Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Independence Day in the United States and Beyond

Bookmark and Share

Nearly two dozen nations will celebrate their independence in the month of July; nearly 50 nations mark their independence from the UK each year

As the United States celebrates 234 years since its Declaration of Independence from Great Britain today, other nations lie in waiting for their own celebrations taking place later this month.

July, as well as August and September, are ripe with such celebrations across the world, with more than five dozen countries observing their independence from a variety of nations or occupiers during these three months.

The African nations of Burundi and Rwanda began July marking almost 50 years since securing their independence from Belgium in 1962.

On Saturday, July 3rd, Belarus celebrates the day its capital, Minsk, was liberated from German troops in 1944 during World War II.

On Monday, Algeria denotes its independence (France, 1962), as does Cape Verde (from Portugal, 1975) and Venezuela (from Spain, 1811).

Later this week, independence days will be noted in Malawi (from the UK, 1964), Solomon Islands (UK, 1978), Argentina (Spain, 1816), and the Bahamas (UK, 1973).

The United Kingdom, whose empire once stretched the globe, is on the wrong end of nearly four-dozen of these celebrations - more than any other colonial power.

From the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean (1981) to the south African nation of Zimbabwe (1980), many nations were freed from British rule, particularly in the generation after World War II.

The United States (1776) has the earliest celebration of independence from the British empire, with Ireland (1916), Afghanistan (1919), and South Africa (1931) other nations receiving their independence from the UK prior to WW II.

Jordan (1946), Pakistan (1947), India (1947), Sri Lanka (1948), and Myanmar (1948) were some the first nations to mark the beginning of the end of the British empire after the war.

Of course, the United Kingdom is not the only colonial power from which nations celebrate their independence year after year. More than 15 countries their independence from France and Spain respectively - although from difference eras (and regions).

Independence from Spain in most Central and South American nations occurred during a 16-year period in the early 1800s, beginning with Ecuador (1809) and ending with Bolivia (1825).

Most nations began marking their independence from France over 125 years later during or after World War II, including nations in the far east (Cambodia, 1953), the Middle East (Lebanon, 1943), and Africa (Chad, Togo, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Mali, Central African Republic - all in 1960).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: The Great Divide: Birth States of U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Next post: Republican Party Poised to Win Most Gubernatorial Seats in 90 Years

1 Comment


  • The United Kingdom empire once was so vast, it stretched the globe. So vast was it that it was said that“the sun never sets on the British Empire.”

    However, gone are the days when the this endless empire contributed mightly to the coffers of England. Her economic demise could be traced back and correlated to the dwindling and ultimate dismantling of her empire.

    Most of her subject nations who gained their independence early had to earn it through force, for instance, the United States.

    In the later years, however, independence and autonomy was gained through mutual agreements. Most of the old British West Indies have their independence. Trinidad and Tobago gained theirs in 1962.

    Interestingly, though, many former British Colonies, Canada and Australia included, have maintained some ties and allegiance to England. That body of allegiance is called the British Commonwealth.

    Even though they are independent, they have retained the English Crown, currently the queen, as their head. Additionally, some have maintained the Privy Council as the highest court of their land.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

    Political Crumbs

    Small Club in St. Paul

    Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


    Respect Your Elders?

    With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting