Monrovia is the capital of Liberia. It is also Liberia's largest city with a population of around 450,000 people. Monrovia is located on Bushrod Island and Cape Mesurado, and is Liberia's chief Atlantic port.
Liberia was founded by Americans so that freed slaves could resettle back in Africa. Monrovia was named after U.S. President James Monroe, and was founded during his term by the American Colonization Society. The first town was established in 1822 on Providence Island. The settlers, or the Americo-Liberians, were engaged in a number of disputes with the indigenous population for many years. In recent years, Liberia has been recovering from fierce fighting lasting 8 years.
Monrovia is the only free port in West Africa. It was the center of commerce and transportation, and attracted industries like petroleum, paint, pharmaceuticals and cement. Many impressive buildings were built, along with the old University of Liberia (opened in 1862, university status in 1951), and a secondary school system, hospitals etc. However, the infrastructure has been largely destroyed by the fighting in recent years.
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