Colonial Policy and Administration (14) Flashcards Preview

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British attempts to counter nationalism in India in the inter-war years

Rowlatt Act of 1919 gave the authorities powers to punish protestors of British rule
- proved counterproductive and led to resistance and events such as the Amritsar Massacre of April 1919
- Round Table Conference in the Early 1930s failed to achieve anything near Dominion Status
Britain resorted to its old policy of 'divide and rule'
- played the All India Muslim League (Led by Jinnah) against the Hindu Congress movement (Led by Gandhi)


The Government of India Act (1)

Viceroy retained control of major areas - defence and foreign affairs
Legislative council split into a lower house (Legislative Assembly), of which 104 of its 144 members were elected, and an upper house (Council of State) of which 34 of its 60 members were elected
Provincial councils were setup so that local Indians were in charge of local government
Britain hoped they would help dissolve nationalism in the Indian Congress


Simon Commission

Sir John Simon reviewed the India Act and recommended (without Indian representation)
A federal system of government be created across India encompassing areas under British rule and the Princely States
The provinces given more power
Defence, internal security and foreign affairs should remain in the Viceroy's power, ensuring British control
Rejected by Viceroy Irwin


Round Table Conferences

Caused by opposition in India
Two conferences in London, Gandhi attended the second on behalf of the Congress Party
Britain refused Dominion status due to concerns of non-white leaders competence rule as well as the concern for India's importance to Britain strategically and economically


Government of India Act (2)

Created a Federation of India
Provinces were made completely self-governing but the provincial governors were still to be elected by the British and the Viceroy could suspend this governance in times of emergency
Expanded the franchise from 7 million to 35 million
Rejected by Congress as it fell short of Dominion status of White Dominions and by Princely states as they wanted to keep their independence from India
In 1939 in protest to the war, members of the Congress-controlled ministries resigned and the British had to impose direct rule and crush protests with force


Colonial development in indirectly ruled colonies in Africa

Tried to improve economic benefit to Empire and living standards
Sudan 1920 - £3 million for Gezira Cotton Scheme to increase cotton production - major dam and irrigation project
East Africa 1925 - £10 million for improving railways and docks
West African educational facilitates investment
Colonies remained self-financed so major works were raised from local taxes


Colonial Development Act

1929 - £1 million of British treasury funds for development projects across Empire
Great Depression of 1930 countered this however and there was much dissatisfaction - riots in copper mines in Northern Rhodesia


Colonial development in white settler ruled colonies in Africa

White settlers pressured for a degree of self-governance in Kenya, power was then granted in 1920 to 20-30 thousand white settlers who controlled the Legislative Council and excluded Indian settlers and the Kikuyu tribe from the Northern Highlands.
White settlers became increasingly rich growing coffee and tea and pushed the Kikuyu out by imposing high taxes and stopping them from selling these products.
- led to increasing nationalism from the Indians and Kikuyu
- 'Devonshire Declaration' of 1923 stressed to respect the tribes
- White dominance continued
- Furthered by the Statute of Westminster


British rule in Palestine

Herbert Samuel headed a British-led civil government in 1920
Jewish-Arab religious disputes
Arabs were also poor, renting their land whilst the Jews were able to buy land with help from the Jewish National Fund which led to Arab eviction
Enquiry in 1929 to stop this failed due to pro-Jewish feeling in Britain and the USA


Policies in Palestine

1933 - Nazi persecution accelerated Jewish immigration
1936 - took 20,000 British troops to deal with Arab revolt against Jews
1937 - Peel Report recommended splitting Palestine between the two groups and Britain retaining control over a few holy places and Jerusalem, the arabs opposed this
1937-39 - The British try using repression to stop violence - 100+ Arab terrorists hung
1939 - With fears of an Italian invasion the British changed policies to allow the Jews living in Palestine to have a 'national homeland'
1939 - Jewish immigration restricted to 15,000 - planned for independence in 10 years with arabs in majority
Jewish were outraged but it stopped the violence as the Arabs were happy


Administration of Iraq

Britain controls the Iraq Petroleum Company and does not honour the 20% power to the Iraqis as part of the Mandate
1920 - Iraqi revolt had to be crushed with British troops and air power
Cairo Conference of 1921 allowed for some self-governance - British kept military and foreign affairs control
1922 - Anglo-Iraqi treaty confirmed Faisal I as King but Senior British advisors were appointed in the government, the British controlled major bases and had influence over the army, which it trained
Anglo-Iraqi Treaty in 1930 agreed to share foreign policy matters with each other
Full independence in 1932 - British still had influence for oil and strategic purposes


Statute of Westminster

Balfour Declaration 1926 – Equal status for Dominions
Certain of the Dominions should become independent nations
Laws passed in Britain would not be enforced in those countries without permission of their own government
They were to pass their own laws, without British interference
Came into immediate effect in Canada, South Africa and the Irish Free State
Australia 1942
New Zealand 1947
Newfoundland never ratified it; reverted to Crown Colony and became a province of Canada in 1949


Relations with Canada

Mackenzie King kept pushing the boundaries of British control
- 'halibut' treaty with USA in 1923 and supported the 1926 push for equality
- Post-War Canada was split between equality and independence
- Saw Mandates as reckless and not in the interest of Dominions
- 1925 - No Canadian government should follow Britain into war without a referendum - echoed in Conservative Convention 1927 and in 1935 election where Canada did not want to follow UK into war with Egypt
- Even nationalists wanted to remain a 'British Nation' however - Journalist Dafoe was ardent nationalist but spoke of remaining a 'British Nation'


Relations with Australia

Radical opposition disliked 'tropical Empire' but made little headway
Australia interest in Suez Canal - did not object to Middle-East expansion
Hughes fought to annex the South Pacific Colonies - compromise of Class 'C' mandates
Hughes outraged by Chanak Crisis (Sep 1922) and not being represented at Lausanne
Bruce (Next PM) claimed that the British were not prepared to defend Australia from immigrants - 'teeming millions' - Britain would contract its protection to the home islands
Were very aware of their dependency on Britain's naval protection
1930 - unemployment almost reaches 30% - 1931 United Australia Party - Lyons wants firm connection to Empire
Declined to Enact Statute of Westminster
Approved of Japanese alliance = protection
Didn't want national separation but Britannic Nationalism


Relations with SA

Hertzog believed in 'The King's Republics' - SA allowed equality but would never abandon Britain in war
Afrikaner identity grew - 1936 55% of White children learning in Afrikaans - Afrikaner account of SA history against British Imperialism
Higher Civil Service was mainly English - English owned Newspapers, entire business world was British
Major cities were English in culture


Relations with India

Became a non-self governing member of the League of Nations
Gandhi's 'culturist' regime was growing
'Non-cooperation' was becoming hostile - July 1921 Ali Brothers arrested and became Prison Martyrs
November 1921 riots as Prince of Wales Visits
Jan 1922 Congress Calls for Civil disobedience including not paying taxes in Bombay
Gandhi calls off national disobedience in 1922 when 22 policemen are killed by mob
'Purnaswaraj' (complete independence) movement after WW1
Royal Commission on India Agriculture 1928 to settle low productivity but failed to resolve land tenure
12T of British overseas capital (£500 million) was invested in India and was still largest market for Empire after WW1
India's defence budget was 6x largest than Australia - 2nd biggest
Muslims took no part in the civil disobedience in 1930-31 as they did not support the 'Hindu Majority'