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Independence

From Academic Kids

Independence is fully autonomous self-government of a nation by its residents and indigenous population, generally exercising sovereignty. The term independence is used in contrast to subjugation, which refers to a region as a "territory" —subject to the political and military control of an external government.

Independence can be the initial status of an emerging nation (often filling a political void), but is often an emancipation from some dominating power, only obtained by decolonization (Independences obtained that way are listed chronologically in that article), or by separation or dismemberment.

Although the last three can often coincide with it, they are not to be confused with revolution, which typically refers to the violent overthrow of a ruling authority, but usually only aims to redistribute power -with our without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization- within a state, which as such may remain unaltered.

Autonomy (in slight contrast) refers to a kind of independence which has been granted by a overseeing authority that itself still retains ultimate authority over that territory. A protectorate refers to an autonomous region that depends upon a larger government, for its protection as an autonomous region. The dates of established independence and (to a lesser degree the commencement of revolution or some other symbloic moment, e.g. the swearing in of the first king of Belgium), are typically celebrated as national holidays.

See also

Article note

The dates of independence, as they have been ported into many articles from the CIA World Factbook are defined as follows:

For most countries, [the given date is that] when sovereignty was achieved...For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, or fundamental change in the form of government, such as state succession.
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