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 a dependent territory.
Whether attainment of independence is different from revolution has long been contested, and has often been debated over the question of violence as a 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. Nation-states have been granted independence without any revolutionary acts. The Russian October Revolution, for example, was not intended to seek national independence; the United States Revolutionary War, however, was.
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. The dates of established independence (or, less commonly, the commencement of revolution), are typically celebrated as a national holiday known as an independence day.
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 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.
Historically, there have been three major periods of declaring independence: the years from 1776 to the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe; the immediate aftermath of the First World War with the breakup of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires; and the decades from to 1945 to 1979, when seventy newly independent states emerged from the wreckage of the European colonial empires.
Causes for a country or province wishing to seek independence are many. Disillusionment rising from the establishment is a cause widely used in separatist movements, but it is usually severe economic difficulties that trigger these groups into action. The means can extend from peaceful demonstrations, like in the case of the Indian independence movement, to a violent civil war.
Other articles related to "independence":
... which existed in several forms up until 2006, when the country retrieved its independence ... of UNMIK-administered Kosovo declared independence as the Republic of Kosovo, with mixed responses from international governments but exercises de facto independence apart from the Serb dominated north which is ...
... In October 1991, Akayev ran unopposed and was elected president of the new independent Republic by direct ballot, receiving 95% of the votes cast ... Together with the representatives of seven other Republics that same month, he signed the Treaty of the New Economic Community ...
... in common, but there are significant differences In 1814 the Norwegian struggle for independence was an elite project with scant popular support ... and as compensation for the loss of Finland in 1809, while Norway based its claim to independence on the principle of popular sovereignty ... The great powers viewed Norwegian independence more favourably in 1905 than in 1814 ...
... Two parties were soon formed, the "Independence party", variously known as the "Danish party" or "the Prince's party", and the "Union party", also known as the "Swedish party" ... All delegates agreed that independence would be the ideal solution, but they disagreed on what was feasible ... The Independence party had the majority and argued that the mandate was limited to formalizing Norway's independence based on the popular oath of fealty earlier that year ...
... (Albanians 88%, Serbs 6%, Bosniaks 3%, Roma 2%, Turks 1%), which seeks independence on territories long held by ethnic Serbs, including as part of Yugoslavia ... all Kosovo Serbs were absent) of the Kosovo Assembly voted unanimously to declare independence ... Kosovo independence is disputed and supervised by the international community following the conclusion of the political process to determine Kosovo's final status envisaged in UN Security Council ...
Famous quotes containing the word independence:
“The Indians intercourse with Nature is at least such as admits of the greatest independence of each.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Children are as destined biologically to break away as we are, emotionally, to hold on and protect. But thinking independently comes of acting independently. It begins with a two-year-old doggedly pulling on flannel pajamas during a July heat wave and with parents accepting that the impulse is a good one. When we let go of these small tasks without anger or sorrow but with pleasure and pride we give each act of independence our blessing.”
—Cathy Rindner Tempelsman (20th century)
“Our treatment of both older people and children reflects the value we place on independence and autonomy. We do our best to make our children independent from birth. We leave them all alone in rooms with the lights out and tell them, Go to sleep by yourselves. And the old people we respect most are the ones who will fight for their independence, who would sooner starve to death than ask for help.”
—Margaret Mead (19011978)