What Does an Independent Country Mean?

What Does an Independent Country Mean?

Some countries cry out for independence, while others have had it since the birth of the nation and rely on it for strength and growth. An independent country is a self-governing and self-determining autonomous state. It can be comprised of many other states that rule under the same independent leanings of the overruling country. In this time of shifting politics and governments, it’s important to understand the nature and origin of an independent country.

1 Consideration of Independent Countries

Colonialism and imperialism in the 16th century brought the idea of an autonomous state to people of governed territories around the world. A ruling country would settle a land and eventually the people would rise up in their fervor for self-governing over having their livelihoods and farming decided by a far-off ruler. Revolution played a key role in independence for the Congo, Sudan, Mexico and the United States.

2 Benefits of Independence

Being governed by a body thousands of miles away can create significant problems for those creating a new land with hard work and sacrifice. As they build up the land and create lucrative crops, they may become bitter when the boats arrive to haul away much of their profit for the benefit of the far-off motherland. Rules handed down from the governing body may not apply to the pioneers of the new land as it's being shored up for growth. If the two parties can't come to a beneficial decision, revolution is often the result.

3 When a Country Becomes Independent

When the citizens of a country have come together and requested and been granted declarations of independence, the jubilation can be palpable among the people. The question is, what happens next? While it may seem a straightforward want for citizens, it can be a complicated quest as there's much that goes into forming an independent country.

People have a right to determine their own destiny and political status, according to international law. However, this isn't always an easy feat among a population to accomplish without some pushback either from inside the country’s political system or from the international governing bodies that have a reciprocal relationship with the country. The UN Charter states that it's a people’s right to have self-determination in choosing how they should be governed. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights further clarifies this point in its pages. When a country searches to become independent, it has to transfer its sovereignty from one authority to another, which can have negative ramifications within its chosen borders as well as on the international stage.

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.