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African Independence

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Sherifa Amin

on 5 February 2015

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Transcript of African Independence

Chapter 17
Sections 1 & 2
African Independence

Historical background
Late 1800s & 1900s The Industrial Revolution in Europe required a large amount of resources
Africans from the colonies were drafted to fight for the Europeans on both sides of WWI and WWII
1945 rise of NEW world superpowers: US & USSR
Balance of power had shifted. Europe was no longer the most powerful, supreme & unbeatable
Waves of nationalism began spreading across Africa
The White Man's Burden
King Leopold II of Belgium
British & French Colonies
Direct Rule
Indirect Rule
(Methods of ruling)
Decolonization from the British
European officials organize all aspects of the colony's administration
European power directly manages all sectors of economy & politics
European officials should call the shots for themselves by establishing and administering the rules and regulations for their African colonial subjects
Used by the French in Algeria
Local kings/rulers manage the day to day functions of the administration
Used existing tribal structures and traditions in Africa to establish rules and regulations while English officials worked behind the scenes and could exercise a veto power
Used by the British in Nigeria
Withdrawal was gradual, with a slow transfer of power to African subjects
In Nigeria, for example
Britain made reforms in the constitution and gave Nigerian people seats in the government and administration.
After that there were parliamentary elections
Nigeria became independent in 1960.
A new class of well educated nationalists emerged as leaders
Britain gave power to whoever would maintain her interests
Decolonization from the French
“One of the constant facts of political life in Europe has been the emergence of independent nations… Especially since the end of war, the processes which gave birth to the nation-states of Europe have been repeated all over the world… Fifteen years ago this movement spread through Asia. Many countries there, of different races and civilization, pressed their claim to an independent national life. To-day the same thing is happening in Africa… In different places it may take different forms, but it is happening everywhere. The wind of change is blowing through the continent… Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact.”
-British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1960)
Belgium & Portugal
Decolonization after 1945
Three key elements played a major role in the process:

Colonized peoples' thirst for independence

WWII had demonstrated that colonial powers were no longer invulnerable

A new focus on anti-colonialism in international arenas such as the United Nations.
(between 1957 and 1964)
How To Change Your Relationship Status from 'Colonized' to 'Independent' In 4 Steps
Prepare yourselves for self-rule!

Train people for the new positions that your colonizers had previously dominated (gov, other sectors)

Be able to support yourself!

Following these steps will reduce likelihood of a power vacuum after your soon-to-be-ex-colonizers have left
British had begun to realize that the colonies were becoming a burden
French tried to re-assert their national prestige by keeping control of their colonies
withdrawal of colonial powers from their colonies
African Independence Movements
Copy this graphic organizer and use your notes to to list the causes of African independence and their effects
French goal was always to integrate colonies into France
Promised that some people would become French citizens
Promised more freedoms & reforms to the colonies
1958 France gave its African colonies the opportunity of choosing whether to become independent or to join the French Community (Communauté Francaise).
Some African leaders wanted to stay connected to France (believed it had advantages)
Majority did not, thought these reforms were not enough & demanded full independence
held on longer
more violent
1960 sudden Belgian withdrawal & eruption of civil war in Congo
African nationalist leaders organized their armies to fight for independence
Years of warfare & a coup in Portugal ended colonialism
Independence from the British
Independence from the French
Independence from the Belgian
One Belgian colony:
Independence from the Portuguese
One Portuguese colony:
What do they all have in common?
One French colony:
One British colony:
Impact of Colonialism
Edem Kodjo, author of ‘
Africa Tomorrow
’ describes the condition of the African as “torn away from his past, propelled into a universe fashioned from outside that suppresses his values, and dumbfounded by a cultural invasion that marginalizes him. The African is today the deformed image of others. ”
Genocide & slavery
Atlantic Slave Trade
Population reduced
Scramble for Africa
"a British Africa, a French Africa"
no Africa left for Africans
Forced labor
Africa's resources fueled European economies
Treatment of Africans privileging of some groups over others
uneven distribution of wealth
countries that had not existed before
ethnic rivalry
unequal distribution of resources
Poem by English poet Rudyard Kipling
Published in 1899
Commands white men to conquer and colonize other nations for the benefit of the "other" people living there
The poem justifies
Western imperialism
Eurocentric (European-centered) racism
White supremacy
Newly-caught captives are called wild, angry, devilish, childish, barbaric savages
Europeans are encouraged to bring civilization to these people, end their famines & cure their illnesses
The white man will still be hated & blamed by the ungrateful savages for the help he is providing them (but this is his burden to bear). But he must push through and be patient
Owned Congo & turned into his private slave plantation
Used slave labor to extract Congolese resources that helped his economy back home
Enforced through work camps, torture, executions, mutilations and torture
Responsible for the death of 10-15 million Congolese people
His actions show that white supremacy is not only an ideology on paper, but a reality as well
When these atrocities were revealed, he was forced to hand over the administration of Congo to the Belgian government
a system of segregation through law
gave Afrikaner minority rule control over the other races
classified citizens into 4 categories
Examples of Apartheid Legislation
General Pass Regulations Bill: denied blacks the vote altogether
South Africa Act: enfranchised whites, giving them complete political control over all other race groups
Native Land Act: prevented all blacks from buying land outside 'reserves'. The reserves were the "original homes" or countries of the black tribes of South Africa. [setting aside eight percent of South Africa's land for black occupancy. Whites, who made up only 20 percent of the population, held 90 percent of the land. Black Africans could not buy or rent land or even work as share-croppers outside their designated area]
Urban Areas Act: introduced residential segregation in South Africa and provided cheap unskilled labour for the white mining and farming industry
Colour Bar Act: preventing blacks from practicing skilled trades
Only whites were permitted to vote in general elections from 1958 until 1994 when the vote was granted to all South Africans over age 18

Resistance to Apartheid
Uprisings and protests were met with police brutality
In one year alone, 18,000 people were arrested
United Nations:
condemned Apartheid laws
declared March 21st as: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
called for a voluntary arms embargo
called for the establishment of a committee to oversee the regime in South Africa
Apartheid ended due to a combination of:
South African isolation & global reputation

Sports & cultural boycott of South Africa

Trade embargoes

Internal resistance

Condemnation from the UN & the Catholic Church

Western sanctions & pressure for negotiations

Worldwide protests
Steps taken in ending apartheid rule
Pass laws abolished

Blacks were allowed to live in urban areas & own property there

Mandela released

Ban lifted off anti-apartheid groups such as the ANC (African National Congress)

1994 nation-wide, inclusive elections
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