The Fourth of July sticks out to any American as Independence day, but many other countries celebrate their day of independence in the month of July as well. Let’s look at the many other cultures who remind us that at one point in time, they were under the rule of a colonial influence.
1) Abkhazia, July 4, 1993 – A small country that won its independence from Georgia. Abkhazia was not officially recognized until 1999.
2) Algeria, July 5, 1962 – This country was controlled by France until its liberation in 1962. Algeria was home to the influential writer Albert Camus, among others.
3) Argentina, July 9, 1816- Best known for it’s dance the Tango, Argentina was under Spanish rule until it won it’s independence.
4) Bahamas, July 10, 1972 – This small nation of islands in the Caribbean is a popular tourist destination, but was under the thumb of the United Kingdom until 1972.
5) Belgium, July 21, 1831 – Belgium won its independence from the Netherlands in 1831, but is still making headlines today as their divisive government threatens to split the country yet again in a political battle between the Francophone and the Flemish.
6) Burundi, July 1, 1962- Speaking of Belgium, Burundi was under their control, as were many other African countries, and successfully lobbied for their independence from Belgium in 1962.
7) Canada, July 1, 1867- Our neighbors to the north are still technically tied to the United Kingdom, but they were granted their constitution, which united the three major sections of Canada, into one country on this day in 1867.
8) Liberia, July 26, 1847 – The complicated independence of Liberia is tied to the United States via slavery. The American Colonization Society, in an effort to ensure that slaves would receive “more freedom” sent escaped and freed slaves to the country of Liberia, as well as Sierra Leon. In 1847 the country liberated itself from the society.
9) Malawi, July 6, 1964 – A small country located between Tanzania and Mozambique, Malawi garnered its independence from the British Empire through protests and treaties.
10) Peru, July 28, 1821 – Home to the Incan Empire, Peru was conquered by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th century. It won its independence hundreds of years later in 1821
11) Rwanda, July 1, 1962 – Like many other colonies, Rwanda was once controlled by Belgium, only to be given its freedom in the 1960s after demonstrations and protests.
12) Solomon Islands, July 7, 1978 – A small group of islands near Papua, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands were given their freedom from the British in 1978.
13) Somalia, July 1, 1960- Formerly two British and Italian colonies, Somalia eventually garnered its independence from a United Nations Trust in 1960.
14) Sudan, July 1, 1956 and South Sudan, July 9, 2011 – This war-torn country has been engaged in a civil war for years, a result of prior colonization boundaries. Sudan first gained independence from both Egypt and the United Kingdom in 1956, and in 2011, the southern portion of Sudan, which varies greatly in political and religious ideals, split off in 2011.
15) Venezuela, July 5, 1811 – Venezuela was one of many Spanish-controlled countries that split off in the 1800s from Spanish rule. Venezuela’s independent status was not officially recognized until 1830.