(Sample Material) UPSC IAS Mains History (Optional) Study Kit "Decolonalisation"

Sample Material of Our IAS Mains History Study Kit

Subject: History (Optional)

Topic: Decolonalisation

The term decolonalisation denotes the fact that liberation of colony was very smooth and simple. But this phenomenon cannot be accepted as the process of colonization was difficult so was the decolonalisation. But still we underline some different in context of different countries. For example, the process proved smooth in context of some countries but a bit a tougher in case of some other.

There were a number of factors which proved instrumental behind decolonalisation. Even in the end of 19th century. Some events which gave series blow imperialism, took place. In 1899, in Transvaal region in South Africa, British power came into conflict with the so called bores. Likewise in 1896 Ethiopia defeated a colonial power, Italy furthermore in 1898 war started between Spain and USA on the issue of liberation of Cuba and Philippines. All events these were a serious warnings to the colonial powers.
Even after First World War decolonalisation was encouraged in fact the First World War was fought on the issue of democracy and freedom it certainly gave a message to colonial people.

Further more in the Paris peace conference the aspiration of colonial people was encouraged further more as it talked of the right to self judgment of different nationalization in Europe on the basis of 14 point programme of Wilson. But in true sense the proper decolonalisation started after the Second World War. Certain factors were responsible for the decolonalisation some scholars try to find out these factors at three different levels;

1. First one was in other words we can say that anti-colonial consciousness was being encouraged on world level. UNO, USA and USSR proved instrumental behind this. The Atlantic charter for Soviet Russia being the protect for of communist/suppressed class, widely advocated for decolonization. Even USA presented herself as a protector of Human Rights.

2. On the other hand there were some it also encouraged decolonalisation

3. Thirdly there were some arranges, in fact in a number of colonies, anti-imperialistic forces emerged initially they main rested themselves in the form of proto-nationalism. In course of time they expressed themselves in modern nationalism.

Except factors mentioned above some other factors also were responsible for decolonalisation. Even Christian missionaries plays some role as the talk thus they unconclouries the resection colonies .

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Marxist ideas were having some role it worked as an incentive. It was the colonial people, new proletariat. Thus he successfully linked decolonalisation to Marxist strategy Except this even Asia African countries developed three different ideologies for colonial protest. The first idea was Islamic Jehad. Some Asio-African countries carried anti-imperialist protest in the name of Islamic Jahad.

The second ideology was that of Asianism. This ideology encouraged self respect among Asians. Furher Japan encouraged this ideology by giving the slogan “ Asia for Asians “. The third ideology was that of “All Africans”. In the end of 19th century, African people challenged supremacy of Europeans. The earlier exponent of this idea was Markgarbe. It was further encouraged by another scholar, Deox. This compelled UNO to adopt a charter of human rights.

Some western scholars tried to establish that in decolonalisation even colonial powers also took some initiative. For example, USA liberated her 13 colonies in America in 1783. Gradually, even Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa got independence. Even in context of India, British gave some concessions time to and ultimately India got freedom in 1947. But it is very difficult to accept this thesis. Thus, we can say that this decolonalisation was not willingly accepted by the Western powers. Secondly, if we accept this thesis, the role of national movement in colonial liberation is being undermined.

If we observe British, French and Dutch colonies, we come to a conclusion that all these colonial powers adopted different colonial policies. Objectives of British was to educate and train the colonial people for self government. But France had a very tough approach to its coloniaes. France was not ready to give any concession to its colonial people. Instead, she was emphasizing over more and more assimilation of colonies with the government of Paris. Likewise, approach of Holland was different from that of British and Franch. Dutch adopted a model, something between British and Franch. She emphasized over efficient management of colonies.

British Empire

After Second World War, decolonalisation started in British Empire. Government of Atlee was convinced that it cannot move the clock in reverse direction. So, he declared that India would get freedom by June 1948 in all conditions. And ultimately on 15th August, 1947, India got freedom. In 1948, even Burma and Sri Lanka got independence. Although, upto 1945, no African political party declared complete freedom as its objective. But in 1958, Gold Goast became independence name of Ghana. In 1960, Nigeria got freedom, though there was some difference between the situation in Eastern and that of Western Africa. In Easter African countries, like Kenya and Tanzania, there was substantial population of white minority. Further more, Eastern African region was not as much developed as Western one. So, conservative government of Britain Tried to make confederation of East African regions to maintain partial control over it. But the government could not check force of liberty and independent in 1961. Became independent in 1964 and lastly, in 1979 and 80, Southern Rhodesia became independent in the name of Zimbabwe.

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