World History Notes Post World War II
World History Notes Post World War II
World History Notes Post World War II
Discuss the events that led to UN formation.
- In 1941 Britain and US declared that they would not seek any territory. The declaration supported the right of every people to have the form of government of their choice.
- 1942: UN Declaration. It stated that Chinese territory acquired by Japan would be restored to her.
- In 1943 Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at Tehran and declared their resolve to “banish the scourge and terror of war”
- Yalta Conference (Soviet Union) : Defeat of Germany was in sight. Securing of Germany surrender was declared the aim. Here they agreed on number of issues as to how to deal with Germany and non-German territories post war. It also decided to set up a new organisation to replace LoN.
- San Francisco 1945 : It was attended by 50 nations. The conference adopted the UN Charter under which a new organisation was set up. This was UN based on the principle of “sovereign equality of peace loving states”. Objective was to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.
- Potsdam Conference : Major conference of Britain (Churchill), US (Truman) and Soviet Union (Stalin) was held at Potsdam (Berlin). The future of Germany was decided. Germany was partitioned into 4 zones each under the control of Britain, France, US and USSR. Aim was to bring complete disarmament of Germany, destroy Nazi party and prepare for a democratic Germany. Set up international tribunal to trial persons who had committed crimes against humanity. Thus Nuremberg trial took place. Transfer of northern part of East Prussia to Soviet Union and southern part to Poland.
- UN came into existence in October 1945. It succeeded League of Nations.
What are the aims of UN ?
- Preserve peace and eliminate war.
- Remove the causes of conflict by encouraging economic, social, educational development
- Safeguard the rights of all individual human beings and rights of nations.
Discuss the working of UN
- Meeting together of all countries. One vote per nation. Upto 5 members per country.
- Meets once a year starting in September. Special sessions during time of crisis.
- Decisions on functioning of UN. Select member states of Security Council.
- Decision through simple majority
- English, French, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic
- It sits in permanent session. It has 5 permanent members. There are 10 non permanent members who are elected for 2 year term.
- Decisions require atleast 9 votes (it must include 5 permanent members)
- USSR has used most number of times.
- There has always been debate over which should take precdence : Veto or General Assembly decisions.
- Office staff of UN. It is headed by Secretary General.
- He is elected for a 5 year term and is generally not from a major country. He is the main spokesperson of the UN and tries to sort out the world problem.
International Court of Justice
- It has 15 judges. Elected for 9 year term.
- Its decisions on several issues have not been enforced by Security Council.
Trusteeship Council (No longer needed)
- It had its mandate of ensuring that countries being taken away from Germany and Turkey get independence.
- Most of the countries did get independence. Only Namibia remained a problem. The problem was sorted out when intense international pressure was built on South Africa
- It is the economic and social council. It has 27 members. It organises projects concerned with health, education and other social and economic matters.
- It coordinates its activities with wide array of organisations including ILO, WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO etc
Assess the performance of UN?
- Lack of a permanent UN army : It has to rely on member states to provide troops. Many a times the warring parties have refused to stop the war. In such situations UN has found itself helpless e.g Russian refual to withdraw troops from Afghanistan (1980)
- Indecisions : Sometimes UN has taken too long a time to response to crisis making its intervention meaningless. e.g Vietnam war. This has also led to member states relying more on regional organisations like NATO. This poses a danger of bypassing UN mandate altogether.
- Problem of diverse opinions : It has become near impossible except for social issues to arrive at a consensus. It’s difficult to renconcile the interests of developing, developed and underdeveloped countries all at once.
- Duplication of work : On paper there is much overlapping of work between WHO, FAO, UNICEF and UNESCO. Due to lack of convergence of schemes there is a wastage of resources.
- Shortage of funds : Especially in the wake of Global financial meltdown of 2008 and Eurozone crisis. Many developed countries have gone on austerity measures have cut down funding. Wealthy countries want more say in the functioning of UN as they pay more.
- It doesn’t reflect the 21st century reality e.g Security Council.
- It provides a platform where all the countries of the world come together and discuss the issues. Without such a forum there would be various blocks working according to its own agenda which is likely to spawn more crisis and would push the planet towards another world war scenario.
- Although it has not prevented wars but is able to bring war to end quickly. UN peace keeping force has done exemplary work in undertaking humanitarian efforts.
- Even a small nation consisting of few islands like Kiribati, Nauru can make its voice heard.
- It has done commendable work in addressing the human rights, social and gender related issues. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Stimulate international cooperation on economic, social and technical matters.
Europe After Second WW
- Large number of countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia became independent. The communist parties played very important role in struggle for independence. Up to the world war Soviet Union was the only country ruled by a communist regime. Now a large number of were ruled by Communist parties. Other political parties were not allowed to exist and this was further helped by the presence of large number of Soviet troops in these countries. Soviet troops were used to suppress movement. Dissent even within party was not allowed. These countries served as the satellite of the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia was the only exception.
- In 1948 Britain, France and US decided to merge their territories in Germany. A separate state in West Germany called Federal Republic of Germany with its capital at Bonn came into being. It was a capitalist country. East Germany followed the socialist form of government. It was called German Democratic Republic.
- Many important industries such as coal mines and railways were nationalised in Britain. Steps of social security were taken.
- In 1946 Monarchy was abolished in Italy and it became a republic.
Soviet Union emerged as the second biggest power after US. Despite suffering massive losses during the war her power and prestige had increased. This was to some extent due to the important role played in defeating Germany.
|COLD WAR -World History Notes Post World War II|
What was it ?
It refers to the competition, tensions and series of confrontations between US and Soviet Union backed by their respective allies. It never escalated into ‘hot war’. There were wars in various regimes with two powers and their allies involved in warfare and supporting regional allies e.g Vietnam, Suez Crisis, Korean War. but another global war was avoided.
It was also about ideological conflict. Difference over the best and the most appropriate way of organising political, economic and social life all over the world. The western alliance represented liberal democracy and capitalism whereas Soviet Union was committed to the ideology of socialism and communism.
The cold war was rooted in the understanding that the use of atom bomb is too costly for any country to bear. Despite provocations neither side wanted to take risk as no political gain would have justified the destruction of entire society. In the event of nuclear war the damages would be so severe that it would be difficult to declare one side or the other as the winner.
The most important reason for the outbreak of the Cold War was the Western Countries fear of Communism.
1949 : Victory of communist in China sent shockwaves in the world. Now there were two mighty powers Soviet Union and China which were communist. Soon many independent countries adopted communist ideology and became an ally of Soviet Union. This caused much fear in the minds of USA. US openly declared that its policy was to prevent the spread of communism. It began to look every development in the world from this angle. Arbitrary restrictions of imposed on people, their rights curtailed. US supported France in suppressing the freedom movement in Indo-China. Countries which wanted to pursue independent foreign relations and maintain good ties with Soviet Union were looked upon with suspicion.
Discuss the formation of various power blocks during this period
- NATO was set up in 1949.
- SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Org) was set up in 1954. Its members were US, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines and Pakistan.
- In 1955 Baghdad pact was brought into being. It consisted of Britain, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran. US established its military bases all over. The name of Baghdad Pact was changed to CENTO (Central Treaty Organisation).
- These alliances were very unpopular in some countries. In 1958 there was a revolution and Iraq withdrew itself from Baghdad Pact.
- Soviet Union had Warsaw Pact. Unlike US it did not station its troops all over the world.
The formation of alliances was accompanied with arms race. Weapons of mass destruction were being produced on massive scale. In 1949 Soviet Union tested its first atom bomb. Themonuclear hydrogen bombs, thousand times more dangerous than atom bomb wrere being produced. These resources, if they had been utilized for peaceful purposes, would have gone a long way in abolishing want and poverty.
The policy of non-alignment played a very important role in diffusing the tensions of cold war.
Smaller independent states were made allies and were promised protection, weapons, economic aid. Sphere of influence.
Smaller states were helpful for superpowers to gain access to:
- Vital resources such as oil and minerals.
- Territory form where superpowers could launch their weapons and troops.
- Locations from where they could spy on each other.
- Economic support, in that many small allies together could help pay for military expenses.
- Loyalties of states suggested that superpowers were winning the war of ideas.
Huge stocks of arms were piled. However the logic of ‘deterrrence’ gained importance. Both sides had the capacity to retaliate. However, the deterrence relationships prevents war but not the rivalry between powers.
Discuss various crisis that threatened escalation of full blown war during this period.
Cuban Missile Crisis
In April 1961 USSR was worried that USA would invade the communist Cuba and overthrow Fiedel Castro. Cuba was an ally of USSR and received diplomatic and military aid. Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev decided to convert Cuba into a Russian base. In 1962 he placed nuclear installations in Cuba. US under John F Kennedy was reluctant to take action as it might have led to full scale nuclear war. USA ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ships heading to Cuba. A clash was imminent and made the whole world nervous.
Discuss the steps taken to ease the tension during Cold War.
Non Aligned countries played a role in reducing Cold War conflicts and averting grave crisis. Nehru played a crucial role in mediating between the two Koreans. In the Congo crisis the UN Secretary General played a key mediatory role. The logic of restraint was increasingly evident.
Signing of Arms Treaty
- Limited Test Ban Treaty
- Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty
- SALT : Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty
- START : Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
Several rounds of arms limitation talks took place.
|KOREA -World History Notes Post World War II|
Korea had come under Japanese rule in 1910. After the defeat of Japan, Korea was divided along 38th parallel. Northern part was controlled by Soviet Union and southern under American occupation. The initial motive was to pull out the Japanese forces providing stability and then arrange elections in Korea. Two different govt were formed in 1948. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in north and Republic of Korea (RPK) in south under the leadership of Syngman Rhee. He was an anti communist. South Korea had a larger population and followed capitalism. This caused fear in USSR and it provoked Kim Il Jung who attacked S. Korea in 1950.
- In 1948 Soviet troops withdrew and in 1949 American troops. Both sides favoured unification.
- In June 1950 war broke out. US feared expansion of communism and sent troops. Security Council passed a resolution condemning North Korea and asked its members to help SK.
- There was a real danger of yet another world war. However, armstice was signed in 1953. In 1953 UN intervened and according to UN declarations both the Koreans were to be united by the wish of the people in Plebiscite. It is a challenging task because S.Korea has a responsible government while North Korea is under military dictatorship.
- India played a very important role in bringing end to the war.
|VIETNAM -World History Notes Post World War II|
Phase – 1
- The region known as Indo China (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) was under French rule. Later it was occupied by Japan. It was the colony of France before WW1.
- After the defeat of Japan in WW2 France tried to reenter into Vietnam. This led to the birth of Vietnminh whose important leader was Ho Chinh Minh.
- In 1945 Democratic Republic of Vietnam was proclaimed with HCM as president. He gave strong resistance to France during 1946-1954. The war continued for 8 years. French suffered a severe blow at the fortress of Dien Bien Phu.
- The French defeat has become famous as people without any sophisticated arms defeated a mighty imperialist country. As a result France left Vietnam in 1954.
- In 1954 an International Conference was held at Geneva. It was decided to temporarily divide Vietnam into North and South and hold elections all over Vietnam to unify the country under one government. Cambodia and Laos were declared independent. Vietnam was divided on 17th parallel.
- North Vietnam was under Ho Chin Minh who followed communist ideology. South Vietnam was under the control of Ngo Dein Deimh who was a capitalist. North Vietnam came under USSR and South Vietnam under US.
- NLF (National Liberation Front) was formed in Vietnam which appealed to world powers that a coalition government between North and South should be established and Vietnamese should work out their own solution or they threatened to resist against any power entering into Vietnam through their Guerilla organisation called Viet Cong.
- US was clear that if Vietnam will be left to local leaders it will lead to the establishment of communism in Vietnam. So it decided to intervene in affairs of Vietnam and a clash started. With the support of US the south Vietnam government refused to hold election. Uprising broke in South Vietnam against government.
- US mobilised large troops in Vietnam and war continued for many years. The south Vietnamese people under National Liberation Front carried on Guerilla warfare. They had the support of North Vietnam. The American troops used the weapons of bacteriological warfare. Vast areas of Vietnam was devastated and American forces suffered massive casualties.
US Unfair Policy
It was a miscalculated step of US as it failed to take into account the will power of Vietnamese people. 3 American presidents came out with 3 different policies:
- J.F.Kennedy came out with ‘Safe Village Policy’
- Lyndon Johnson opted for military action and America used all legal and illegal weapons against Vietnam including Orange gas.
- Richard Nixon adopted the policy of Vietnamisation (natives against natives) which backfired upon America. In complete frustration America went for Mylai (massacre of entire village) in 1968 but it failed to defeat.
- Worldwide there was a condemnation of US role in Vietnam. There were massive anti war campaign within USA and Americans refused to be drafted in US army.
- So in 1972 America accepted the truce with Vietnam and in 1973 Vietnam became independent.
- In 1975 the combined army of North Vietnam and PLF swept across entire Vietnam routing the American supported troops. US had to withdraw. North and South Vietnam were united in 1976.
- It is a historic event. This was the victory of the will power of the most backward nation against the military might of the most powerful nation in the world. A small country had been able to defeat the world’s biggest power. It was helped by socialist countries.
- There was no traditional problem in Iran. There was no economic crisis.
- Iranian revolution has a special place in history as it was not the outcome of traditional causes. The revolution was basically against westernisation and dominance of western world in Iran. For example, US and Israeli diplomats were given immunity in Iran.
- The revolution was based on the concept of Vilayat – i – Fikah i.e the nation should be under the guardianship of the clerics of the nation e.g Ayatullah Khoemeini. The religious head acted as guiding force of the revolution.
- It was yet another defeat of capitalism in Asia.
Palestine was considered as the heart of Central and West Asia. It not only had its way to the oil reserves but had great geopolitical importance as access to Russia was easier.
- 1897: World Zionist Organisation by Theodre Herzl. It claimed that Palestine was the homeland of Jews
- 1917: Balfour declaration reiterated Palestine was the natural home of Jews.
- 1919: Palestine became mandate of Britain after the WW-1
- 1919 – 48: Large influx of Jews took place in Palestine after they faced extermination under the hands of Hitler in Germany. The tragedy won them sympathy and support all over the world. The British allowed the settlement of large number of Jews in Palestine.
- The British troops again occupied Palestine in 1945.
Birth of Israel
- After the WW-2 Jews outnumbered Arabs in Palestine. David Gurion declared Israel as independent Jews state
- In 1947 UN passed a resolution under which Palestine was to be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state.
- After 1948 British troops withdrew from Palestine and soon Israel was proclaimed.
- The Arab states refused to recognise Israel.
- The creation of Israel has been a source of perpetual tension in the West Asia.
Arab Countries always wanted to eliminate Israel and the period saw a number of wars being fought. Prominent among them were:
Arab world united under the leadership of Egypt and its dynamic leader Colonel Nasser and they declared war against Israel. Arabs were defeated by Israel.
- By treaty of Constantinople in 1889 Suez Canal was considered as part of Egypt. The larger shares of this canal were in the hands of US, Britain, France etc and in return for transport and communication these countries were providing financial aid to Egypt which was used in projects like Aswan Dam.
- Due to leadership of Egypt against Israel, Britain ended financial help and in such circumstances Egypt nationalised Suez Canal which led to the Suez crisis of 1956.
- Israel captured the Sinai peninsula. The attacks was widely condemned. US refused to support Britain. For the first time USSR and US agreed on something. They demanded an immediate ceasefire. With the pressure building up, Britain, France and Israel decided to withdraw.
- It was a complete failure for Britain and France and a triumph of Nasser.
- The war failed to overthrow Nasser and was a boost for Arab nationalism
- It encouraged Algerians for struggle against France
In 1964 Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was formed to fight for the establishment of a Palestine state. It enjoys the status of a member state of NAM.
6 Day War (1967)
Arab states joined hand to destroy Israel. The lead was taken by Iraq, Syria and Egypt. They were encouraged in this effort by Russians (because Israel was supported by Americans). The Israeli decided that the best policy is to launch early attack than wait to be defeated.
- Sinai peninsula and Gaza strip from Egypt
- West Bank from Jordan
- Golan Heights from Syria
- Israel turned these areas into buffer zones to counter the attacks of Arab nations.
- It was a complete humiliation for Arab states. The Russians had been of no help.
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Meanwhile the million plus Arab population in areas under Israel were having tough time and were constantly engaging in terrorist attacks to draw world attention towards their plight. Some members of Israeli team were murdered at the 1972 Munich olympics.
Egyptians had now acquired modern weapons and their army had been trained by Russian experts !
Yom Kippur is a day of Jewish festival. Egypt and Syria attacked on this day to catch Israeli off guard. Israeli using American weapons easily fended off the attacks.
- Some peace initiatives were undertaken. Israel agreed to pull back troops from Suez Canal.
- OPEC raised the oil prices causing energy crisis in the world.
|IRAQ -World History Notes Post World War II|
Iran – Iraq War
Iraq was ruled by Saddam Hussein. Iran had become republic in 1979 under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and Shiite supporters. The population of Iraq was mainly Shunni with large Shia minority. Saddam government was non religious and was afraid that revolutions in Iran might spill over to his country. He was overconfident of his military strength and considered Iranian forces to be weak and therefore launched an attack and expected quick victory.
On paper Iraqi forces were strong but Iranian fought with fanatical determination. Iran got weapons from China and North Korea.
- Stability of the entire region was threatenened. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait gave support to Iraq but Syria, Libya, Algeria were critical of Iraq.
- Threatened the energy supplies to the West.
- Neither side achieved its objectives and war was ended.
Saddam Hussein launched another offensive against Kuwait (1990)
- Wealth of Kuwait since he was short of cash after the war with Iran.
- He claimed that Kuwait was part of Iraq.
- He had the strongest army in the region. He did not hope America and European powers to act against him as they had supplied him weapons during the Iran war.
Course of War
- Saddam had miscalculated. US pushed for military actions and UN imposed trade sanctions.
- Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt also got nervous about Iraq’s nefarious motives and decided to support international efforts.
- Operation Desert Storm was launched against Iraq.
- Within 4 days Kuwait was liberated and Baghdad was bombed.
- Saddam was allowed to remain in power and was left with considerable arms and troops because West considered his survival to be best for the stability of the region.
- Iraq was devastated.
- Kurds revolted in Iraq but no one interfered this time as Russia, Syria and Turkey had Kurds minority of their own and did not want the revolt to spread.
- The primary concern was not with the international justice and moral questions of right and wrong but with their own self interest. They only took actions when they threatened their oil supplies.
|ASIA & AFRICA -World History Notes Post World War II|
Factors that enabled freedom movements
The colonial powers were not willing to give up their hold on the colonies and left only when they found that it was not possible to maintain their rule. After the war they again tried to re-establish their rule but were ultimately forced to withdraw.
- There was a change in the international climate after the war. Imperialism had been weakened as a whole.
- Forces within the imperialism countries were friendly with the people struggling for independence had grown powerful.
- Freedom and democracies were major aims with which Allied powers fought the war. This had aroused people all over the world against fascism. The fulfilment of these aims could not be restricted only to Europe.
- Emergence of Soviet Union and other socialist countries as a major force. These were inimical to imperialism and gave aid and support to the freedom movement. Similarly the movement of socialism supported freedom movement in these countries.
- At the international forums such as UN the independence of these colonies began to get popular support.
- Unity and solidarity among different freedom movement was another important factor. Freedom movement in one country supported the freedom movement in other. Role of country which had achieved independence was very crucial. India played important role in supporting the cause of freedom in Asia and Africa. India was among the first countries in the world to recognise Communist China in 1949.
- There were movement in Asian and African countries to oust outdated political system, modernise the social and economic systems.
The imperialist resorted to various techniques to maintain their rule viz. create divisions in the freedom struggle, use of force, install puppet government.
Discuss independence of nations in Asia
- It achieved independence in 1948.
- In 1944, Anti Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) was formed. It resisted Japanese invasion of Burma.
- After the war Britain tried to restore its rule but was forced to agree to demand for freedom.
- After the defeat of Japan, Sukarno, pioneer of freedom movement, proclaimed the independence.
- British troops landed to help the Dutch to restore their rule.
- Sukarno resisted and there were demands in many countries to put an end to the war.
- India demanded that Indian Soldiers who were sent to Indonesia as a part of British army should be withdrawn. India convened a Conference of Asian Nations in support of Indonesia’s independence. The conference in Delhi in 1949 called for complete independence.
- Due to all around pressure, Holland recognised the independence of Indonesia in 1949.
- The war in Vietnam also spread to Cambodia.
- In 1970 the govt of Prince Narodom Sihanouk was overthrown and a puppet government was installed.
- After the withdrawal of US troops a party called Khmer Rouge came to power.
Menace of Khmer Rougue
- It was a name given to followers of Communist Party of Kampuchia in Cambodia. It was the ruling party from 1975-1979.
- It pepetrated Cambodian genocide – Enforcement of social engineering policies.
- Its attempts at agricultural reforms led to famine, starvation and death and millions of Cambodian perished.
- It carried out a radical program that included isolating the country from all foreign influences, closing schools, hospitals, and factories, abolishing banking, finance, and currency, outlawing all religions, confiscating all private property and relocating people from urban areas to collective farms where forced labour was widespread. The purpose of this policy was to turn Cambodians into “Old People” through agricultural labour.
- It attempted to turn Cambodia into a classless society by depopulating cities and forcing the urban population (“New People”) into agricultural communes. The entire population was forced to become farmers in labour camps.
- Money was abolished, books were burned, teachers, merchants, and almost the entire intellectual elite of the country were murdered to make the agricultural communism,
- All religion was banned by the Khmer Rouge. Any people seen taking part in religious rituals or services would be executed. Several Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians were killed for exercising their beliefs.
Syria and Lebanon were under French rule. After the war they became independent in 1946.
- Sri Lanka (Ceylon) became free in 1948.
- Thailand had been occupied by Japan and after the defeat of Japan it became independent.
- In 1946 US agreed to the independence of Philippines.
- In 1957 Malaya became an independent nation.
Discuss independence of African countries.
The period saw the growing power of Arab nationalism which led to efforts by Arab people to come together to face and solve problems. The Arab League was formed comprising all Arab nations.
- Egypt was a British mandate after WW1. It had been declared independent in 1922 but British troop remained.
- After WW2 the demand for withdrawal of British troops gained momentum. There were clashes between the two and Egyptians suffered heavy casualties. There was a discontent against the king who had been installed by the British.
- There was a revolution in 1952 when the Egyptian army under the leadership of Lt Colonel Gamal Abdal Nasser overthrew the monarchy and declared Egypt a republic. The British troops ultimately were withdrawn in 1956.
- Under Nasser the economic reconstruction of Egypt began. It refused to align with US and began to receive military and economic aid from Soviet Union.
- Nasser nationalised Suez Canal in 1956. This prompted a combined attack from Britain, Israel and France. This attack was widely condemned. Soviet Union sent a stern warning to Britain.
- The worldwide condemnation forced them to withdraw their forces. The war raised to prestige of Asian and African countries and also that of Soviet Union. It emerged as a saviour and friend of new independent countries
- Libya had come under Italian rule in 1911.
- During WW2 some of the most ferocious battle between Germany and Britain were fought in Libya. At the end of the war the country was occupied by Britain and France.
- In 1951 Libya became independent with monarchical form of government.
- During 1960 it became one of the largest oil producing countries of the world. The king did not permit any opposition to the rule. It led to gross inequality in the society.
- In 1969 a group of army officers captured power and abolished monarchy.
- US built one of its strongest air bases on Libyan soil.
- Algeria had been captured by France as early as 1830.
- In 1954 the nationalist organisation of the people of Algeria called FLN (National Liberation Front) gave a call for armed struggle against French Rule.
- By 1958, the Algerian nationalists had organised a large army of their own and proclaimed the formation of a govt of the republic of Algeria.
- The situation in Algeria had serious consequences inside France as well. In 1958, General Charles de Gaulle became the President of France. He conceded the right of the Algerian people to self determination. This policy was opposed by some sections of the French army in Algeria who revolted against De Gaulle and attempts to assassinate him were made.
- In July 1962 a referendum was held in Algeria and people unanimously voted for independence.
- It was under British occupation and was called Gold Coast.
- The most prominent leader was Kwame Nkrumah who in 1949 organised the Convention People’s Party. A strong trade union movement had also emerged in Gold Coast. They demanded independence but were arrested.
- In the elections that followed the CPC won a resounding majority and thus the British were compelled to initiate constitutional reforms and finally British agreed to its independence in 1952.
- The country was renamed as Ghana after the name of the old West African kingdom.
- It was a French colony. In 1958 while embroiled in war in Algeria, France held a referendum in her colonies. The people of Guinea voted for complete independence and Guinea was proclaimed a republic in 1958.
The achievement of independence by Ghana and Guinea accelerated the pace of achievement of independence by other nations. The promotion of the cause of African freedom was a major objective of India’s foreign policy. 1960 is regarded as the African year. 17 countries gained their independence. Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed in 1963
- The freedom movement was led by Jomo Kenyatta, leader of Kenya African Union.
- In 1952 a revolt by peasants had broken out. This is known as Mau Mau rebellion. It was directed against the seizure of land by the British colonial authorities. Jomo Kenyatta was prisoned in 1953 on the charge of supporting the rebellion.
- Having failed to suppress the freedom movement, Britain had to give in and Kenya became independent in 1963.
The newly independent countries had to face lots of problems. The evil machinations of imperialist countries were still at work. e.g. Belgium with the help of some countries brought about the secession of the rich province of Katanga.
By 1975 the Portuguese colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde became independent.
- It was the last country in Africa to become independent. It was formerly called South West Africa. It was a German colony before WW1.
- It was handed over to South Africa as ‘mandate’. SA treated her as colony and refused to withdraw despite resolutions of UN.
- The freedom movement was led by South-West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) which was formed in 1960. It started a war with the help of Guerilla forces to liberate the country.
- It was made a member of NAM. The NAM + African Govt + UN played an important role in the success of freedom movement in Namibia. The war came to an end in 1989.
- It was an independent country. It was known as Union of South Afica since 1910 and Republic of South Africa since 1961.
- The govt was among the most oppressive regimes in the world in 20th century. It was under the exclusive control of white minorities practicing the worst form of racism. System of apartheid was established.
Features of Apartheid
- All people were classified and separated on the basis of race.
- Separate schools, universities, theater, shopping centres, separate coaches in trains.
- The teams for sport also were formed on the basis of races.
- Marriage between different racial groups was a criminal offence.
- The best lands in the country were under the control of whites.
- The non whites had no vote and say in the govt. They were denied human rights.
- Mahatma Gandhi had started the fight against the racial discrimination in South Africa.
Fight Against Government
- African National Congress (ANC) was set up in 1910 and led fight against the regime.
- In 1960 ANC was banned and most of its leaders were arrested. The ANC organised its own army to fight against the racist regime.
Sanctions Against South Africa
- SA was isolated.
- Its cricket team was banned by the ICC.
- India was the first country in the world to sever relations with SA and extend full support to the people of SA.
- In 1980s some Western countries imposed sanctions. By the end of 1980s the international isolation of SA regime was complete.
End of Apartheid
- The ban on ANC was subsquently lifted.
- Nelson Mandela who had been in jail for 27 years was released.
- Apartheid laws were abolished. The process of framing a new constitution was started. It gave right to vote to all people.
- Elections were held in 1994 and a new non racist and democratic government came to power. Nelson Mandela was elected the President of the country.