of higher learning located in Monrovia, Liberia. Authorized by the national government in 1851, the school opened in 1863 as Liberia College and became a university in 1951. The school is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in West Africa and is accredited by the Liberian Commission on Higher Education. Civil wars have disrupted and damaged the school over the last three decades.
The University of Liberia has six colleges, three professional schools (including a law school and medical school), and three graduate programs with a total of approximately 18,000 students at its three campuses in and around the country's capital city. UL also has a five institutes for study in areas such as the Chinese language and population research. The law school is the only law school in Liberia. Graduates of the school have gone on to leadership roles in Liberian politics including former President Arthur Barclay.
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William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman (November 29, 1895 – July 23, 1971) was a Liberian politician. He was the 19th President of Liberia from 1944 until his death in 1971.
He is regarded as the "father of modern Liberia"; his presidency was marked by the influx of foreign investment in his country and its modernization. During his tenure, Liberia experienced a period of prosperity. He also led a policy of national unity in order to reduce the social and political differences between his fellow Americo-Liberians and the indigenous Liberians. However, further into his years in power, his way of governing became increasingly dictatorial.
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