There are many countries that have long since established their reputation in the worldwide arena. Here we are talking about countries like France and the United Kingdom that have a rich history full of interesting facts. The development and thriving of these and many other empires in the world was based on the discovery of new territories and the establishment of settlements in what later would become a colony. Colonies played a major role in the economy and trading processes of the empire it belonged to.
The colonial status had benefits like being protected by the empire it was part of, but people living in colonies were often dissatisfied with the conditions they lived in. Some managed to fight for their freedom in a peaceful way, while others believed armed conflicts to be the only way to gain independence. Anyway, many of the countries that were once colonies at present enjoy the status of an independent country.
Today, we gathered information about the youngest countries in the world. Let’s see what these countries are…
List of Youngest Countries
1. South Sudan (2011)
The title of the youngest country in the world goes to South Sudan, which can be proud of successfully surviving several civil wars. The country was under the rule of Egypt for a long time but got brave enough to claim its independence in 1956. Soon after that, the first civil war in the country broke out. The autonomous region that was formed after its end existed for 11 years.
The restoration of the autonomous status is linked with the second civil war of 2005 and the establishment of the autonomous government. Even though the country officially gained independence in 2011, violence, conflicts and clashes of different communities living on its territory still have a place in its life.
2. Kosovo (2008)
The Republic of Kosovo located in the center of the Balkan region had gone a long way to gain its independence. The territory of the country was kept under the rule of the Romans and successfully survived the times when it was invaded and annexed by multiple empires including the Bulgarian and Serbian Empires.
One of the most important events in its history is the Battle that occurred in 1389 and resulted in the change of its status to the patriarchate. After being part of the Ottoman Empire for 5 centuries, Kosovo was given to the union of Serbia and Montenegro that later joined Yugoslavia and formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The constant tension and conflicts between the Serbian communities and communities living in Kosovo led to a violent war finishing in 1998. Despite the end of the war, the country continued to take action in order to gain independence. Its efforts paid off in 2008 when its independence from Serbia was officially acknowledged.
Even though the independent status of the country is recognized by Brussels, Serbia still believes it to be one of its autonomous provinces.
3. Montenegro (2006)
The life of the country known at present as Montenegro started in the Medieval age, with the territories called Dukja, Travunia and Rascia. Approximately in the middle of the 11th century, Dukja successfully fought for its independence and became its own state under the rule of the Vojislavljević dynasty.
The appearance of the independent territory of Zeta that thrived under the rule of several dynasties marks the beginning of changes in the life of all the country. Officially, the name Montenegro was first used to refer to the country in 1498 when it served as part of the powerful Ottoman Empire. Formally, the status of the independent country was granted to Montenegro in 1697, but in terms of the law, the mentioned independence was recognized only in 1878.
The end of WW I was followed by the union with Yugoslavia, with Montenegro existing as part of Yugoslavia until its breakup. Soon after the breakup, the authorities of Montenegro and Serbia took measures to established a unified federation known in the worldwide history as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The union lasted for more than 80 years ending with the country gaining independence in 2006, which made Montenegro one of the youngest countries in the world.
4. East Timor (2002)
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste washed by the Timor Sea fought for its independence several times. The country became a Portuguese colony in the 16th century and put up with its colonial status until 1975. In November 1975, a successful revolution resulted in the declaration of its independence.
Unfortunately, locals enjoyed their independence for only 9 days. On the 10th day, it was occupied by the Indonesian army and soon declared its province. The following 24 years spent under the rule of Indonesia were full of numerous conflicts and violence that were supposed to end with the freedom of Palau. Officially, the first referendum was held in 1999. However, the status of independent country East Timor managed to gain only in 2002, with the USA being of greatest help in the process. With this, East Timor become one of the youngest countries in the world.
5. Palau (1994)
The title of the youngest country in the world goes to Palau. The history of this country consisting of more than 300 islands started 3,000 years ago when it was discovered by migrants from Southeast Asia. The changes started to occur in the 16th century when the country was discovered by the Spaniards and turned into the overseas territory of the Spanish Empire.
Spain kept Palau under its control for around 3 centuries and then sold it to the German Empire after losing the war with the USA. Before gaining its independence in 1994, the Republic of Palau had to survive under the rule of Japan and the USA.
Despite being an independent country, Palau does not refuse from the financial aid provided by the USA in accordance with one of the acts signed after it won the battle for freedom. Apart from being one of the youngest countries, Palau is known for its small population, which amounts to 21,500 people.
Even though the countries we talked about today have a relatively short life as independent countries, the history that each of them has is definitely worth paying attention to.
I hope that this article on the youngest countries in the world was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Rankings Page!