The word independence means "not having to depend on anyone or anything else". It also means to "be strong and be able to survive alone". The word is usually used in a good way.
A country gets its independence when it is no longer part of another country. Sometimes countries get their independence in a war, like when the United States beat Britain in the American War of Independence. Countries can also get their independence peacefully, like Canada did. Help from another country may be needed to get independence, like in World War II, when the allies (especially the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union) freed many countries that had been controlled by armies of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan.
Singapore gained independence from Malaysia in 1965. The newest country to get its independence was Montenegro. In June, 2006 it became independent from Serbia and Montenegro. This was done by a peaceful vote, although many other countries in the area fought wars. Other countries that became independent not long ago are Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, Eritrea in 1993 and East Timor in 2002. However, some countries have political parties that discuss whether their country should become independent. Some examples of these are the Scottish National Party (SNP) or the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP).
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