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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

Jan 21 st Decolonization There was a massive wave of decolonization after World War II in the 1960s because of ideological concerns of the colonizers, but more because the growing number of anti-colonial uprisings made colonialism too expensive to continue Decolonization in the Americas - In Latin America, a hierarchy was established in colonization, so political power passed to the local elite - Spanish and Portugese administrative control was always fairly weak, as the white elites gained more power and resources, they pushed for greater independence - Decolonization was hastened by the American and French revolutions, Napoleonic wars, US (Monroe Doctrine) and British policy Asian decolonization - Partition of Pakistan and India was very violent, but other cases were relatively peaceful African decolonization - Unlike the Americas, where Europeanized populations led the struggle for independence, here nationalist movements were provoked by changes in local society hastened by colonialism Anti-colonialism in rural areas Traditional, excluded: Local elites who found their power/social influence marginalized by colonialsm Traditional, coopted: coopted elites supporting anti-colonial movements because they started to realize the power they had and began to think “why do I need the foreign leaders now that I’ve got all this power?” It was also the new elites who rose to power as a result of colonial changes who began to question colonial rule and want greater political power who lead the movements So, it was both those who had power taken away by colonialism and those who gained it who opposed colonialism Peasants also revolted, which is considered strange as peasants don’t typically have a sense of solidarity with one another and don’t have much spare time or resources - Peasant revolts occured when colonialiasm threatened rural survival (colonial taxation, forced labour systems), therefore they only mobilized when their very livelihoods were threatened - Peasant revolts were often very quiet, and took the form of foot dragging, misreporting incomes, and various acts of civil disobedience Anti-colonialism in urban areas Who participated/mobilized: - Alienated rural migrants who were unemployed (combination of grievances and unemployment which gave them more time to organize movements as well as the fact that urbanization created new identities) - Small but growing working class - Students, local civil servants, professionals (relative deprivation- were upwardly mobile but faced a glass ceiling which blocked mobility after a certain point) - Petit bourgeoise (threatened by European traders and new goods) - Bourgeoise (chafed under restrictions imposed by foreigners) This urbanized population had increased exposure to education and ideas, other social groups, technolog
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