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Decolonization, Nationalism, and The Rise of New Nations. The 20 th Century. Global Events Leading Up to Decolonization. Imperialism Growing Nationalism World War I World War II Cold War. How WWI?. Promises of self-determination Use of colonial soldiers in trenches

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Decolonization, Nationalism, and The Rise of New Nations

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Decolonization nationalism and the rise of new nations

Decolonization, Nationalism, and The Rise of New Nations

The 20th Century

Global events leading up to decolonization

Global Events Leading Up to Decolonization

  • Imperialism

  • Growing Nationalism

  • World War I

  • World War II

  • Cold War

How wwi

How WWI?

  • Promises of self-determination

  • Use of colonial soldiers in trenches

  • Locals filled posts left by colonial powers during war

  • Financial strain on empire

  • Treaty of Versailles

How wwii


  • Increased nationalist uprisings following WWI and as a result of the global depression

  • Costs of empire

  • US support of anti-colonial liberation movements

  • Atlantic Charter (1941) “right of all people to choose the form of government under which they live”

  • Soviets condemned colonialism

How the cold war

How the Cold War?

  • Provided inspiration a blend of capitalist and socialist economies and agendas.

  • Provided arms to those who sided with one or the other (proxy wars and arms races).

  • Encouraged violent recourse for some as a result of the power politics of cold war competition.

Process of decolonization and nation building

Process of Decolonization and Nation-Building

  • Surge of anti-colonial nationalism after 1945. Leaders used lessons in mass politicization and mass mobilization of 1920’s and 1930’s.

  • Three patterns:

    • Civil war (China)

    • Negotiated independence (India and much of Africa)

    • Incomplete de-colonization (Palestine, Algeria and Southern Africa, Vietnam)



  • Japanese invasion interrupted the 1920s and 1930s conflict between the Communists (Mao Zedong) and the Guomindang (Chiang Kai-shek)

    • During the war, CCP expanded peasant base, using appeals for women (health care, divorce rights, education access, graduated taxes, cooperative farming).

    • Growth of party during the war in part through use of anti-Japanese propaganda.

    • Resumption of civil war after Japanese surrender.

    • 1949 Great People’s Revolution- Mao; Nationalist leaders fled to Taiwan.



  • GMD-CCP Civil War (1946-1949)

  • Recovery and Socialism (1949-1956)

  • Rethinking the Soviet model (1956-1957)

  • Great Leap Forward (1958-1961)

  • Recovery & growing elite division (1962-5)

  • Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

Anti japanese war 1937 1945

Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945)

Civil war 1946 1949

Civil War (1946 – 1949)

  • GMD: Guomindang (Nationalist Party)

    • Chiang Kai-shek (President)

  • CCP: Chinese Communist Party

    • Mao Zedong

War of liberation

“War of Liberation”

Mao zedong

Mao Zedong

  • A revolution to remove “3 big mountains”

    • imperialism

    • feudalism

    • bureaucrat-capitalism

  • A “United Front” of …

    • workers

    • peasants

    • petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie

People s republic of china

People’s Republic of China

  • 1949-10-01, PRC, Beijing

  • Chairman: Mao Zedong

  • 5-Star Red Flag

  • Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan

Economic reconstruction 1950s

Economic Reconstruction 1950s

  • Soviet Union model and assistance

  • land reform (eliminate landlord class)

  • heavy industry (state-owned enterprises)

  • First National People’s Congress (1954)

    • PRC Constitution

  • Zhou Enlai

    • Premier

    • Foreign Minister

Great leap forward 1958 1960

Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)

  • abandon the Soviet model of economic development

    • Soviet “scientific planning”

  • mass mobilization

  • people’s communes

Great leap forward 1958 19601

Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)

  • unrealistic output targets

    • industry

    • agricultural and human disaster

Growing division 1962 1965

Growing Division (1962-1965)

  • Mao Zedong vs. Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping

  • charismatic leadership vs. bureaucracy

Cultural revolution 1966 1976

Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

  • Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

    • commitment to revolution and “class struggle”

    • power struggle to succeed Mao

  • Phase I: the rise and fall of “red guards”

  • Phase II: the rise and fall of Lin Biao

  • Phase III: the rise and fall of the “Gang of Four”

Phase i red guards 1966 69

Phase I: Red Guards (1966-69)

Phase i red guards 1966 691

Phase I: Red Guards (1966-69)

  • Purge of party cadres

    • Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping

  • Purge of intellectuals

Phase ii lin biao 1969 71

Phase II: Lin Biao (1969-71)

  • the putative successor to Mao Zedong

    • the cult of personality around Mao

  • In 1971 Lin allegedly tried but failed

    • to assassinate Mao

    • to flee to Soviet Union (“9.13”)

  • “9.13” eroded the credibility

    • of the entire leadership

    • of the Cultural Revolution

Phase iii the gang of four

Phase III: the “Gang of Four”

  • 1972 – 1976

  • power struggle between

    • the radical “Gang of Four”, led by Jiang Qing, Mao’s wife

    • the “moderates”, led by Premier Zhou Enlai

  • the fate of Deng Xiaoping

Diplomatic breakthrough

Diplomatic Breakthrough

  • 1971, PRC became the representative of China in UN (replaced ROC)

Diplomatic breakthrough1

Diplomatic Breakthrough

  • 1972, President Nixon visited Beijing

Mao and zhou died in 1976

Mao and Zhou Died in 1976

  • Turning point in China’s postwar era

  • “Gang of Four” were arrested

  • End of the Cultural Revolution

Mao s legacies

Mao’s legacies

Reforms and opening up

Reforms and Opening up

  • The 3rd Plenum of the 11th CCP Central Committee in 1978

    • Deng Xiaoping’s ascendancy

    • economic modernization became focus

  • US-PRC diplomatic relations in 1979

China since 1945

China since 1945

  • Mao dies in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping comes to power.

  • Deng institutes the Four Modernizations, which focuses on improving agriculture, industry, science and technology as well as defense.

  • Deng was in power until his death in 1997

Government in china today

Government in China Today

  • Currently known as the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

  • It is a single-party socialist republic (one party, in favor of the working class)

  • The Communist party holds power

  • The current president is Hu Jianto

  • Beijing is the capital city

Review of china s population

Review of China’s Population

  • Over 1.3 billion people (1/5 of the world’s population)

  • 56 recognized ethnic groups. The Han are the largest (92%)

  • Large population can be attributed to Mao

Population in china

Population in China

  • Efforts were made to limit the population

    • Only 2 children per family law

    • One Child Policy

  • Policies did not work that well

    • Rural families did not comply

    • Males regarded more highly than females

Negotiated independence in india and africa

Negotiated Independence in India and Africa

  • Independence with little bloodshed in India and much of colonial Africa in decades following World War II.

  • Why? At what cost?



  • India and other Asian colonies were the first to establish independence movements.

  • Western-educated minorities organized politically to bring about the end of modification of colonial regimes.

Mohandas mahatma gandhi

Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi

  • Passed English bar - lawyer for Indian merchants in South Africa.

  • Gandhi’s answer to a spiritual theory of social action – Satyagraha - “soul force”. A tactic using nonviolent resistance or civil disobedience.

A revolution in indian politics

A ‘Revolution’ in Indian politics

  • Gandhi’s Satyagraha -

    “What do you think? Wherein in courage required – in blowing others to pieces from behind a cannon, or with a smiling face to approach a cannon and be blown to pieces?...Believe me that a man devoid of courage and manhood can never be a passive resister.”

Gandhi in india

Gandhi in India

  • 1915: back in India - Dressed in traditional clothing- crisscrossed India on third-class trains listening to common people to understand their plight.

  • Urged a boycott of British goods, jobs & honors.

The british back down

The British Back Down

  • 1931 - released Gandhi from jail & negotiated with him as an equal.

  • 1935 - Indian got a new constitution.

  • 1942- called on British to “Quit India” – civil disorder campaign – arrested & jailed.

The muslim league

The Muslim League

  • Led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948)

  • Feared Hindu domination of an independent India ruled by Congress Party.

  • Made Muslim separation from Hindu majority a nationalist issue.

  • In 1940 Jinnah told a Muslim League conference that Britain should give Indian Hindus & Muslims separate homelands – Gandhi appalled “victory of hate over love”

Independence but partition

Independence But Partition

  • Britain agreed to speedy independence in 1945, but murderous clashes between Hindus and Muslims in 1946 led to a delay.

    In the end...

  • India’s last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten (1900-1979) proposed partition. Both sides agreed.

  • One fifth of humanity gained independence on August 14th 1947.

The tragedy of partition

The Tragedy of Partition

  • Massacres and mass expulsions.

  • 100,000 slaughtered & five million refugees

  • Gandhi said “What is there to celebrate? I see nothing but rivers of death.”

  • Gandhi was gunned down in January 1948 by a Hindu fanatic, while announcing a fast to protest Hindu persecution of Muslims.



Modern india

Modern India

  • Largest democracy in the world

  • Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister for the next 17 years

  • Democracy, Unity, & Economic Modernization


  • Kashmir= years of conflict that continues today

  • Cold War alignment= NON Alignment Movement

  • Industrialization= slow but coming

  • Social and cultural issues= continuous challenges with progress

    • Caste system

    • Economic

    • Women’s rights



  • Border both India & Pakistan

  • Hindu leader with large Muslim populations

  • 1947-Pakistan invaded leading Kashmir to align with India fighting cont.’d until 1949. Cease fire lead to 1/3 control by Pakistan 2/3 by India.

  • 1962- China seized part of Kashmir

  • 1972- Indian and Pakistani forces fought again

  • Today: tensions continue and flare up intermittently

Nehru s family rules

Nehru’s Family Rules

  • 1964 Nehru dies

  • Congress Party left with no strong leader

  • 1966 Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister (Nehru’s daughter)

    • 1980 re-elected(after a short period out of office)

    • Increased food/grain production

    • Faced a threat from Sikh extremists agitating for an independent state

    • 1984 500 were killed in a violent demonstrations

    • 2 months later her Sikh bodyguards shot her

  • 1984-89 Rajiv Gandhi leader / charged with corruption

    • 1991 killed by a bomb while campaigning near Madra

Independence in africa

Independence in Africa

The Colonial Divisions of Africa and the Emergence of New Nations



  • Nationalists composed of ex-servicemen, urban unemployed & under-employed, and the educated.

  • Pan-Africanism (Marcus Garvey) and Negritude (Senghor)

  • Senghor (Senegal) and Dubois (African-American)



  • 1957, Gold Coast (renamed Ghana) independence, led by western- educated, Kwame Nkrumah.

  • By 1963, all of British- ruled Africa, except Southern Rhodesia, was independent.



  • French-Ruled:

    • Initially more resistant than the British.

    • Encouraged closer French ties- assimilation, not autonomy.

    • Not willing to go far enough in granting rights.

    • With exception of Algeria, by 1960 had granted independence.

Leopold sedar senghor

Leopold Sedar Senghor

  • Western educated Francophone intellectual from Senegal

  • Poet who became first president of Senegal.

  • Advocated democratic socialism and negritude.

Leopold sedar senghor1

Leopold Sedar Senghor

  • Negritude: validation of African culture and the African past by the Negritude poets. Recognized attributes of French culture but were not willing to be assimilated into Europe.

    • "L'èmotion est nègre, la raision est héllène." (emotion is Negro, reason is Greek) "Negritude is the totality of the cultural values of the Black world."

Violent incomplete decolonization

Violent & Incomplete Decolonization

  • Presence of European immigrant groups impeded negotiations violence.

    • Kenya, Palestine, Algeria, and southern Africa

  • Vietnam’s de-colonization complicated by France’s colonial ties and cold war politics.

Middle east palestine israel

Middle East: Palestine & Israel

  • Zionism

  • 1917 Balfour Declaration

  • Immigration of Jews to Palestine

  • European Holocaust

  • Increase of migration

  • 1947- end of British mandate of Palestine and failed UN partition solution

  • 1948 establishment of Israel

  • Regional conflicts->



  • Presence of settlers prevented smooth transition of power.

  • Kenya (20,000 Europeans only) led to violent revolt.

  • Mau-Mau Revolt, 1952, led by Kikuyus suppressed by British.

  • 1963 independence granted to black majority, led by Kenyatta.

South africa

South Africa

  • 4 million white residents

    • After 1901, denied civil rights to black population

  • Strong economy, both mining & industry

  • Black workers demanded change

  • Afrikaner-dominated (white) National Party won 1948 election



South africa1

South Africa

  • Apartheid

    • 87% of land for whites; others classified by race

  • No protests tolerated (African National Congress, Mandela, Sharpeville massacre 1960)

    • Evoked international opposition

  • 1989, end of apartheid

    • F. W. de Klerk

  • 1990s: black government elected

    • 1994, Nelson Mandela: 1st black president



  • French rule since 1880s –rice, mining, and rubber exports

  • Rise of foreign educated intelligentsia (Ho Chi Minh)

  • Formation of Viet Minh in 1941

  • Guerrilla War with France (1946-1954) (aided by China)

  • Divided country in 1954 (Geneva Conference) led to gradual US entry to contain communism.



  • Cold War stalemate

    • Viet Cong

    • Bombing campaign (President Johnson), ground troops in 1965

    • Until 1973Paris Peace Accords

    • 1975, last American troops leave

Women as leaders in the movement

Women as leaders in the movement

  • Women fought alongside men in whatever capacities were permitted in Algeria, Egypt, China, Vietnam, India and elsewhere.

  • China, 1942:

    “ The fighting record of our women does not permit us to believe that they will ever again allow themselves to be enslaved whether by a national enemy or by social reaction at home.”

  • Women given constitutional rights but social and economic equality rarely achieved in postcolonial developing nations.

Fall of empire fall out legacy

Fall of Empire: Fall out & Legacy

  • Colonial footprint

  • Problems of Transition

  • Problems of Identity

Challenges of independence

Ethnic disputes

Dependent economies

Growing debt

Cultural dependence on westreligious revivalism as backlash

Widespread social unrest

Military responses to restore order

Population growth

Resource depletion

Lack of middle class in some locales

Education deficit and later, brain-drain.

Neo-colonialism through economic debt.

Challenges of Independence



  • Decolonization was sometimes a violent process- dependent in large part on how many settlers had come to the colony.

  • In many parts of world, decolonization was not revolutionary. Power passed from one class of elites to another. Little economic and social reform occurred.

  • Significant challenges faced independent nations.

  • Western economic dominance of the global trade system continued unabated. WHY?

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