Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which
its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise
self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory. The
opposite of independence is the status of a dependent territory.
1 Definition of independence
1.1 Distinction between independence and autonomy
2 Declarations of independence
3 Historical overview
6 See also
Definition of independence
Whether the attainment of independence is different from revolution
has long been contested, and has often been debated over the question
of violence as legitimate means to achieving sovereignty. While
some revolutions seek and achieve national independence, others aim
only to redistribute power — with or without an element of
emancipation, such as in democratization — within a state, which as
such may remain unaltered. The Russian October Revolution, for
example, was not intended to seek national independence (though it did
result in independence for Poland, Finland, Lithuania,
Estonia). In contrast, the
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War was intended to
achieve independence from the beginning. Causes for a country or
province wishing to seek independence are many. The means can extend
from peaceful demonstrations, like in the case of the Indian
independence movement, to a violent war like in the case of Algeria.
Distinction between independence and autonomy
Autonomy refers to a kind of independence which has been granted by an
overseeing authority that itself still retains ultimate authority over
that territory (see Devolution). A protectorate refers to an
autonomous region that depends upon a larger government for its
protection as an autonomous region.
Declarations of independence
Sometimes, a state wishing to achieve independence from a dominating
power will issue a declaration of independence; the earliest surviving
example is Scotland's
Declaration of Arbroath
Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, with the most
recent example being Azawad's declaration of independence in 2012.
Declaring independence and attaining it however, are quite different.
A well-known successful example is the U.S. Declaration of
Independence issued in 1776. The dates of established independence
(or, less commonly, the commencement of revolution), are typically
celebrated as a national holiday known as an independence day.
Historically, there have been three major periods of declaring
from the 1770s, beginning with the
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War through
the 1830s, when the last royalist bastions fell at the close of the
Spanish American wars of independence;
the immediate aftermath of the
First World War
First World War following the breakup
of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires;
and 1945 to circa 1979, when seventy newly independent states emerged
from the European colonial empires.
Country to Gain Independence
South Sudan (2011)
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983)[b]
East Timor (2002)
de facto condominium international
Independence from the
Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain declared.
Independence from the United Kingdom.
^ a b Part of Transcaucasian Region, at the crossroads of
Asia. Physiographically, Armenia falls entirely in Western Asia, while
Georgia and Azerbaijan are mostly in
Asia with small portions north of
Caucasus Mountains divide in Europe.
^ Partially recognized de facto self-governing entity. It is
recognised by 110 UN members the Cook Islands,
Niue and Taiwan.
Serbia as the Autonomous Province of
Kosovo and Metohija
under UN administration.
^ An independent state in free association with the United States.
List of national independence days
List of sovereign states by date of formation
Lists of active separatist movements
Special Committee on Decolonization
War of Independence
Unilateral declaration of independence
United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Independence
^ Benjamin, Walter (1996) . Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings,
Volume 1: 1913–1926. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 236–252.
^ David Armitage, The Declaration of
Independence in World Context,
Organization of American Historians, Magazine of History, Volume 18,
Issue 3, Pp. 61–66 (2004)
^ "Kosovo" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16.