African Nationalism

Topics: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, African Union Pages: 4 (1289 words) Published: June 3, 2013
Essay 2: Critically discuss and analyze the different influences on, and the expressions of, African nationalism between the two world wars.

There were various types of influences on Africa, which encouraged nationalism. The uniting of the continent brought on a movement called Pan- Africanism, although never succeeding in uniting all of Africa, it also brought up some of the most violent outbreaks against each other’s tribes and problems. Besides these devastating events, there have been some accomplishments where nationalism has played a positive role. Thomas Hodgkin states that African nationalism is “a process of profound social, economic and political change” (1957:216). What can be derived from this statement is that it is a state of continual transformation and struggle to gain the position of a free and independent country.

The movement for political freedom went through various stages and struggles, which were directly affected by colonialism. Africans sought to overthrow European governments, gaining access to all resources which belonged to that nation. Africans also wanted to gain independence from these governments, building new nation states which belonged to the people of that country, initially struggling for many years to resist the pressure of colonialist invasion. African nations tried to gain power and regain their nation as new independent nation states, fighting for freedom. This was partly a product of the global prevalence of “nation–states as the dominant political forms of the time” (Falola, 2002). Restoring old political order was not the agenda for the freedom movement, instead it was to win independence from colonialism and transform them into postcolonial nation-states. African nationalism was internally generated, internally organized and directly aimed at achieving success in the movement for freedom. Leaders of the freedom movements, some of which later went on to become leaders of the independent nation- states, were known...
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