HIS242H1 Lecture Notes - Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Viet Minh
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From India in 1947 to Mozambique gaining independence from Portugal in 1975
In the 60’s 18 New Nations in
- 14 in Africa
- 1970’s dramatic rapid change – like a new map of Africa
Decolonization in Africa
- Expansion in Africa
- Most controlled by European nations
- Gaining of independence, was not granted but fought for an won by a high cost
Fighting for the independence was like fighting in the World Wars. Involved all
elements including the population.
THE END OF EUROPEAN EMPIRES: DECOLONIZATION AND THE FIGHT FOR
Battle of Algiers, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1965
WW1 – The collapse of the Ottoman empire meant colonies in Africa fell under
European holdings. Britain and France primarily.
WW1 determined the course of restoration.
Gandi’s liberation in India. (d. 1948)
The process of Decolonization really took effect after the 2nd world war.
Large numbers of men in European colonial territories participated in the war.
Forced labourers too.
After the men returned from the war, they returned with the idea that they had
earned their determination of playing a role in their destiny.
They returned home with the experience of combat. This experience might have
helped them in their control of their revolt.
In Asia/ SE Asia, the Japanese took control of their territories, Westerners were
replaced by Japanese occupiers. The French or Dutch that controlled the territories
earlier had to fight to regain. The Japanese had used the language of the Asian co-
conspirators sphere. The liberation of these languages helped leave arms for the
The first declarations had come first in mainly Asia. Areas that were under Ottoman
Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Vietnam (written in 1945).
- Ho Chi Minh (d. 1969) had started the declaration quoting from the American
one from 1777.
Indigenous Nationalist Movement
- Leaders in certain African countries emerged.
- Ghanean – Kwame Nkrumah (d. 1972)
o Influencing solidarity in Africans.
o Emphasizing the political and socialist solidarity
o A religious and spiritual movement
o Educated in the USA, in the 1940s, 2 BA’s, Arts and Theology
o Studied at Lincoln University (the first Black degree granting college in
o Did a Masters degree in Pennsylvania
o Continued his studies in England
o Was influenced by DUBOIS AND GARVEY (who were also influenced by
o DUBOIS died in Ghana. Moved there.
o Nkumah was a prolific writer – Pan African writings
o “Class Struggle in Africa” – Africa is one continent….dominion is the
entire African continent.
o You can hear the emphasis on Marxism with an African claim
o He lead Ghana to independence. First country to gain independence.
o Voted African man of the century.
o 1966 – when touring he was lead to some Russian movements
o He did not return to Ghana after 1966
Suez Canada Crisis of 1956
Remained controlled by the British (even though Egypt had gained independence)
Gamal Abdel Nasser decided to Nationalise the Suez Canal in an attempt to gain full
control in Egypt
The British and French encouraged Israel to invade Egypt (as an attempt to remain
UN called for a halt, Israelis and Egypt had to stop and British and French
USA, Soviet Union and UN forced them to withdraw.
Pushing of European power out of Middle East and that process created major
Removal of European power gained higher power than decolonization
- It was sovereignty
Division of India and Pakistan and later on the division of Bangladesh
In Belgian Congo, Belgium pulled out subtly but they left them with nothing
There was no training, no tradition of unity, no doctors, no government etc. This
meant there was a period of instability,
Colonization was taken over by a UN department
Would t be possible to turn a generation of fighters into a peaceful nation
De Gaulle (return to power in 1958)
The same people that went to China, went to Algeria.
Brought from one place to another.
Use of Torture to break revolutionary cells
The Algerian War of independence was a conscription army.
The domestic population gets pulled into the war.
Stake for French was very high in the war in Algeria (because of the proximity)
Attempt to mobilize people of all ages and classes, created a popular movement
The strength of warfare was education of Urban and Rural tactics
Trying to defeat supposed inferior people
The public nature of the war created some undermining of the war
Independence and Decolonization brought new identities and new roles for the
former colonies and for the powers because they had new responsibilities and new
Europe was restricted back to a small land.
From india in 1947 to mozambique gaining independence from portugal in 1975. 1970"s dramatic rapid change like a new map of africa. Gaining of independence, was not granted but fought for an won by a high cost. Fighting for the independence was like fighting in the world wars. The end of european empires: decolonization and the fight for. Ww1 the collapse of the ottoman empire meant colonies in africa fell under. The process of decolonization really took effect after the 2nd world war. Large numbers of men in european colonial territories participated in the war. After the men returned from the war, they returned with the idea that they had earned their determination of playing a role in their destiny. They returned home with the experience of combat. This experience might have helped them in their control of their revolt. In asia/ se asia, the japanese took control of their territories, westerners were replaced by japanese occupiers.