Sierra Leone

The British established a colony at Freetown in 1787 for slaves returning to Africa from Great
Britain and the United States and for slaves rescued from shipwrecks. The land of original
settlement, where the city later developed, was purchased from local chiefs.
The Sierra Leone Company, formed in 1791, administered the settlement until 1808, when it
became a crown colony. Britain set up a protectorate over the hinterland of Freetown in 1896. The
British were relatively nice towards the people of Sierra Leone. While they provided what they
could for the colony, they also illegally smuggled the nation's diamonds to other countries. The
first elections for the legislative council were held under the constitution of 1924. In 1950 the
National Council of Sierra Leone was formed by the Creole (Krio) elite with the purpose of
preserving and continuing the elevated status that the Krios enjoyed in the country. One year later
MiltonMargai helped form the Sierra Leone People's Party (Harris pg. 247). The ministerial
system was introduced in 1953, and Sir Milton Margai, a former physician and leader of the Sierra
Leone People's Party (SLPP), was appointed chief minister in 1954 and prime minister in 1960
(Decalo pg. 452).
Sierra Leone gained independence on April 27, 1961. Their independence did not have to be
fought for, it was simply given to them by the British. Following the elections of 1962, Margai
remained Prime Minister. Margai died in 1964 and was succeeded by his half-brother, Albert
Margai (Cutter pg. 60). In 1967, as a result of fake elections, in which Siaka Stevens, leader of the
All People's Congress (APC), was elected prime minister, the army staged a coup d'état and
organized a National Reformation Council (NRC). After another army revolt in 1968, civilian
government was restored, and Stevens returned to power. Sierra Leone was declared a republic on
April 19, 1971, and …


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