Independence Day in Benin is celebrated every 1 August. This holiday commemorates the day in 1960 when Benin gained its full independence from France.
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The history of Benin is long and complicated as the area was long inhabited by a variety of tribes. But the modern history of the region began with the rise of the Kingdom of Dahomey in coastal Benin, in the 1600s. Dahomey was a strong regional power that built its wealth by trading those captured in wars with neighbouring tribes to the Europeans as slaves.
After the slave trade was banned by Britain, France, and other colonial powers during the early 1800s, Dahomey rapidly declined in power. French forces fought two wars to eventually conquer what is today Benin by the end of the 1890s.
After World War II, Benin sought independence along with other colonies all over Africa and the world. By 1946, Benin gained some rights as an overseas department of France. In 1958, they got their own parliament and limited self-rule. On 1 August, 1960, complete independence finally was granted.
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