Here’s a list of such countries that have been subjugated by other for more than a hundred years.
Finland: Can you guess the number of years this European Country spent under foreign subjugation? Finland came under the Swedish Kingdom’s rule in 1154. After centuries of Swedish rule, Finland became a part of Russia before it gained independence in 1917. Number of years in subjection: 763.
Cape Verde: In 1498 Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese sailor, had reached India from Portugal via Cape Verde. Located off the western coast of Africa, this island nation measuring 4,033 square kilometers was annexed by Portugal in 1462 and became independent of the Portuguese rule in 1975. Number of years under foreign rule: 513.
Albania: In 1478 the Turkish Army invaded Albania—a country lying at the southeastern end of the Adriatic Sea. It was impossible for Albania, a small country having an area of 28,750 square kilometers, to wage a war against Turkey’s powerful Ottoman Empire. The Turks ruled over Albania for 434 years and withdrew in 1913 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Syria: This Middle Eastern nation, nine times larger than Israel, was under the rule of Turkey’s Ottoman Empire in 1517. After the defeat of Turkey in the First World War and collapse of the Ottoman Empire thereafter, Syria came under the control of France as a protectorate. The French rule lasted 26 years and Syria became an independent State in 1946. Number of years under foreign dominion: 429.
Cuba: In 1492, on his voyage to discover India, when Columbus disembarked the shores of Cuba, an island in the Caribbean Sea, there were 50,000 Red Indians dwelling in Cuba. The queen of Spain, Isabella claimed Cuba for Spain. The production of coffee, sugar and tobacco in Cuba yielded huge profits for Spain. Finally at the end of the 19th century when Cuban peoples’ war of independence against Spain became aggressive and the USA declared war on Spain to protect its financial interests in Cuba, it finally became a free nation in 1902. Number of years under the yoke of foreign rule: 410.
Gambia: Gambia was the first African country to come under the heel of the Colonial British rule. in 1588, when the British slave traders first established their colony in Gambia it was not a country but a region inhabited by various tribes. The British, who always preferred to stay near the banks of the Gambia River, did not declare Gambia as a nation. Consequently in 1965 when it gained independence, the geographical map of Gambia seemed very strange as the country had a length of 322 kilometers and width of merely 59 kilometers. Number of years under colonial hegemony: 77.
Barbados: The 430 square kilometers island of Barbados was the first among the other islands of West Indies to come under the Colonial British rule in 1627. Along with the African slaves, the Indians too were employed to toil in the sugarcane fields of Barbados. This island became an independent nation in 1966. Number of years spent under the colonial regime: 339 years.
Philippines: Philippines, the country comprising of 7,100 islands was formerly ruled by Spain. Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer who led the voyage around the world was the first European to visit Philippines. Unfortunately, Magellan could not complete his around-the-world voyage. In 1521 during a battle with the native people on the coast of Philippines, he lost his life. However, his visit to Philippines marked the beginning of colonization in the Southeast Asia. Spanish explorer Miguel Lagazpi arrived in 1565 and the first European settlement was established. Philippines remained as a Spanish Colony till 1898 when Spanish-American war broke out in Cuba and Philippines. Spain was defeated by the American Navy and eventually Philippines gained independence. This island nation remained under the colonial regime for 327 years.
Estonia: After the Swedish rule and then the Russian reign, Estonia first became independent in 1921. But the freedom lasted for 20 years or so. In the year 1940 Estonia was brought under the Soviet heels and was incorporated in USSR. With the formal dissolution of USSR in 1991, Estonia became an independent state. The people of Estonia remained under foreign dominion for 259 long years.
Armenia: Armenia came under the the Czar’s regime in 1813. It was in 1917 that the then reigning (zar Nicholas was brutally killed by the Russian Communists and the rule of Czars came to an end. Although the country was declared independent, the agony of its populace did not end due to the harassment of the communists who had formed the government. Like Estonia, Armenia too gained absolute freedom after the disbandment of the USSR in 1991. Period of in subjection: 178 years.
Sri Lanka: The Portuguese were the first colonial rulers of this country in the 16th century. Then it was the turn of the Dutch in the 17th century and finally the British ruled the entire island nation till 1948. As such the natives of Sri Lanka never waged the war against the British to gain independence, but it was bestowed upon them by default after the independence of India, as the British found it pointless to continue their rule in Sri Lanka. Number of years under the European colonial rule: 152.
Malia: Measuring only 316 square kilometers, this republic located in the Mediterranean Sea comprising of three islands was annexed by the British in 1814. Due to its strategic geographical location, the British established a major naval base in Malta. It gained freedom from the British rule in 1964. Period of British rule in Malta: 150 years.
Bahrain: Located in western Asia, this archipelago having an area of 678 square kilometers comprises of 35 islands. The oddity of this country is that Bahrain is the first Arabian nation where the resource of crude oil was found and also the first to have exhausted it. Britain controlled Bahrain as a protectorate from 1861 till 1971 when it finally became free from the British shackles. Bahrain remained under the British rule tor 110 years.
The list of countries that were forced into subjugation does not end here. There are still many countries who deserve a mention. Yet the significant point to be noted is that all across the world, the epoch of enslavement has come to an end. The era of colonization, when a particular country was ruled by another has become history. we are fortunate enough to breathe the air of independence and autonomy.