Road to Decolonization and role of nationalism Latin America Middle East Africa South and Southeast Asia
What was the nature of British imperialism in India? • India was a British colony from the late eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. • Britain developed the infrastructure of India in the form of harbors, railroads, modern cities, and cotton and steel mills. Independence was granted gradually with full independence coming only after World War II. • English rule provided many benefits. English became the lingua franca for a land with many different languages. English rule also created Western-educated professionals and bureaucrats who were to become the leaders of the independence movement. • British rule was provided by a viceroy and administered by the Indian Civil Service. • These individuals were scrupulously honest and imbued with a sense of duty toward the Indian people. • They did, however, try to control the influx of technology and industry and were prejudiced against dark-skinned people.
What was the role of Mohandas Gandhi’s in the Indian independence movement and the direction of that movement after World War I? • Gandhi’s teachings of nonviolent protest and class unity found receptive Indian audiences. • He combined Hindu and Christian ideologies and rejected industrialization in favor of home manufacturing. • His famous “Walk to the Sea” or Salt March represented both his ideology and his manipulation of public relations and political tactics. • As a result, Britain slowly granted concessions to the Indian National Congress and Muslim League, particularly in internal affairs. • Meanwhile, protectionism between the wars, particularly during the Depression, created growth in the Indian industrial sector. • The expanding class of wealthy Indian merchants and businessmen supported independence, as educated and English-speaking Indians had done before them. • British weaknesses during World War II, along with Indian contributions to the war effort, resulted in British promises of independence after the war. • When a postwar split between Muslims and Hindus divided the movement, the Muslims broke away to form the Pakistani state. • The British viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, declared independence for India and Pakistan in August 1947. • Conflict between Hindus and Muslims continued, resulting in Gandhi’s assassination in January 1948.
Describe the movement for independence in India prior to the rise of Mohandas Gandhi. • British colonialism, the soaring Indian population, and the rigid class structure of Indian society were the major factors influencing the independence movement. • Although British investment in the Indian infrastructure was significant, economic progress bypassed the vast majority of the Indian people. • English-speaking and British-educated officials played an important role in Indian nationalism. • British racial attitudes particularly offended the better-educated Indians. In 1885, that professional class founded the Indian National Congress, which petitioned the government for reforms rather than for independence. • The All-India Muslim League united Islamic Indians, especially in provinces such as Bengal, which protested British rule. • During World War I, Indian support for Britain led the Home Rule League to ask for more radical reforms, such as Indian control of internal affairs. Britain responded with some minor concessions toward self-rule. • A return to conservative policies after the war caused violent uprisings by Indians who believed that British concessions were an attempt to postpone Indian independence. Intensifying violence and repression prompted Mohandas Gandhi to strive to abate them.
What were some of the factors that led to the growth of movements for African independence? • There were several forces that gave rise to independence movements in Africa. • First, the education of some Africans received from Christian or Muslim schools, and their exposure to political ideas from the West that emphasized natural rights clearly influenced an African elite to identify their need for independence. • There were American influences in this movement as western education lawyers and journalist and others such as W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey and Blaise Diagne and other pan-Africanists from America • These type of men helped create the African National Congress to defend the interests of Africans. • The Young Kikuyu and the African National Congress were two examples of groups that began to gather many followers. • Second, World War II had a big impact on the African demand for independence. • Many Africans participated as soldiers in the War and returned to Africa with new radical ideas that favored liberation. • Another source of encouragement for independence came from Haile Selassie and his successful campaign against the Italians in Ethiopia. • World War II demands for labor, conscription, and food exports, together with Allied ideals of liberation and freedom, convinced many Africans of the need for radical change.
What was the nature of “classic colonialism” in Africa before World War II. And what changes did European rule bring to Africa? • Colonialism received a boost at the end of the First World War when the Allies won control of German colonies. • Despite the fact that few Europeans lived in Africa before World War II, they made a deep impact on Africa economically, socially, religiously, and politically. • Europeans invested heavily in colonial railroads, harbors, and mines, which enormously increased the output and value of agricultural and mining commodities. • However, forced labor and urbanization increased malnutrition and disease. • Racial segregation in housing, health care, and public accommodations became more pronounced. • Economic development primarily benefited Europeans and often had a negative effect on African people. • Christianity was introduced to Africa by Western missionaries, with the exception of Ethiopia, and by opening schools which taught literacy and craft skills educated a new elite for job opportunities but also exposed Africans to European political ideas as well. Islam also spread successfully during the colonial period. • Islam also emphasized literacy but was less disruptive to traditional African society. • Labor demands and the widening disparity between the wealthy and the poor embittered many Africans, causing a growth in nationalist movements
What were the circumstances prior to 1911 that triggered the Mexican Revolution? • Several important factors influenced the events leading up to the Mexican Revolution. Of all the Latin American nations, Mexico was the most affected by three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. • There were divisions between Mexicans of Spanish, Indian, and mixed ancestry, as well as deep class divisions between the wealthy and the poor. • Those class divisions were in part created and widened by the reliance of the Mexican economy on the exchange of agricultural goods and raw materials for U.S. manufactures. • By 1910, the wealthiest 1 percent of the families of Spanish origin owned 85 percent of all land. American and British companies owned most of the railroads, mines, and plantations. The great increase in railroads and other infrastructure benefited only wealthy Mexicans, exacerbating class divisions. • The small middle class and the masses of landless peasants owned little property and had even less political power. • The abandonment of traditional Mexican culture by the wealthy class further alienated the Mexican masses. These numerous divisions laid the groundwork for the Mexican Revolution.
How did the World Wars and the emerging world economy affect the internal political situation in Brazil and Argentina? • Before the First World War, Brazil produced most of the world’s coffee, cacao, and rubber. • However, competition from Asia crashed the rubber export business in 1912 and World War I stopped the flow of imports and lessened the flow of exports. • These resources were in the hands of a minority of the population. • Likewise, Argentina had wealth in the hands of large landowning farmers who raised cattle, sheep, and wheat. • Both of these country’s elites had little interest in industrialization and allowed outside interests (Great Britain, for example) to build and control infrastructure. • Both countries had small and outspoken middle classes. • Beneath them was a large group of poor in Argentina (landless farmer laborers and factory workers) and Brazil (share croppers and plantation workers). • The power elites were content to export agriculture and import manufactured goods. • Some immigrants started their own manufacturing of textiles and household goods. • Great Britain sold off many of its holdings to pay for the war. • This weakened the trading patterns of the landowning class. • In Brazil, military officers often attempted coups. • The wealthy landowners and the middle class shared power at the expense of the landless poor. • The Depression hit these countries very hard. • Agricultural exports fell by two thirds. Authoritarian governments took power at this time. • Getulio Vargas of Brazil staged a coup and began industrialization in 1930. • However, the distribution of wealth still remained so unequal that Communist and Fascist movements were unsatisfied. • Vargas ended the pretext of democracy and made Brazil into a fascist state. • In Argentina, the middle class got the secret ballot and suffrage in 1916 and elected a liberal president but Argentina likewise had a coup in 1930 by the military. • In 1943, another military coup was staged by Juan Perón. • The coup leaders were corrupt and wanted nothing less than the conquest of South America. • The defeat of the Nazis in Europe led to a loss of popularity for the government. • Perón, however, reinvented himself as a champion of the downtrodden urban workers and his wife, Eva Perón, became the champion of women, children, and the poor. • Juan Perón won the presidency in 1946 and created a popular dictatorship.