, or state
in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty
, over its territory.
Attainment of independence should not be confused with revolution
, which typically refers to the violent
overthrow of a ruling authority. While some revolutions seek and achieve national independence, others aim only to redistribute power — with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization
— within a state, which as such may remain unaltered.
1454 Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of the Prussian Confederation pledge allegiance to King Casimir IV of Poland who agrees to commit his forces in aiding the Confederation's struggle for independence from the Teutonic Knights.
1568 The Netherlands declare their independence from Spain.
1811 Paraguay gains independence from Spain.
1813 South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed ''El Libertador'' ("The Liberator").
1854 The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared.
1867 Luxembourg gains its independence.
1895 Revolution breaks out in Baire, a town near Santiago de Cuba, beginning the second war for Cuban independence, that ends with the Spanish-American War in 1898.
1908 The independence of Bulgaria is proclaimed.
1918 Western Ukraine gains its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1958 France ratifies a new Constitution of France; the French Fifth Republic is then formed upon the formal adoption of the new constitution on October 4. Guinea rejects the new constitution, voting for independence instead.