May 09, 2017

#05-041: July Independence Days - Part II

map of the Pacific with the areas of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia marked; Australia and several islands are named, with the Solomon Islands and Kiribati's names underlined in red
The Solomons and Kiribati in the Pacific attained
their independence from the U.K. about a year apart

Note: Let's look at another round of countries who celebrate their independence in July, in South America, Africa, the Pacific, and more.

Get Ready: In general, how do you think it benefits a country to gain independence? What challenges do you think it creates?

Following up on Lesson #05-042, let's continue looking at some of the nineteen or so Independence Days that occur in July.

July 7 marks the date in 1978 when the Solomon Islands separated from Great Britain. This group of six major and over 900 smaller islands forms part of a south Pacific archipelago of the same name. The partition may have been precipitated in part by the "oil shock" of 1973, when the U.K. realized the increased cost of administering a far-flung colony.

Argentina in South America and the South Sudan in northeastern Africa share July 9th as their date of liberation. Argentina separated from the Spanish Empire way back in 1816; South Sudan's 2011 separation from Sudan is so recent that certain aspects of the arrangement are still up in the air.

The Bahamas, an island group, were, like the Solomons, another of the 13 countries to break away from the U.K. in the 1970s, in their case, on July 10, 1973. Most were groups of islands scattered around the world; several were in the Caribbean not far from the Bahamas.

Kiribati was another island group to separate from the U.K. in the 70s, this time on July 12, 1979. It shares this date with the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, in Africa's Gulf of Guinea, which became independent of Portugal in 1975 as part of a general dissolution of that country's overseas interests.

Colombia, like Argentina, left Spain in the 1810's, in this case on July 20, 1810, though it wasn't fully recognized until August 7, 1819.

Liberia (signifying "Land of Freedom) was largely settled by freed American black slaves in the early 19th century. As returnees, they had more in common with America than with the local populations. Their "Declaration of Independence" (separating them from the "American Colonization Society" which first settled them there) was issued on July 26, 1847.

On the same day in 1965, the Maldives, a group of islands in the Arabian Sea area of the Indian Ocean, became free from the United Kingdom.

Finally, on July 30, 1980, Vanuatu, an island group in the South Pacific, broke away from both France and Great Britain, which had been jointly administering the area by mutual agreement since 1906.


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. archipelago
  2. dissolution
  3. empire
  4. far-flung
  5. jointly
  6. mutual
  7. partition
  8. precipitated
  9. returnees
  10. up in the air

  1. undecided; unsettled
  2. together; in partnership
  3. people who have moved back "home"
  4. a chain of islands
  5. a group of nations under one ruler 
  6. caused; brought about
  7. breaking apart
  8. reciprocal; between two groups
  9. widely separated
  10. separation

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for May 9, 2017

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. d; 2. g; 3. e; 4. i; 5. b; 6. h; 7. j; 8. f; 9. c; 10. a