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Political Independence
For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. 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, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status.
Independence Day
Afghanistan: 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
Albania: 28 November 1912 (from Ottoman Empire)
Algeria: 5 July 1962 (from France)
American Samoa: none (territory of the US)
Andorra: 1278 (was formed under the joint suzerainty of France and Spain)
Angola: 11 November 1975 (from Portugal)
Anguilla: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Antigua and Barbuda: 1 November 1981 (from UK)
Argentina: 9 July 1816 (from Spain)
Armenia: 21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Aruba: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
Australia: 1 January 1901 (federation of UK colonies)
Austria: 1156 (from Bavaria)
Azerbaijan: 30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Bahamas, The: 10 July 1973 (from UK)
Bahrain: 15 August 1971 (from UK)
Bangladesh: 16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan); note - 26 March 1971 is the date of independence from West Pakistan, 16 December 1971 is known as Victory Day and commemorates the official creation of the state of Bangladesh
Barbados: 30 November 1966 (from UK)
Belarus: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Belgium: 21 July 1831 (from the Netherlands)
Belize: 21 September 1981 (from UK)
Benin: 1 August 1960 (from France)
Bermuda: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Bhutan: 8 August 1949 (from India)
Bolivia: 6 August 1825 (from Spain)
Bosnia and Herzegovina: 1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia)
Botswana: 30 September 1966 (from UK)
Brazil: 7 September 1822 (from Portugal)
British Virgin Islands: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Brunei: 1 January 1984 (from UK)
Bulgaria: 3 March 1878 (from Ottoman Empire)
Burkina Faso: 5 August 1960 (from France)
Burma: 4 January 1948 (from UK)
Burundi: 1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
Cambodia: 9 November 1953 (from France)
Cameroon: 1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
Canada: 1 July 1867 (from UK)
Cape Verde: 5 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Cayman Islands: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Central African Republic: 13 August 1960 (from France)
Chad: 11 August 1960 (from France)
Chile: 18 September 1810 (from Spain)
China: 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty 221 BC; Qing or Ch'ing Dynasty replaced by the Republic on 12 February 1912; People's Republic established 1 October 1949)
Christmas Island: none (territory of Australia)
Cocos (Keeling) Islands: none (territory of Australia)
Colombia: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
Comoros: 6 July 1975 (from France)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the: 30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
Congo, Republic of the: 15 August 1960 (from France)
Cook Islands: none (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)
Costa Rica: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Cote d'Ivoire: 7 August (1960) (from France)
Croatia: 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Cuba: 20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902)
Cyprus: 16 August 1960 (from UK); note - Turkish Cypriot area proclaimed self-rule on 13 February 1975
Czech Republic: 1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Denmark: first organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy
Djibouti: 27 June 1977 (from France)
Dominica: 3 November 1978 (from UK)
Dominican Republic: 27 February 1844 (from Haiti)
Ecuador: 24 May 1822 (from Spain)
Egypt: 28 February 1922 (from UK)
El Salvador: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Equatorial Guinea: 12 October 1968 (from Spain)
Eritrea: 24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
Estonia: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Ethiopia: oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas): none (overseas territory of the UK; also claimed by Argentina)
Faroe Islands: none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)
Fiji: 10 October 1970 (from UK)
Finland: 6 December 1917 (from Russia)
France: 486 (unified by Clovis)
French Guiana: none (overseas department of France)
French Polynesia: none (overseas territory of France)
Gabon: 17 August 1960 (from France)
Gambia, The: 18 February 1965 (from UK)
Georgia: 9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Germany: 18 January 1871 (German Empire unification); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; unification of West Germany and East Germany took place 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991
Ghana: 6 March 1957 (from UK)
Gibraltar: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Greece: 1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)
Greenland: none (part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979)
note:  foreign affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively participates in international agreements relating to Greenland
Grenada: 7 February 1974 (from UK)
Guadeloupe: none (overseas department of France)
Guam: none (territory of the US)
Guatemala: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Guernsey: none (British crown dependency)
Guinea: 2 October 1958 (from France)
Guinea-Bissau: 24 September 1973 (unilaterally declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)
Guyana: 26 May 1966 (from UK)
Haiti: 1 January 1804 (from France)
Holy See (Vatican City): 11 February 1929 (from Italy)
Honduras: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Hong Kong: none (special administrative region of China)
Hungary: 1001 (unification by King Stephen I)
Iceland: 17 June 1944 (from Denmark)
India: 15 August 1947 (from UK)
Indonesia: 17 August 1945 (proclaimed independence; on 27 December 1949, Indonesia became legally independent from the Netherlands)
Iran: 1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)
Iraq: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Ireland: 6 December 1921 (from UK by treaty)
Israel: 14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Italy: 17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)
Jamaica: 6 August 1962 (from UK)
Japan: 660 BC (traditional founding by Emperor Jimmu)
Jersey: none (British crown dependency)
Jordan: 25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Kazakhstan: 16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Kenya: 12 December 1963 (from UK)
Kiribati: 12 July 1979 (from UK)
Korea, North: 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Korea, South: 15 August 1945 (from Japan)
Kuwait: 19 June 1961 (from UK)
Kyrgyzstan: 31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Laos: 19 July 1949 (from France)
Latvia: 18 November 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Lebanon: 22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Lesotho: 4 October 1966 (from UK)
Liberia: 26 July 1847
Libya: 24 December 1951 (from Italy)
Liechtenstein: 23 January 1719 Imperial Principality of Liechtenstein established; 12 July 1806 established independence from the Holy Roman Empire
Lithuania: 11 March 1990 (independence declared from Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (Soviet Union recognizes Lithuania's independence)
Luxembourg: 1839 (from the Netherlands)
Macau: none (special administrative region of China)
Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of: 17 September 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Madagascar: 26 June 1960 (from France)
Malawi: 6 July 1964 (from UK)
Malaysia: 31 August 1957 (from UK)
Maldives: 26 July 1965 (from UK)
Mali: 22 September 1960 (from France)
Malta: 21 September 1964 (from UK)
Man, Isle of: none (British crown dependency)
Marshall Islands: 21 October 1986 (from the US-administered UN trusteeship)
Martinique: none (overseas department of France)
Mauritania: 28 November 1960 (from France)
Mauritius: 12 March 1968 (from UK)
Mayotte: none (territorial collectivity of France)
Mexico: 16 September 1810 (from Spain)
Micronesia, Federated States of: 3 November 1986 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
Moldova: 27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Monaco: 1419 (beginning of the rule by the House of Grimaldi)
Mongolia: 11 July 1921 (from China)
Montserrat: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Morocco: 2 March 1956 (from France)
Mozambique: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)
Namibia: 21 March 1990 (from South African mandate)
Nauru: 31 January 1968 (from the Australia-, NZ-, and UK-administered UN trusteeship)
Nepal: 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah)
Netherlands: 1579 (from Spain)
Netherlands Antilles: none (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
New Caledonia: none (overseas territory of France); note - a referendum on independence was held in 1998 but did not pass
New Zealand: 26 September 1907 (from UK)
Nicaragua: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Niger: 3 August 1958 (from France)
Nigeria: 1 October 1960 (from UK)
Niue: on 19 October 1974, Niue became a self-governing parliamentary government in free association with New Zealand
Norfolk Island: none (territory of Australia)
Northern Mariana Islands: none (commonwealth in political union with the US)
Norway: 7 June 1905 Norway declared the union with Sweden dissolved; 26 October 1905 Sweden agreed to the repeal of the union
Oman: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Pakistan: 14 August 1947 (from UK)
Palau: 1 October 1994 (from the US-administered UN Trusteeship)
Panama: 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
Papua New Guinea: 16 September 1975 (from the Australian-administered UN trusteeship)
Paraguay: 14 May 1811 (from Spain)
Peru: 28 July 1821 (from Spain)
Philippines: 4 July 1946 (from US)
Pitcairn Islands: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Poland: 11 November 1918 (independent republic proclaimed)
Portugal: 1140 (independent republic proclaimed 5 October 1910)
Puerto Rico: none (commonwealth associated with the US)
Qatar: 3 September 1971 (from UK)
Reunion: none (overseas department of France)
Romania: 1881 (from Turkey; republic proclaimed 30 December 1947)
Russia: 24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Rwanda: 1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)
Saint Helena: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Saint Kitts and Nevis: 19 September 1983 (from UK)
Saint Lucia: 22 February 1979 (from UK)
Saint Pierre and Miquelon: none (territorial collectivity of France; has been under French control since 1763)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 27 October 1979 (from UK)
Samoa: 1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)
San Marino: 3 September 301
Sao Tome and Principe: 12 July 1975 (from Portugal)
Saudi Arabia: 23 September 1932 (Unification of the Kingdom)
Senegal: 4 April 1960 (from France); complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960
Seychelles: 29 June 1976 (from UK)
Sierra Leone: 27 April 1961 (from UK)
Singapore: 9 August 1965 (from Malaysia)
Slovakia: 1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Slovenia: 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
Solomon Islands: 7 July 1978 (from UK)
Somalia: 1 July 1960 (from a merger of British Somaliland, which became independent from the UK on 26 June 1960, and Italian Somaliland, which became independent from the Italian-administered UN trusteeship on 1 July 1960, to form the Somali Republic)
South Africa: 31 May 1910 (from UK)
Spain: 1492 (expulsion of the Moors and unification)
Sri Lanka: 4 February 1948 (from UK)
Sudan: 1 January 1956 (from Egypt and UK)
Suriname: 25 November 1975 (from Netherlands)
Svalbard: none (territory of Norway)
Swaziland: 6 September 1968 (from UK)
Sweden: 6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)
Switzerland: 1 August 1291 (Founding of the Swiss Confederation)
Syria: 17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Tajikistan: 9 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Tanzania: 26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from UK-administered UN trusteeship); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; renamed United Republic of Tanzania 29 October 1964
Thailand: 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
Togo: 27 April 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
Tokelau: none (territory of New Zealand)
Tonga: 4 June 1970 (from UK protectorate)
Trinidad and Tobago: 31 August 1962 (from UK)
Tunisia: 20 March 1956 (from France)
Turkey: 29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)
Turkmenistan: 27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Turks and Caicos Islands: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Tuvalu: 1 October 1978 (from UK)
Uganda: 9 October 1962 (from UK)
Ukraine: 24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
United Arab Emirates: 2 December 1971 (from UK)
United Kingdom: England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales was enacted under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284; in the Act of Union of 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanent union as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927
United States: 4 July 1776 (from Great Britain)
Uruguay: 25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
Uzbekistan: 1 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Vanuatu: 30 July 1980 (from France and UK)
Venezuela: 5 July 1811 (from Spain)
Vietnam: 2 September 1945 (from France)
Wallis and Futuna: none (overseas territory of France)
Yemen: 22 May 1990, Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]; previously North Yemen had become independent on NA November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and South Yemen had become independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)
Yugoslavia: 27 April 1992 (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or FRY formed as self-proclaimed successor to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or SFRY)
Zambia: 24 October 1964 (from UK)
Zimbabwe: 18 April 1980 (from UK)

Copyright © 2000 Siakhenn
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