Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For alternate meanings, see Monrovia (disambiguation).
The area was already inhabited when it was named Cape Mesurado by Portuguese sailors in the 1560s, but the city was not established until April 1822, when Providence Island (now linked to the city centre by a bridge) was first settled by the American Colonization Society as a haven for freed slaves from the United States and the British West Indies, as well as many of the famous Maroon freedom fighters, and was named for James Monroe, then President of the United States.
Monrovia is Liberia's largest city and its administrative, commercial, and financial center. The city's economy is dominated by its harbor, which was substantially expanded by U.S. forces during World War II. The main exports are latex and iron ore. The harbor also has extensive storage and ship repair facilities. Manufactures include cement, refined petroleum, food products, bricks and tiles, furniture, and chemicals.
Attractions in Monrovia include the Liberian National Museum , the now ruined Masonic Temple , the Waterside Market , (currently closed) cultural centre on Providence Island and several beaches. It is also home to a zoo, the University of Liberia and Cuttington College and Divinity School (Episcopal)
The city was severely damaged in the Liberian Civil War, with many buildings gutted. Major battles occurred between Samuel Doe's government and Prince Johnson's forces in 1990 and with the NPFL 's assault on the city in 1992. A legacy of the war is a large population of homeless children and youths, either having been involved in the fighting or denied an education by it.
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