Independence (n.) - Happy 4th of July
The state of being free from outside control, or not subject to authority.
Also, not relying on others for your opinions or livelihood.
History & Etymology
The root word in independent is “depend”. Which is comprised of two parts from Latin and PIE the first being de- meaning “to hang down.” The next part is “pen-” which meant “to draw or stretch”. Other words we derive from pen- are pendulum and append. An interesting way of looking at this is as an analogy, the idea of depending on something is to be hanging from it like a marionette.
The prefix in- in independence comes from the same Latin origin as depend. Its use is to invert a statement, meaning “not, without, or the opposite of.” And just like the Blue Fairy in Pinoccio the prefix in- cuts the strings of dependence and brings us independence.
Just like many words English borrows from Latin and other Romance languages, there is an old English word that it replaced. I actually really like this one and think it should make a return, maybe with a slightly more anarchist/voluntaryist connotation. That original word was “Selfdom.” The suffix -dum meaning ‘law, rule, fate, or judgement” like it’s more common uses in Kingdom, Freedom, or serfdom. The -dum sufix is also related to one of my favorite words DOOM.