Welcome back! This week we visit Africa, the Caribbean and South America as we celebrate Independence and National Days around the world. How many countries have we visited thus far that were (or are now!) on your Bucket List? Have you kept up with where we’ve been in the past 3 weeks? If not check out Days 1-5, Days 6-14, and Days 15-21!
The Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the north-east corner of Africa and south-west corner of Asia. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, tracing its heritage back to the 10th millennium BCE, which saw the emergence of one of the earliest and most sophisticated civilisations in the world. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952, also known as the 23 July Revolution, began on 23 July 1952, by the Free Officers Movement. The revolution was initially aimed at overthrowing King Farouk, and grew to include such to abolishing the constitutional monarchy, establishing a republic, ending the British occupation, and securing the independence of Sudan. The revolution was faced with immediate threats from Western imperial powers, particularly from the United Kingdom, which had occupied Egypt since 1882. Four years after the revolution, Egypt was invaded by Britain, France, and Israel. Despite enormous military losses, the war was seen as a political victory for Egypt, especially as it left the Suez Canal in uncontested Egyptian control for the first time since 1875, erasing what was seen as a mark of national humiliation. This strengthened the appeal of the revolution in other Arab and African countries. The Revolution is commemorated each year on Egypt’s national day, Revolution Day, on 23 July.
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the north-eastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands. The island was claimed by Christopher Columbus for Spain during his second voyage to the Americas. Spain held Puerto Rico for over 400 years, despite multiple attempts to capture it. In 1898, Spain ceded the archipelago to the United States as a result of its defeat in the Spanish–American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. In 1917, the U.S. granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans, and later gave them the right to elect their own governor and a local territorial constitution. Under the tenets of the Puerto Rico Federal Relations Act, residents of the island are still subject to the plenary jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. Puerto Rico remains a U.S. territory, although its political status is a subject of ongoing debate among residents.
The Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. Liberia is the only country in Africa founded by United States colonization while occupied by native Africans. Beginning in 1820, the region was colonized by African Americans (many of whom were freed slaves) who established a new country with the help of the American Colonization Society. African captives freed from slave ships by the British and Americans were sent there instead of being repatriated to their countries of origin. In 1847, this new country became the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modelled on that of the United States and naming its capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States and a prominent supporter of the colonization. Liberia was a founding member of the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity.
The Republic of the Maldives and also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean–Arabian Sea area, consisting of a double chain of twenty-six atolls. The Maldives has been an independent polity for the majority of its history, except for three periods in which it was ruled by outside forces – the final time was in the late 19th century. On 16 December 1887, the Sultan of the Maldives signed a contract with the British Governor of Ceylon turning the Maldives into a British protected state, thus giving up the islands’ sovereignty in matters of foreign policy, but retaining internal self-government. The British government promised military protection and non-interference in local administration in exchange for an annual tribute, so that the islands were akin to an Indian princely state. The islands gained independence from the British Empire in 1965, and in 1968 became a republic ruled by a president and an authoritarian government.
Republic of Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and the Pacific Ocean. Conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century, they established a Viceroyalty with its capital in Lima, which included most of its South American colonies. In the early 19th century, while most of South America was swept by wars of independence, Peru remained a royalist stronghold. Independence was formally proclaimed in 1821, and after the battle of Ayacucho which took place three years after proclamation is when Peru ensured its independence.
Now that you’ve learned a little more about global events, consider adding one of these courses to your To Learn List:
- Configuring the World: A Critical Political Economy Approach
- Human Trafficking
- A Brief History of Humankind
- Anthropology of Current World Issues
- Globalization’s Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries
Just to give you a brief idea of how far we’ve travelled in the first 28 days:
Join us again next week when we will visit places like Vanuatu, Benin, Cooks Islands and Niger and many more!