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Lecture 1

POLI 227 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Bourgeoisie, Monroe Doctrine, Anti-Imperialism


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 227
Professor
Rex Brynen
Lecture
1

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Lecture n°8: nationalism, national liberation and
decolonization
NATIONALISM, NATIONAL LIBERATION AND
DECOLONIZATION
Decolonization
Colonialism had major effects, yet lasted a relative brief period
Latin America: about 300 years
India: about 200 years
Africa: about 100 years
Middle east: less than 50 years – deeply affected by colonialism
west is so powerful that it can cover the world until WWII where this influence is
quite gone –how can you be so powerful you can conquer the world but then loose it.
Answer: look at the nature of opposition to colonial rule – two kind of resistance:
traditional resistance and nationalist resistance
Traditional resistance
= initial or continuing resistance to colonial conquest, based on local society and
capabilities = better win of north Africa fighting the Italians, existing traditional
societies using their traditional means to trying to prevent themselves from conquest(
Zulus resisting British rule in South Africa)
rarely successful because of the massive disparity between European military
power and traditional societies power
certainly cases where countries were never colonized (Ethopia), where the traditional
resistance succeeded but hardly ever
Modern nationalist resistance
Modern Nationalist movement: they are rooted in the change societies themselves
transformed by colonialism and immigration of global economy for ex = changed
society
Pattern of decolonization
Series of revolts of military campaigns in the 1900 – by the 1960’s lot of third world
states gaining independence (post WWII)
Initial decolonization beginning in the 1850.
Two ways of decolonization: earlier and later (later = Africa and asia)

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Decolonization: Latin Americas
Spanish and Portuguese’s control weak over their American colonies because of the
distance in technology – to exert control on the population – ships that took
weeks/months to get there – local white elite wanted more and more autonomy and
took it. Realized they were under the influence of European colonialists
Political power passes to local white elites
Hastened by American (important showing that colonies could throw off the power of
their colonialist powers – demonstration effect for the rest of the colonies) and
French revolutions (notion of republicanism), Napoleonic wars (Spain occupied by
France, Portugal struggling for its own existence), US (Monroe Doctrine =) and
British policy (favor the independence of Latin America’s colonies= colonial powers
deeply weakened by Napoleonic war
= change occurring within the colonies // change in Europe that weakened
the colonial rules
Decolonization in Asia
It occurred after WWII, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not (partition of Pakistan
and India – up to 5 million died)
Africa and Asia
Anti-colonialism in rural areas
Elites – whose find themselves excluded from the new European centric source of
power – attempt to regain their traditional power
- traditional/excluded
- traditional/coopted – who had benefit from colonial rule (ex: middle
peasant who went from slightly better off to landowner – why would
he challenge the British colonial rule ? – why am I taking instruction
from the British since I’m the most important person in my society ?
– political power adapted to my economic power
- new
Peasants: because recruited as a mass support, they might be harmed by colonial
taxation policy – but they don’t revolt easily because most of the time they are busy
surviving and may not have a real sense of national identity because of their village
is so bound up to local areas – not a lot of spirit times, not much education – real
barrier to political activity – only when they are really pushed.
= hard to mobilize because so busy surviving
urban areas more fruitful areas in which to recruit members to anticolonialism –
urbanization associated with an increasing of identity helpful to anticolonialism
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