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Political Science
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Wilson Prichard

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Independence and the New Generation of African States 10/2/2013 6:25:00 AM 1. Artificial boundaries and the challenges of state and nation building  Knowing where the controversies and conflicts are located 2. Geography and colonial settlement  Settler migrations according to the climate – highlands and lowlands different burdens 3. External orientation or economic activity  Where access to the railroads, advance in the economic activities 4. The Challenges of Landlocked Countries  Landlocked countries, have to transport thru the neighboring countries; conflict in the others, cannot transport anything 5. The regional dimensions of economics and of conflict  Countries tend to trade with others who are near them  East Africa; Kenya the hub of the trade region  Regional Conflict; frequently spilled over the borders 6. The Coastal location of capitals, and the continued marginalization of the periphery 7. Shifting capital cities as part of nation building programs  Most capital cities are in the coast; reflecting the colonial history  Since independence, many move their capitals to the center of the country; equitable to the whole of the country (Nigeria) o But in some places where the settlers resided in the high lands, the capitals were originally in the center of the country  Tanzania; moving their capital to Dodoma  At the end of 1945 it was widely assumed that colonial rule would endure of many decades, if not longer  Twenty years later most of the continent was independent o How did this happen? o What does this tell us about politics in the region? o What did it mean for post-colonial politics?  A key theme is the distinction between „decolonization‟ and „independence.‟ In the 1950s and 1960s did the: o European powers engage in decolonization, or o Did African populations achieve independence? o External vs. Internal factors o Continuity vs. Change; how much remain the same in order to transition to independence  Independence arrives suddenly in 1950s and 1960s: o 1950s: North African countries (Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, Sudan), Ghana (1957) – Sub Saharan African region, Guinea (1958) o 1960s: 30 British, French and Belgian colonies  Overwhelming peaceful, revolving around political protests and negotiated independence  1960-1965 all moving toward independence; political regime shifting, leaderships turning  Violence was an important aspect of independence movements in settler (Kenya, Algeria), Portuguese and white-ruled colonies o Mid 1970s: Portuguese colonies succumb to resistance after coup at home o 1980-1994: Defeat of white rule in Southern Africa  Colonier powers pulled out, but they handed power over to the whites living in the region  Tenstions higher, white settlers much larger in numbers reluctant to relinquish their power  Tensions between the whites and native must more tense; creating an army of waged- labors relatively weighing less – driven out of their land o High levels of white settlements, they want to cling to power – not withdrawing, insisted on staying by repressing political movements  Kenya (MMV)  Algeria  Portuguese, African colonies prestigious to their country, they decided to stay – responded to Africans with violence  Coup at home – futilities of holding onto the Colonies  Our Focus: Why was independence achieved so peacefully and quickly in the majority of colonies?  In the 1950s European powers quickly came to see their position as untenable and financially costly and were frequently willing negotiators  Why? o Colonial Setbacks  Defeat of colonial governments in Asia weakened resolve/revealed futility of resisting independence  The British were forced out of India in 1947  The French were defeated militarily in Vietnam (French Indochina) in 1954  Recognition that negotiated settlements may be preferable to armed conflict and defeat o Loss of Domestic Support  Little support for costly expenditures and wars to sustain colonial rule:  Recognition that colonies yielded limited economic benefits  Growing realization of potentially high costs of colonies, given costs of post-war economic reconstruction  After WWII: successful colonies would require lots of investment from the center  Growth of an anti-colonial movement in Europe o Changing International Conditions  The United States emerged as a growing global power favoring end of colonial rule. Reflected:  Commitment to the principle of self-determination  Interest in opening up African markets, which remained oriented toward Europe  Pushing for independence; they are also pushing for expansion of economic activities outside of Europe  Cold War concerns: Desire for stability in order to prevent advances of Soviet Union after WWII  Colonial rule risking the radicalization – have to stay in the Western camp  Beginning after WWI, and accelerating after WWII, we witness growing domestic movements for independence o Rapid growth of nationalist movements to independence  Largely elite movements, led by European educated Africans able to mobilize mass constituencies  Key: The Interaction of Internal and External Developments in moving towards independence  World Depression and collapse of global markets for African commodities  Outbreak of mass strikes (dock and railway workers) and rural protests across African and other colonial regions in late 1920s and 1930s (e.g. Ghanaian cocoa hold-ups in 1931, repeated in 1937 and 1938) o Often organized m
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