Development of independence movements after WWII
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Developmentof independence movements after WWII
Independentmovements are the nations and territories that established andmaintained their domination over their colonial powers after WW2(Richard1).However, there was no particular progressive process that thesenations followed in order to establish their independent movements.The colonial empires that had established themselves and dominatedthe geographical spaces of these different colonies becamedismantled.
Sincethe age of exploration and through the 19thcentury, the countries of Western Europe such as Great Britain,France and Germany used their resources on acquiring the territoriesand resources of other continents such as Africa, Southeast Asia,South America and the pacific (Fisher 1). However, after the OttomanEmpire was dissolved after WW1, the Great Britain and France startedsetting up their puppet states that they ruled according to theirhome rules (Heywood55).However, after WW2, the process of decolonization began whereby mostcolonies were granted their independence while several others had tofight for it (Westad29).The international community, for instance, the United Nations alsohelped in making decolonisation a reality whereby they advocated forinhabitants of colonized states to acquire the freedom of being ableto determine the kind of government that should rule them. This ledto formation of an institutionalized collective effort through theLeague of Nations’ covenant under article 22 that created a numberof mandates to prepare the colonized states for self-governance(Richard1).
Theprocess of decolonization is usually cumbersome and it involves agradual process of establishing or introducing political systemswhereby there are elected representatives and degrees of self-ruleand autonomy, and finally, the recognition of sovereignty is handedover to independent states where they assume the responsibility ofproviding governance, security and foreign relations from their ownindependent states. A certain degree of colonial continuity canhowever be maintained through provision of bilateral treaties ormilitary training from their colonies through establishment of mutualprotection pacts.
Thedevelopment of independent movements after WW2 was unique especiallyin Africa where nearly the entire continent had been colonized byGreat Britain, France, Portugal, Germany, Belgium and Italy for overa few hundred years. In the case of Africa, some countries weregranted their independence without much bloodshed while others foughthard for theirs. The African struggle for independence took placemainly between the 1950’s and the 1960’s (Richard1).However, in Asia, their struggle for independence from the GreatBritain started way back in the 19thcentury when the national congress called for Indian independence in1885 (Heywood86).Non-violent protest organizers such as Mahatma Gandhi alsocontributed in suppressing colonial rule through conductinggatherings against the British officials for conducting predicamentssuch as the Amritsar Massacre in 1919, and the British prime ministerrecognized those cries for independence. And in the Middle East, theUnited States and the United Nations exerted massive pressure on theBritish and the French to remove their dominion on the Middle Eaststates (Heywood56).By so doing, the French relinquished their control over Syria andLebanon by recalling their troops in 1946.
Withthe development of new independent movements in the 1950’s and the1960’s, a balance of power within the United Nations started toemerge (Andersonand Eric n.p). Thenew nations joined the organization that was composed of 35 countriesas “third world” nations and by the 1970’s the United Nationshad accumulated a membership of 127 nations (Westad57).These new countries shared some common characteristics such as theywere all non-white, they all had developing economies that sufferedinternal problems due to their colonial pasts, they became advocatesfor continued decolonization and they created platforms that inspiredthe rest of the world for the ending of the colonial era.
Anderson,Carol, and Eric Arnesen. "Discussion on African Americans andAnti-colonialism
inAfrica." C-SPAN.org. March 9, 2015. Accessed April 6, 2017.http://www.c-span.org/video/?324710-1%2Fdiscussion-african-americans-anticolonialism-africa#
Heywood,Andrew. Politics.Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: New York. Lachmann,
Fisher,Max. "Non-Aligned With Reality: How a Global Movement for PeaceBecame a Club
Richard. Whatis historicalsociology? Web. 2013.
Westad,Odd Arne. The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and theMaking of Our
times.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
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