Lecture 4.doc

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30 Mar 2012
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Lecture 4: 10/05/10
Decolonization Part 1
-traditional powers have declined (France and Britain)
-The impact of American Programs to secure the Western system: Truman Document
(to reduce communist influence) and the Marshall Plan (sinister American plot to
reduce communist influence and ensure American economic hegemony)
-Only after these programs are developed does Russia Stalinize Eastern Europe to
ensure American/Western influence does not spread to Eastern Europe
-How were the British and French Empires impacted by the Second World War?
-The first immediate result is decolonization
Decolonization is a misnomer because neither the British or French wanted the
decolonization of their empires. At no point did they sit down to offer equality
to their colonies – they were compelled
-They tried to hold onto their empires even after there was no chance of retaining
them. No good will in France and Britain the decolonization of their empires were
political consequences of the war
-The Atlantic Charter: consequences; calling the rest of the world to join the Allies to
fight Germany in order to stop imperial empires
With such a call, empires and colonial rule could no longer function. It was a
call against tyranny and imposition – made it impossible for
-Effects of the Cold War: 1st sings of a clear division in the Grand Alliance the Cold
War made a bipolar world and had a huge effect on colonies
-Communism also made the possession of colonies difficult because of its anti-
imperialism ideology
-France and Britain fought tooth and nail to preserve their empires
Britain:
-The British (a world power) still maintained a relatively low standard of living even
after WWII. 70% of the wealth belonged to 5% of the population.
Something had to be offered to the people after the war
-In 1942, unless the social structure is changed, Britain could not exist as a world
power. It needed to change into a welfare state. In addition, there would be paid
vacations, housing for the poor, etc.
*These cost money and Britain was very short on that
-Britain felt that it had to hold onto its empire (while offering these good changes)
-Britain would initiate changes by offering dominion status to its colonies to join the
commonwealth
-Using this system, both states (colony and colonist) could continue to live together
a co-existence which was profitable not draining to the British economy
France:
-France suffered greatly because they were defeated in 1940 this ruined their
reputation (their defeat by Japan – a non-white, non-European race)
-The French were associated with Germany throughout the war (implications that
France was complicit with the Nazis in WWII) the French Empire also had German
forced governments, associated with the fascist powers
-France offered to its colonies to be part of the French Union:
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Fair, democratic political system
French citizenship
Economic aid, recognition of sovereignty if the colonies accept to partake in
the French Union
-This was not offered to the colonies in Asia. In Asia, they cad to accept French
colonial rule
-These Asian states asked for France to accept the sovereignty of their state then
the people could choose if they wanted to be part of the French Union
-France would not grant them independence (Vietnam)
Decolonization
-British India: India already sought independence from Britain
The Congress Party was very inclusive and headed by Gandhi
-They wanted to break relations with Britain through peaceful means
-Nehru (second in command under Gandhi) much preferred a western style
denunciation, i.e. revolution
-The Muslim minority in India feared that if India sought independence they would not
fare well
-India Act: facilitates the transition from colony to independent power by empowering
the local authorities – those with the greatest religious population
-At the brink of financial collapse, the British could not hold onto Indiawhen the war
ended, India was promised independence in 2 years
-1947: India is granted independence, but is divided into three states: Western India
becomes Pakistan, Eastern becomes Bangladesh, and the main chunk becomes India
-The partition came into effect for lack of a better idea
Asia:
In Asia, independence movements were well on their way during WWII
-Britain offered its Asian colonies aid, etc. if they became a dominion. Countries like
Sri Lanka and Burma gained their independence this way, but not all people were
empowered
-In Malaysia, Britain decides to dig their heels and fight for their possession why? In
India, Sri Lanka and Burma, anti-British movements were in the hands of the
moderates. In Malaysia, it was the communists who were trying to remove British
authority.
In Malay, most people did not want independence
The nationalism movement did not want independence
-The British send 45 000 troops to secure the colony
-In Vietnam (Indochina), after WWII, a 34 year long war took place over
independence:
After the defeat of Japan, the Vietnamese fought the French and then the
Americans
-The Viet Minh were a communist, national independence movement that connected
all the people
-The French colonial power in South Vietnam was fascist during WWII the United
States empowered the Viet Minh to fight Japanese and French
-Once the war was over, the French came back and did not want to hear about
independence
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