Decolonisation in Africa and Asia (19) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Decolonisation in Africa and Asia (19) Deck (24)
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What were the main reasons for decolonisation?

The economic impact of WW2 - None of the imperial nations could afford to fight prolonged colonial wars, fighting against insurgent nationalist movements
The changed international situation - The new dominant powers, the USSR and USA were hostile to imperialism - reliance on USA for economic and military support accelerated decolonisation
The emergence of powerful nationalist movements
Changing priorities in Europe - The 1950s boom of Western Europe led to a reduced reliance on colonies - emergence of EEC from 1957 - Britain joined in 1973
Specific problems - specific problems in the colonies led a re-evalutation of the cost/benefits of colonies


Basic cause for Africa?

Britains post war imperial policy was to improve Africa so it could contribute to the post-war economy, including the creation of the Colonial Development Corporation and extensive development initiatives. The war boom had already started to develop Africa so the addition of this policy, urbanisation and industrialisation, nationalism began to thrive and spread.


Andrew Cohen's View?

1947 - head of Africa Department in the Colonial Office - Gold Coast is the most advanced African colony in terms of political maturity and ability to rule themselves however nationalism would not come for another decade.


British concessions in the Gold Coast?

Knew that the rise of an African educated elite would lead to the need for concession, but they wanted to dictate them and remain in control.
In 1946 the Burns Convention was drawn up (Named after the Governor-General 1942-1947) - established a legislative council of 12 British nominees and 18 elected African members.
Real power remained in British hands - wave of unrest - protests against British rule
In 1949 Nkrumah formed the Convention Peoples Party (CCP) and pressurised the British administration to make further concession - Britain retained real power but renamed and enlarged the Legislative Council to the Legislative Assembly and expanded the voting number


Loss of Gold Coast?

Nkrumah was gaoled in 1950
CCP won 2/3 of the seats in the Legislative Assembly in 1951
Burns realised the CCP would have to be allowed into government
Nkrumah was released and became Prime Minister from 1952 and CCP members becoming government ministers
Given extensive control of internal affairs
1956 - plebiscite in British Mandated Togoland voted in favour or unification with the Gold Coast
Nationalism became so strong that in 1957 new elections were held for full adult suffrage
Became fully independent on 6th March 1957 as Ghana
Nkrumah became an authoritarian


British concessions and complications in Nigeria?

1946 'Richards Constitution' - greater African representation but the Governor-General and the Executive Council - appointed by the Governor General retaining real power
To help ease the regional and ethical divisions the Legislative Council was extended for nationwide issues, within three assemblies for each region (West, East and South) was established for local matters
Nationalist movements led to amendments to the Constitution with the 1951 Macpherson Constitution, extending the vote and creating a National Council of Ministers, answerable to a 185-seat Federal House of Representatives.
Led to growth of Nigerian political parties which competed and the creation of regional governments with elected assemblies of which the Federal House of Representatives could not over-rule.
Led to further issues between the ethnicities.


Loss of Nigeria?

The British found themselves granting concessions too quickly
Further revisions to the constitution and federal elections in 1954, a government was formed with 3 British officials and nine ministers drawn from various regional political parties
More power was increasingly devolved to the various regional governments and federal election in 1959 created a movement towards full independence in October 1960.


Loss of final West African States?

Sierra Leone and Gambia also experienced too rapid of concessions due to demands from nationalists
Sierra Leone became independent in 1961
Gambia became independent in 1965


Basic reasons for nationalism in East Africa?

In parts, rapid economic growth brought urbanisation, a greater political consciousness, political activism, nationalism and labour disputes.
During war, the population in Nairobi, Kenya increased by half, the populations of Dar-es Salaam and Mombasa bother doubled and the high inflation, poor housing and overcrowding led to protests.


Example of failure of East Africa to become an economic asset?

1946 - many countries faced a severe shortage of cooking fats - Britain founds idea of growing groundnuts in Tanganyika to process in cooking oil and sell
Involved building of a railway, buying machinery and equipment
The terrain was too difficult to cultivate and the scheme abandoned in 1951 costing £49M
Land turned into an uncultivable dust bowl - desertification


Loss of East Africa?

Long-simmering Kikuyu grievances
White people tried to displace the peasant farmers through mechanisation
The desperation of the peasants led to the Mau Mau uprising between 1952 and 1956
The British crushed the rebellion ruthlessly however they lost their moral standing
Support spread to nationalists
Tanganyika granted independence as Tanzania in 1961
Uganda followed in 1962
Kenya in December 1963


Cause of South Africa to leave the Commonwealth?

Since the 1931 Statue of Westminster, South African had free reign of internal affairs and its racist culture
In 1948 the Afrikaner Nationalist Party won power, and implemented apartheid ('separateness')
Non-white opposition emerged from the African National Congress
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the South African state brutally suppressed protests, killing 69 at Sharpeville in March 1960
British relations with South Africa strained as there were international objections
Moreover the rejection of the British to give control of Bechuanaland, Basutoland and Swaziland to South Africa finally led to the 1961 South African vote by the whites to become a republic and leave the commonwealth


Loss of other South African States?

Basutoland became Lesotho on October 4th 1966
Bechuanaland gained independence as Botswana on 30t September 1966
Swaziland gained independence on 6th September 1968


Build-up of colonial strength in southern Africa?

Wanted to counter-balance South African dominance in the region
Wanted to join together the territories to work together and become a strong counter-weight against SA
The Three Territories were
Northern Rhodesia - copper rich
Southern Rhodesia - agriculturally rich with significant white settler colony
Nyasaland - relatively economically underdeveloped country
They were to become the Central African Federation (CAF) - created in 1953


Loss of CAF and its N. Rhodesia and Nyasaland?

Central African Federation
Constitution included some protection for Africans - could be vetoed by Britain
Some provision for African representation in the new Federal Assembly
Despite this, nationalist movements emerged in all three territories
The white governors quickly and harshly responded by imprisoning all nationalists - brought further disorder
Britain realised that decolonisation was the best option
In 1960-1 the British ordered the release of nationalist leaders in in N. Rhodesia and Nyasaland and drew up new constitutions which led to majority rule and full independence.
CAF dissolved in 1963
1964 - Kaunda led N Rhodesia to independence as Zambia
Dr Bandaled Nyasaland to indpendence as Malawi


Fall of Southern Rhodesia?

White-settlers were determined to become an independent African State
In 1961, with CAF failing, white settlers moved to the Rhodesian Front Party - for independence under white control
Won elections in 1961 and in 1965, Ian Smith, Prime Minister, illegally declared Rhodesia independent
British sanctions proved unsuccessful and in 1969 Rhodesia became a republic and the guerrilla warfare between the white people and African nationalists broke out.
Ended with modern Zimbabwe in 1979


Loss of Burma?

Violent activities of the nationalists and the ascendancy of the AFPFL led by Aung San pushed Britain out of Burma
Talks took place between Clement Attlee and Aung San in London in January 1947 and it was agreed on that elections for a Constituent Assembly would take place in April 1948, leading to a huge AFPFL Majority
The factions within however disputed and in July 1947 Aung San and six of his cabinet leaders were assassinated
In January 1948 Burma became independent, turning its back on Britain, refusing to enter the Commonwealth and entered into civil war


Britains interests in Malaysia and Singapore

Wanted to keep them
Malaysia - major producer of rubber
Singapore - Military base - major naval base


Ethnic Problems in Malaysia?

Serious problems when they tried to re-establish control of the Malay Peninsula in 1945
Ethnic tensions between the Chinese, Indians and the Malay peoples
The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was created in March 1946 to fight for the rights of the Malay peoples
The Chinese were represented by the Malay Chinese Association (MCA) or the Malayan Communist Party (MCP)
The Chinese were prominent in labour unions and involved in strikes between 1945 and 1948
The ethnic tensions were so bad that in 1947 the 'Malay Union' plan had to be scrapped - was to award equal Malay citizenship to all ethnic groups


The Chinese in Malaysia

Encouraged migration of Chinese workers by the British so they could work in the tin mines and rubber plantations and the Chinese Civil War (1927-1950) led to the Chinese compromising 38.4% of the population by 1947. The population of Malays was 49.5%. The Chinese compromised 45% by 1957 but it felt to 36% in 1961. They established segregated lifestyles and thrived in commerce leading to a high standard of living.


New British plan in Malaysia?

In January 1948, the definition of a Malay citizen meant that there must of been proven competence in both the Malay and English languages, exempting many of the Chinese.
The Federation of Malaya was also created which brought with it:
Federation of Malaya Executive Council with 7 official and 7 unofficial members, headed by a British High Commissioner - real power
Federation of Malaya Legislative Council of 62 members representing the various states and other groups - became an elected body in 1955
Governments within states were given financial powers
The 1955 elections brought in 28 Malays, 14 Chinese, 14 Europeans and 6 Indians


Problems with the Federation of Malaya

Caused by economic state after WW2 and the grievances of the Chinese
Britain became fearful of its rubber mines being attacked by rebels that it enacted a State of Emergency in June 1948 - military force and sweeping legal powers used to arrest suspects and impose order
1948-1952 - Troubles rages and the British High Commissioner Sir Henry Gurney was assassinated in October 1951
1952- order restored


Loss of Malaya

During the State of Emergency the British had made promises of Malay Independence and promoted the Malay Chinese Association (MCA) which also wanted independence with equal rights for the Chinese - both promises to stop the fighting
Between 1952 and 1954 the Malays and Chinese united against the British and won 81% of the votes in the federal elections of 1955
The British feared a military rebellion - which the French had experienced at Dien Bien Phu in 1955
The Reid Commission of 1955 completed a new constitution in 1957 creating an independent Malaya
Malaya continued to trade with Britain and remained in the Sterling area, also accepting the British military presence in Singapore
In 1963, Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak united to form Malaysia. 2 Years later Singapore was expelled.


Loss of Singapore

1947 - given its own government, with an Executive and Legislative Council. 6 of the 25 seats were elected, only British subjects, 23,000(10% of population) had the vote.
Struggled to keep back communist insurgents
Attempt to win loyalty of people - enlarged the Legislative Council to 32 seats, 25 elected by an enalarged electorate of 300,000 in 1953
First elected council was mainly Singapore Progressive Party (SPP) a conservative group
1955 - SPP only 3 seats - other seats went to left wing groups - the Labour Front (10 seats) - Peoples Action Party (PAP) (3 seats) - the United Malays National Organisation/Malay Chinese Association (UMNO/MCA) (3 seats)
Left-wings started talks of self government
First leader was unsuccessful
The successor, in 1956, Lim Yew Hock, impressed the British by going against the Communists
The British therefore allowed full internal control in 1957 although remaining part of the Empire
Singapore Act 1958
In 1959 with the the election of Lee Kuan Yew of the PAP which was partially communist the British tried to merge Singapore with the Federation of Malaya however it did not work and race riots between Chinese and Malays led to its expulsion and its independence in 1965.