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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 .

CONTENTS

* 1 Definition of independence

* 1.1 Distinction between independence and autonomy

* 2 Declarations of independence * 3 Historical overview * 4 Continents * 5 Notes * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Article note

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 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. The Russian October Revolution , for example, was not intended to seek national independence (though it did result in independence for Poland , Finland , Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia ). In contrast, the 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 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 .

HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

Historically, there have been three major periods of declaring independence:

* from the 1770s, beginning with the 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 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 .

CONTINENTS

CONTINENT NO. OLDEST COUNTRY NEWEST COUNTRY

Africa 54 Ethiopia (1137) South Sudan (2011)

Americas 35 United States (1776 ) Saint Kitts and Nevis (1983)

Asia 44 China (2070 BC) East Timor (2002)

Europe 50 San Marino (301) Montenegro (2006) _ Kosovo _ (2008 )

Oceania 14 _ Australia (1901) Palau (1994)

Antarctica 8 de facto_ condominium international

NOTES

* ^ Unilateral recognition of independence by the United Kingdom but continued British military occupation. * ^ Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain declared . * ^ Independence from the United Kingdom . * ^ _A B _ Part of Transcaucasian Region , at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Physiographically , Armenia falls entirely in Western Asia , while Georgia and Azerbaijan are mostly in Asia with small portions north of the Caucasus Mountains divide in Europe. * ^ The Xia dynasty (Chinese: 夏朝; pinyin: Xià Cháo; Wade–Giles: Hsia-Ch'ao; IPA: ; c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC) is the first dynasty in traditional Chinese history. * ^ Kingdom of the Franks becomes the first Christian State after the fall of the Western Roman Empire . * ^ Partially recognized _de facto _ self-governing entity. It is recognised by 110 UN members the Cook Islands , Niue and Taiwan . Claimed by Serbia as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija under UN administration . * ^ An independent state in free association with the United States .

SEE ALSO

* Independence constitution * Independence referendum * List of countries by Independence Day * List of sovereign states by date of formation * Lists of active separatist movements * Special Committee on Decolonization * Wars of independence * Unilateral declaration of independence * United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories

REFERENCES

* ^ Benjamin, Walter (1996) . _Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1: 1913–1926_. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 236–252. ISBN 0-674-94585-9 . * ^ David Armitage , _The Declaration of