To What Extent Was Nationalism the Main Cause of British Decolonisation

Topics: World War II, British Empire, Nationalism Pages: 3 (1177 words) Published: April 20, 2013
To what extent was nationalism the main cause of British decolonisation

Decolonisation is the process by which empires disintegrated and colonies achieved in dependence. Britain decolonised between the years 1947 and 1964, nationalist movements was considered the main reason for decolonisation of the British Empire, but where other factors just as significant?

Britain had flourished during the war with a victory however; this left them with severe financial and economical set-backs. The Second World War weakened the British economy this in turn reduced their imperial power to maintain control of their colonies, Britain often used emergencies; which allowed them to buy time from nationalists which would weaken their interest. They needed to ‘cling’ to their empire, as it was the only source of support for their economy, they were able to sell cheap goods for more and paying their workers a low wage added to their economy. Although some would argue that due to the low wage paid to the workers this caused them to not be able to buy thing as they were too expensive. Britain was shadowed by the United States and the Soviet Union, Britain’s status was way down the hierarchy, these two superpowers created an international climate which the reservation of the empire was rapidly difficult. However, the empire provided resistance from the US and USSR. Britain was also increasing the spending on nuclear weapons, rather than on weapons and soldiers in the cold war therefore, Britain couldn’t police the war. They needed army defence clearly nuclear dependence wasn’t needed. During the war time Japanese, Burma etc were revealing the weakness of the British imperial power, this gave hope to other territories starting with India. The nationalist’s movement was led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian nationalist’s congress to free India, India eventually through a lot of hardship gained independence this surely accounted as significant, it shows Britain’s weakness. This...
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