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Nationalism in India and Southwest Asia. “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.” -Gandhi. The effect of World War I. WWI signaled the end of Imperialism

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nationalism in india and southwest asia

Nationalism in Indiaand Southwest Asia

“I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could.”


the effect of world war i
The effect of World War I
  • WWI signaled the end of Imperialism
  • The British Empire began to crumble
  • Stirred nationalist movements in
    • India
    • Turkey
    • Persia (Iran)
    • Saudi Arabia
indian nationalism
Indian Nationalism
  • Upper class Indians who had attended British schools learned European views of nationalism and democracy and began to resent British rule
  • Two groups formed
    • Indian National Congress (Congress Party)
    • Muslim League

Although Hindus and Muslims have a rocky history they could find common ground in resisting foreign rule

the wwi effect
The WWI Effect
  • Indians fighting in the British armies in Europe were offered government promises of reforms in exchange for their service
  • The ultimate goal of these reforms was eventual independence
  • In 1918 Indian troops returned home expecting the promises to be fulfilled
  • Instead they were again treated as second class citizens
the british react to indian resentment
The British React to Indian Resentment
  • Radical nationalists carried out acts of violence against the British in India
  • The British government pass the Rowlatt Act (1919)
    • Allowed the government to jail protestors without trail for as long as two years
    • Denial of Trial by Jury was a serious offense to western educated Indians who had learned from the British the importance of individual rights

What is it that allows the British to pass laws against Indians they wouldn’t pass in Britain?

resistance and oppression
Resistance and Oppression
  • Amritsar Massacre – protest to the Rowlatt Act
    • 10,000 Hindus and Muslims flocked to the Amritsar (capital of Punjab) spring 1919
    • Intended to fast and pray and listen to political speeches
    • The demonstration and alliance between Hindus and Muslims terrified the British
    • The British had banned public meetings therefore the entire festival was “illegal”
resistance and oppression8
Resistance and Oppression
  • British General Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to fire on the crowd without warning
  • The shooting lasted 10 minutes
  • British troops killed 400 Indians and injured 1200
  • News of the slaughter sparked fury across India
  • Overnight millions of Indians changed from loyal British subjects to revolutionaries

How did the British reaction to the festival change minds and heart?

What examples of extreme reaction can you think of from today?

the role of gandhi
The Role of Gandhi
  • Gandhi’s philosophies blended ideas from all of the major world religions – Hinduism, Islam and Christianity
  • Gandhi attracted millions of followers
  • He was soon called “Mahatma” meaning Great Soul
  • After the Amritsar Massacres and British failure to punish the offending officers Gandhi proposed his policy of “noncooperation”
  • Who else used/uses noncooperation as a form of protest?
civil disobedience
Civil Disobedience
  • “It is not desirable,” he said, “to cultivate a respect for the law, so much for the right…Law never made men a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.”
        •   Henry David Thoreau

The demands of conscience are higher than the demands of the law

“This is in essence the principle of nonviolent noncooperation. Its object should not be to punish the opponent or to inflict injury upon him. Even while noncooperating with him, we must make him feel that in us he has a friend and we should try to reach his heart by rendering him humanitarian services wherever possible”
  • How does this differ from Mao’s view of revolution against oppression?
  • Which path to change is more effective? Why?
civil disobedience22
Civil Disobedience
  • Passive Resistance – Satyagraha – “Truth-force”
    • Deliberate and public refusal to obey an unjust law
    • “Complete Civil Disobedience is a rebellion without the element of violence…one perfect resister is enough to win the battle of Right and Wrong”

In 1920 the Indian National Congress Party adopted this policy of civil disobedience and nonviolence

civil disobedience23
Civil Disobedience
  • Name a law you find to be unjust that you are obligated to obey (school or government law)
  • How could you protest the law without violence?
applying civil disobedience
Applying Civil Disobedience
  • Gandhi urged the people to refuse to buy British goods, attend government schools, pay British taxes and vote in elections
  • Throughout 1920 the British

arrested thousands of Indians

who had

participated in strikes and


applying civil disobedience25
Applying Civil Disobedience
  • Gandhi’s civil disobedience took a heavy economic toll on the British
  • Struggled to keep
    • Trains running
    • Factories open
    • And overcrowded jails from bursting

Despite Gandhi’s pleas for nonviolence, riots often broke out

salt march
Salt March
  • 1930 the Indian National Congress and Gandhi declared India independent of British rule
  • Obviously the British ignored this so Gandhi decided to take his protests to another level
  • He organized a salt protest
  • According to British law, Indians could only buy salt from the government AND they had to pay a tax on salt
  • To show their opposition, Gandhi and his followers walked 240 miles to the seacoast and collected their own salt by letting ocean water evaporate
  • Why is a salt protest so important?
civil disobedience31
Civil Disobedience
  • Soon after the Salt March to Dandi demonstrators planned to march to a factory where the British processed salt
  • Police officers with steel tipped clubs attacked the demonstrators
  • An American journalist on the scene described the “sickening whacks of clubs on unprotected skulls and people writhing in pain with fractured skulls or broken shoulders”
salt marches effect
Salt Marches Effect
  • The salt march gained worldwide attention and sympathy
  • Indians throughout the country took up the protest and began illegally processing their own salt
  • Eventually 60,000 people as well as Gandhi himself were arrested
great britain grants india self rule
Great Britain Grants India Self Rule
  • Eventually the protests and international pressure were too much for the British to ignore
  • In 1935 they passed the Government of India Act – giving limited self rule to the Indians
    • The Hindu Indian National Congress was the party in control and this quickly offended the Muslim league
fight for power
Fight for Power
  • Over the next few decades the Muslim League conflicted with the Indian National Congress in the ruling of the country
  • The Hindus outnumbered the Muslims and they feared lack of representation in the government
  • They fought the Indian National Congress’ control of the government on every front
stay tuned
Stay Tuned!!
  • The rest of the Indian Independence story doesn’t pick up again until after World War II when the British finally lose the ability to control India from abroad and give up in 1947… opening a whole new can of worms with the creation of Muslim Pakistan
nationalism spreads to southwest asia
Nationalism Spreads to Southwest Asia
  • The people of the Middle East also launched independence movements during this time of weakening European Imperialism


  • Iran
  • Saudi Arabia
  • At the end of World War I, all that remained of the Ottoman Empire was Turkey
  • The Greeks were eager to expand and rebuild their ancient empire at the expense of the weakening Ottomans
  • The Sultan was ineffectual in stopping the invading Greeks
turkish nationalism
Turkish Nationalism
  • Mustafa Kemal led Turkish nationalists in overthrowing the Sultan in 1922
  • 1923 – Kemal became the president of the new Republic of Turkey
  • Kemal introduced many reforms, transforming Turkey into a modern state
the new turkey
The New Turkey
  • He separated the laws of Islam from the laws of the nation
  • Abolished religious courts, created a new legal system based on European law
  • Women were given more freedom, the right to vote and to hold public office
  • Launched government programs to industrialize Turkey
persia becomes iran
Persia Becomes Iran
  • Great Britain and Russia fought over influence over the ancient empire of Persia
  • After WWI the Russians were wrapped up in their Bolshevik revolution and the British tried to seize the opportunity to expand in Persia
  • 1921 – Persians revolted against the ruling Shah who had allowed the “invasion” of foreign powers
  • A Persian Army Officer – Reza Shah Pahlavi overthrew the Shah in 1925 and established himself the ruler of Iran
  • Set up public schools, built roads, railroads, promoted industrial growth and extended women’s rights
  • Unlike his revolutionary counterpart in Turkey, Pahlavi gathered all power into his hands
saudi arabia
Saudi Arabia
  • Going in the opposite direction the Saud family led by Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud began a successful campaign to unify Arabia under strict Islamic law
  • In 1932 he established Saudi Arabia (named after his family)
  • Ibn Saud carried on many Arabic and Islamic traditions, alcoholic drinks were outlawed
  • Ibn Saud brought some modernization to his new country but not as much as Reza Shah and Kemal
  • In the midst of nationalist awakenings in the middle east a new economic advantage was being discovered
  • During the 1920’s and 1930’s western powers began oil explorations throughout the region and discovered huge reserves in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
  • Foreign business invested Huge sums of money into the oil field
Eventually it would be realized that the Persian Gulf region held 2/3 of the world’s oil reserve
  • This new economic power of natural resource would shape the coming century
    • Western powers would find the resource too tempting to leave in native control without their influence in the politics and economics of the region