Protected State of Liberia and Sierra Leone

Head of State

His Imperial Majesty, the King-Emperor of Great Britain and the Dominions beyond the Seas, Edward VIII (1936), George VI (1936-1952), Edward VIII (1952-1972), Her Imperial Majesty, the Queen-Empress of Great Britain and the Dominions beyond the Seas, Elizabeth II (from 1972)

Ruling Party

True Whig Party (from 1878)

Head of Government

Edwin Barclay (1930-1955), William Tubman (1955-1969), Andrew Juxon-Smith (1969), William Tolbert (1969-1979), Andrew Juxon-Smith (1979-1980), Nabih Berri (from 1980)

Occupied by Great Britain in 1941 due to an ongoing dispute with France, and the possibility of the loss of Britain's main source of rubber production, in the protected Malayan Trucial States, to Japan.

At the end of the conflict, the claims of Great Britain, France and Italy to the right to a mandate over Liberia were considered, though ultimately, aside from a minor border readjustment in France's favour (with land transferred to French West Africa), the position of Great Britain was recognised. Liberia was administratively linked with Sierra Leone as a Protected State within the British Federation of West Africa (following the precedent established with the annexation of the Independent State of Maryland-in-Liberia in 1857).

The native elite, made up of Americo-Liberians and represented by the True Whig Party, was allowed to maintain control of much of the country's internal politics. Their base of support was actually increased by union with Sierra Leone, with Sierra Leone's Krio (Creole) and Lebanese populations generally supporting the True Whigs. The True Whig Party also has a presence in Great Britain's Caribbean colonies in the Federation of the British West Indies, where it agitates for locals of African descent to settle in Liberia.

In 1980 Nabih Berri became the first 'Chairman of the Council of State' (the highest position a non-European can hold, replacing the old Liberian Presidency) of Lebanese origin and of the Muslim faith. Born in Botown, Sierra Leone in 1938 and educated in France, he rose through the ranks of the True Whig Party in the late 1970s, maintaining a hard line against making concessions to the pagan natives of the interior.

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