Frequently in the research on the history of Africa, I came across a claim that Liberia and Ethiopia were the only African nations that never became colonized. That claim is false. Liberia was colonized by Americans, but we Americans like to disguise our colonial history.

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Departure of colored emigrants for Liberia – The Illustrated American, March 21, 1896

The history of Liberia begins with the story an American effort to return freed black people to Africa. Today when you scan the map of Liberia you will find city names that reflect the country’s American origins. Cities like Monrovia (named after President James Monroe), Buchannan, Virginia, Greenville, and others all reflect the visions of Liberia’s early founders and settlers.

Harvey Firestone – Many claim the agreements made between Firestone and the government of Liberia in the early 20th century resulted in modern slavery.

The misguided ideal of Liberia was soon subverted by other forces. This podcast episode tells the story of Liberia’s history, from its founding in the early 19th century to the civil wars that ended in 2003. It is a story of misguided ambitions, corruption, and enormous interference and exploitation from the nations outside of Liberia.

history of liberia charles taylor
Charles Taylor, former president and rebel warlord during the Liberian Civil Wars.
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Child soldiers in the Liberian civil wars.

This bonus episode in our history of Africa podcast series is available to our Patreon supporters here

Access the History of Africa podcast series here

Read More About the History of Liberia at these links

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JB Shreve is the author of "How the World Ends: Understanding the Growing Chaos." He has been the host of the End of History podcast since 2012. He has degrees in International Relations and Middle East Studies. His other books include the Intelligence Brief Series. Regular posts and updates from JB Shreve are available at