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African Nations Gain Independence
Transcript of African Nations Gain Independence
Decolonization- the withdrawal of colonial powers from their colonies and areas of influence.
Great Britain and France led the way by gradually leaving their colonies and granting them independence.
Mau Mau Ghana After World War II, the British colony of the Gold Coast in West Africa was the first British colony to gain independence.
African leaders in the Gold Coast established a convention to cooperate with the British and gain influence as peacefully as possible.
Kwame Nkrumah became the leader of the Gold Coast nationalist movement and established the Convention People's Party (CPP)
Because of Nkrumah's drive for independence, Britian Kenya The ownership of land and the possibility of independence led to conflict between white Kenyan farmers and the native Kikuyu people.
The farmers feared independence would cause them to lose a lot of valuable cash crops such as coffee.
Jomo Kenyatta argued for the Kikuyu's right to the land and its importance. Portuguese and Belgian Colonies The transition to independence was more difficult for Portuguese and Belgian Colonies.
The Belgians and Portuguese held on to their African colonies longer than any other European nation until violence forced them to decolonize.
Belgium Most Belgian colonies had to be decolonized because of violence.
In the 1950s, the Belgians suddenly announced that would would withdraw completely from Congo.
Violence toward Belgian settlers and a civil war started in Congo. Portugal South Africa In the early 1900s, South Africa was run by white Afrikaners - descendants of the original Dutch settlers.
South Africa was independent from Britain (1910) but nonwhites were still not free under the Afrikaner government.
Laws were passed to limit the freedom of nonwhites.
Apartheid Many Kikuyu farmers formed a violent movement called the Mau Mau.
They murdered anyone who cooperated with the white settlers.
The British were able to regain control of the colony by killing some of the members of the Mau Mau movement.
In 1963, Kenya became an independent nation with Jomo Kenyatta as the nation's first prime minister. French Africa Unlike the British, the French had always insisted that their goal was to include their African colonies into France itself.
In 1958, Charles de Gaulle, France's Prime Minister, called for a referendum on the continuing union between France and it's African colonies.
He gave African leaders the choice of remaining tied to France through an organization known as the French Community or become completely independent.
Although most colonies chose to become part of the French Community, a few years later France granted most of the colonies independence. African leaders emerged in the colonies of Angola, Portuguese Guinea and Mozambique.
They organized their own armies to fight for independence.
It resulted in long years of bloody warfare between the Africans and the Portuguese.
The war drained the Portuguese economy so it could no longer support the colonies.
In 1974, Portugal withdrew completely from Africa. Apartheid In 1948, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party came to run the South African government.
It instituted a policy of apartheid, or apartness.
The policy divided people into 4 racial groups: White, Black, Colored (mixed ancestry) and Asian.
It attempted to create a greater separation between nonwhites and whites and stop impose harsh control over nonwhites.
It also banned things like interracial marriages and restrictions on African ownership of land and businesses.
If found within 72 hours within a pass, blacks faced imprisonment.
Only white South Africans could vote or hold political office.
Blacks made up of 75% of the population but were restricted to certain occupations with small pay. Homelands Apartheid laws also placed limits on where black people could live.
In cities, blacks were required to live in impoverished areas called townships.
The government also restricted the types of businesses allowed in townships in hope of the people staying poor.
In the 1950s, the government created rural homelands for different African tribes. Most of the areas were not very fertile nor have an abundant amount of resources.
The government used these "homelands" as an excuse for depriving millions of black South Africans of citizenship.
Most black men were also forced to work far from the homelands in mines, factories and farms without bringing their families.
This policy made the majority of black South Africans live in unfamiliar parts of their own country. Main Idea