African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World

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In adopting these approaches the author raises the argument that one can see Africa's participation in these global trends; and also that some of these trends have been influenced by African peoples. The first chapter, which does not necessarily provide a new line of thought, analyzes the impact of the Second World War on accelerating and radicalizing the African nationalist movement through the demands of immediate independence championed by repatriated troops pp. There was also the role of the Pan-Africanist Movement, which held its first five meetings outside African since , where peoples of African origin planned the best ways of overthrowing European colonial rule pp.

The author overlooks the fact that African decolonization was not just achieved because of the role of nationalism alone. It has been argued by scholars such as Frank Heinlein, British Government Policy and Decolonisation Scrutinising the Official Mind , that one also needs to consider changes in colonial policy towards Africa in the post-World War Two era.

These changes compelled the colonizers to hand over power to moderate African nationals so long as they maintained economic ties with the former colonial power, aimed at both cutting costs and also for fear of communist infiltration in the colonies at the height of the Cold War. Another important theme is raised in chapter three, which places the role of Africa in the Cold War. An unknown error has occurred.

Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while. African Independence: How By the mid s it was clear that the three High Commission territories could not be transferred to South Africa and had to be prepared for independence. A partial exception was Swaziland, where British- and South African-owned asbestos and coal mines, sugar and timber plantations, and cattle ranches had begun to generate more local jobs after the war.

Lesotho, with high levels of literacy, was the first to organize. Jonathan led the BNP to a narrow victory in the elections; Lesotho achieved independence in In Botswana and Swaziland, modern nationalist movements emerged somewhat later and were dominated by members of the royal families, who were able to perpetuate monarchical domination quite effectively through the ballot box.

In Swaziland, where the presence of white settlers and South African and international economic interests held up full independence until , the Swazi king Sobhuza II emerged as head of state through the overwhelming electoral majority of his Imbokodvo National Movement in the rural areas.

Thus, in all three territories conservative governments anxious to avoid provoking South Africa emerged in the first elections after independence. Botswana was undoubtedly the most successful economically and politically and retained the most open political institutions and the most distance from South Africa. Botswana played a leading role in efforts to coordinate the regional economy.

African Independence

The BCP, with a primarily rural electoral base, ruled Botswana into the mid s. In Swaziland , Sobhuza II in declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution, dissolved parliament and all political parties, and consolidated his rule after a more radical opposition party showed strength in the elections.

In a new constitution ensured the continued power of the monarchy in alliance with selected chiefs. This ruling elite used its domination of the state and land to accumulate wealth in close collaboration with foreign mainly South African investors. Until the death of Sobhuza II in , all opposition to the government and to its close links with South Africa was suppressed.


Fears that the more radical BCP would win the elections in Lesotho led Jonathan, supported by South Africa, to declare a state of emergency, annul the election, and suspend the constitution. Alarm at the NP victory in South Africa also stimulated Britain into federating its south-central African territories as a bulwark against Afrikaner nationalism. Even before World War II, Northern Rhodesian whites had begun to consider federation with Southern Rhodesia as a response to growing African assertiveness, and support for federation increased after the war.

At the same time, the growing importance of the copper industry in Northern Rhodesia attracted Southern Rhodesian whites to the idea of federation. Wartime collaboration promoted federal ideas among white settlers and in British government circles.

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It was widely assumed that Southern Rhodesia would provide managerial and administrative skills, Northern Rhodesia copper revenues, and Nyasaland labour for the new entity. Prosperity muted African protest in the early years of federation, although dissent mounted in the impoverished reserves of Southern Rhodesia, where disaffection was fueled by attempts to restructure peasant production at a time of growing landlessness and congestion on inferior land.

Despite the rhetoric of multiracial partnership, the economic advantages of federation appeared mainly to benefit Southern Rhodesian whites. By the late s more militant national movements had emerged in the Central African Federation and were attempting to mobilize a disaffected peasantry in all three territories.

The Dividing of a Continent: Africa's Separatist Problem

The emergence of these nationalist movements profoundly disturbed the federal authorities. After sporadic unrest in Nyasaland in a state of emergency was declared, while in all three territories nationalist leaders were arrested and their organizations banned. The crackdown set off further disorder, and in the northern territories the British were persuaded to move toward decolonization. By —62 the nationalists had been released and new constitutions drawn up, and in the federation was dissolved. Banda and Kaunda differed greatly in their relations with the liberation struggles in the rest of Southern Africa.

In the hope of gaining control of northern Mozambique, Banda negotiated with the Portuguese and withheld assistance from Mozambican nationalists, who during the s were beginning their military campaign. Although initially Zambia was as tied economically to Rhodesia and the Portuguese colonies, Kaunda backed the resistance movements there and supported United Nations UN sanctions against the white government in Rhodesia. He paid a heavy price. During the late s Malawi, long believed to have successful rural development policies, also faced economic crisis.

After the war Portugal sought to maintain its colonies in the face of growing, if still slight, African urban nationalist movements by increasing the settler population dramatically.

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This was facilitated in Angola by a coffee boom and the discovery of minerals and petroleum and in Mozambique by government-instituted agricultural schemes. These developments brought little benefit to the majority of Africans, however, who continued to work as ill-paid migrant labourers, their upward mobility blocked by settlers.

Even in areas of limited fertility, Africans still had to produce their quota of cotton, rice, or coffee; most of the good land was taken over by wealthy white landowners and multinational companies, and the forced labour codes remained in operation until The longest, most divided, and bloodiest wars against colonialism in the subcontinent occurred in the Portuguese colonies.

War first erupted in Angola in , in a series of apparently unconnected uprisings. In Mozambique the nationalist organizations were initially more successfully united. Internal dissent had been crushed by , and Frelimo launched a guerrilla war against targets in northern Mozambique, claiming to have established its own administrative, educational, and economic networks in the northern districts. Despite the assassination of Mondlane in , a new phase of the war opened in under the leadership of Samora Machel , and by Frelimo controlled much of northern and central Mozambique.

Large numbers of black troops were recruited, and villagers supporting the guerrillas were subjected to savage reprisals. In a bid to attract international support, Portugal opened the colonies to foreign investment in , and by the late s the regime also instituted modest economic and educational reforms to preempt the nationalists and meet rising demands for a semiskilled workforce.

But the reforms were too few and too late, and in April the sheer cost of the wars—together with rising dissatisfaction with the government in Portugal—led to an army coup, the collapse of the Portuguese government, and Portuguese withdrawal from Africa.

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When the Portuguese left Luanda in November , Angola was in the throes of a civil war between its divided liberation movements. The MPLA eventually established control of Angola under Neto, but its government was undermined by South African incursions, the flight of most of the settlers at independence, incursions of Kongo peoples from Congo Kinshasa , hostility from the United States, and its own doctrinaire economic policies. The country was severely hit by a drastic cutback in recruitment by the South African Chamber of Mines in and, like Zambia, paid heavily for obeying UN sanctions against Rhodesia and for supporting the liberation movements.

Nevertheless, in the early years of independence, Frelimo abolished many of the most hated aspects of colonial rule and greatly increased the availability of welfare resources for the black populace. African liberation in Rhodesia was closely tied to the independence struggles in Mozambique. The election of —boycotted by African nationalists—was won by the extreme right-wing Rhodesian Front RF party, which ran on a platform of immediate independence under white control.

The Central African Federation was dissolved in Britain was unwilling to grant Rhodesia independence; in the RF, under the leadership of Ian Smith , unilaterally declared Rhodesia independent. Under the RF, government policies came even closer to those in South Africa.

African Independence How Africa Shapes the World

Although Rhodesia had an ostensibly colour-blind franchise, less than 1 percent of Africans were able to vote. The powers of chiefs were bolstered and discriminatory legislation increased. Despite international pressure, Britain refused to use force against the illegal regime.

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  • International economic sanctions were undermined by South Africa, Portugal, and multinational oil companies. White commercial agriculture was heavily subsidized and competed with African peasants, who felt the main burden of the sanctions. Various attempts by the British to resolve the conflict—including a referendum on a new constitution in —all failed, and by the late s the Rhodesian army and the guerrillas pursued the war with increasing ferocity, both sides often intimidating and torturing recruits in the rural areas. By it had become clear that the Rhodesian government would not win the war, and Smith, under pressure from Western countries and South Africa, agreed in to allow the internal African opposition to contest multiracial elections the following year.

    Thus, despite the appointment of a black prime minister, the war continued unabated. In renewed negotiations in London ultimately led to a peace settlement that established majority rule, and in Mugabe and ZANU won a landslide electoral victory. Early in Mugabe sent government forces to punish the people of Matabeleland.

    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World
    African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World

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