Independence is a condition of a nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

, country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

, or state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, over its territory.

Attainment of independence should not be confused with revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

, which typically refers to the violent
Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e.g...

 overthrow of a ruling authority. While some revolutions seek and achieve national independence, others aim only to redistribute power — with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization
Democratization is the transition to a more democratic political regime. It may be the transition from an authoritarian regime to a full democracy, a transition from an authoritarian political system to a semi-democracy or transition from a semi-authoritarian political system to a democratic...

 — within a state, which as such may remain unaltered.

1454    Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of the Prussian Confederation pledge allegiance to King Casimir IV of Poland who agrees to commit his forces in aiding the Confederation's struggle for independence from the Teutonic Knights.

1568    The Netherlands declare their independence from Spain.

1811    Paraguay gains independence from Spain.

1813    South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed ''El Libertador'' ("The Liberator").

1854    The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared.

1867    Luxembourg gains its independence.

1895    Revolution breaks out in Baire, a town near Santiago de Cuba, beginning the second war for Cuban independence, that ends with the Spanish-American War in 1898.

1908    The independence of Bulgaria is proclaimed.

1918    Western Ukraine gains its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1958    France ratifies a new Constitution of France; the French Fifth Republic is then formed upon the formal adoption of the new constitution on October 4. Guinea rejects the new constitution, voting for independence instead.