Meaning of Independence
What is Independence:
Independence is the ability to act, do and choose without the intervention or guardianship of others. It is the opposite of dependency and applies to both individuals and formal institutions, such as the state.
With independence you exercise freedom, since you act on your own, but it also implies making decisions and taking responsibility for their consequences.
Political independence is the ability of a State to exercise its political, economic and administrative freedom without depending on other States or formal institutions.
States usually achieve independence after long historical processes that involve the merger between States, decolonization or the separation of territories from a central power.
On a personal level, independence is the ability to act, make decisions, and stand up for ourselves. Hence, independence also means integrity, firmness of character.
Independence comes from Latin independent, which means "not to be under the will of others."
Political independence is known as the process in which the formation or restoration of a country occurs after separating or emancipating itself from another of which it was a part. Sometimes independence is achieved through revolutions or wars of independence.
It is a political concept that arises as a reaction to European colonialism in the American continent. It first appeared in the Declaration of Independence of the United States, in 1776.
This movement spread to the rest of America and promoted the independence of Haiti from France. It also influenced the independence of the countries politically dominated by Spain, from Mexico, through Venezuela, Colombia and Peru, to Argentina and Chile.
Currently, independence is also linked to the principle of non-intervention and the right of self-determination of peoples.
Depending on the conditions of union or separation of the territories, independence can be of several types:
- Union and merger: when two or more States come together to create a new political-territorial entity. Like the merger of the British colonies into the Union of South Africa, in 1910.
- Decolonization: when a State ceases its dominion in a territory in which it exercised its power. For example, when India gained independence from the British Empire in 1947.
- Dissolution: when a State ceases to exist and new States are formed from it, as happened with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
- Secession: when a territory is separated from the State of which it is part, without its approval. An example is Northern Cyprus, independent since 1983.
- Separation: when a territory is separated from the State of which it is part, with the approval of the latter. This is the case of Montenegro, separated from Serbia since 2006.
Other examples of political independence in the world are:
- Independence of Mexico: becomes independent from Spain in 1821
- Independence of Colombia: becomes independent from Spain in 1819
- Independence of Argentina: emancipated from the Spanish empire in 1825.
- Independence of Venezuela: he proclaimed his independence from Spain in 1811 and was officially emancipated in 1823, when they finally defeated the royalist forces.
- Independence of Peru: it is an independent nation since 1821.
- Independence of Chile: in 1826 the National Board of Government was established, which consolidated its independence from the Spanish.
- Independence of the United States: it managed to become a nation free from British rule in 1783.
- Haitian Independence: They became independent from France in 1803, after African slaves defeated French colonizers.
- Independence of India: it was emancipated from British rule in 1947. thanks to the non-violent civil disobedience movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.
- South African independence: they separated from British rule in 1961, but it was in 1994 when they had their first democratic elections, in which Nelson Mandela was the winner.
Personal independence is called that in which an individual is able to fend for himself, make his own decisions and have a certain degree of economic independence.
In this sense, independence begins by abandoning parental protection in terms of housing, food and shelter.
Personal independence is associated with adult life, and with the individual's ability to assume their responsibilities without resorting to the help of anyone else.
Examples of independence
Independence is a quality of people and institutions that can manifest itself at different levels: political, personal, psychological, economic or institutional. In all cases, it refers to the freedom to act freely in each of the areas indicated.
Psychological independence is one that a person manifests in the freedom to act and choose without depending on other people, or paying attention to pressures or obligations.
A psychologically independent person avoids any type of compulsory relationship, he is able to make decisions, do and act for himself without handing over control of his lives to other people.
Economic independence is the ability of a person to generate and manage their financial resources efficiently, without requiring external help to finance their expenses.
An economically independent person has at least an income that allows him to pay his daily expenses, save, spend and invest, without the need to request external help (loans, credits, donations, etc.).
It is the ability of a State to produce the goods necessary for its subsistence, avoiding the possibility of depending on other States or international institutions.
In states where there are armed conflicts and it is necessary to resort to international aid to obtain food or medical assistance, there is no institutional independence.
Difference between independence and autonomy
Although they are often used synonymously, independence and autonomy refer to two different capacities. Independence implies a degree of absolute freedom to make decisions. Autonomy, on the other hand, is the ability to act with a wide margin of freedom, but with some restrictions.
An independent person can decide the terms in which he wants to live his life and act to achieve it. An autonomous person can make decisions but cannot always execute them. This is the case of people with a physical or cognitive disability.
An independent State has full authority over its territory, its institutions and its citizens, without requiring the interference of another State or entity. While an autonomous territory or institution may have freedom to make decisions, but always depending on a central power.
- Independence Day of Mexico.