African Decolonization

Topics: World War II, British Empire, United Kingdom Pages: 5 (1701 words) Published: March 2, 2007
In 1941, Roosevelt and Churchill met to discuss the postwar world. The result was the Atlantic Charter. One of the provisions in this document that was introduced by Roosevelt was the autonomy of imperial colonies. Therefore after World War II, there was pressure on Britain to abide by the terms of the Atlantic Charter. When Winston Churchill introduced the Charter to Parliament, he purposely mistranslated the colonies to be recently captured countries by Germany in order to get it passed. After the war, African colonies were still considered "children" and "immature" therefore democratic government was only introduced at the local levels. By the 1930s, the colonial powers had carefully cultivated a small elite of leaders educated in Western universities and familiar with ideas such as self-determination. These leaders, including Some major nationalist leaders were Kenyatta (Kenya), Nkrumah (Gold Coast, Ghana), Senghor (Senegal), and Houphouët-Boigny (Côte d'Ivoire) came to lead the struggle for independence. The byproducts of decolonization including political instability, border disputes, economic ruin, and massive debt continue to plague Africa to this present day

British troops were withdrawn from Palestine in 1947 and the state of Israel was formally established in 1948, shortly followed by the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which further established both Israel's independence and Arab-Israeli enmity. See history of Israel, history of Egypt. In 1952, officers in the Egyptian army overthrew the monarchy of King Farouk who had been a close ally of the British. The new government abandoned policies friendly to the European powers, while at the same time asserting an independent and Arab nationalist identity. In 1955, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was importing arms from the Soviet bloc to build his arsenal for the confrontation with Israel. He announced it on August 31, 1955: The operation to take the canal was highly successful from a military point of view, but was a political disaster due to external forces. Along with Suez, the United States was also dealing with the near-simultaneous Soviet-Hungary crisis, and faced the public relations embarrassment of criticizing the Soviet Union's military intervention there while at the same time avoiding criticism of its two principal European allies' actions. Perhaps more significantly, the United States also feared a wider war after the Soviet Union threatened to intervene on the Egyptian side and launch attacks by "all types of weapons of destruction" on London and Paris. Thus, the Eisenhower administration forced a cease-fire on Britain and France, which it had previously told the Allies it would not do. The U.S. demanded that the invasion stop and sponsored resolutions in the UN Security Council for a cease-fire to stop the invasion. Britain and France, as permanent members of the Security Council, vetoed the resolutions in the UN Security Council. The U.S. then appealed to the General Assembly of the UN and proposed a resolution calling for a cease-fire and a withdrawal of forces. The appeal to the General Assembly was made under a procedure called "Uniting for Peace" (UfP). This procedure was adopted by the Security Council so that the UN can act even if the Security Council is stalemated by vetoes. Resolution 377 provides that, if there is a "threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and the permanent members of the Security Council do not agree on action, the General Assembly can meet immediately and recommend collective measures to U.N. members to "maintain or restore international peace and security." The General Assembly held an emergency session and passed the UfP resolution. Britain and France withdrew from Egypt within a week. (Z Magazine, April 2, 2003, last visited 2/28/07.) Part of the pressure that the United States used against Britain was financial, as President...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Decolonization and Globalization: Guinea Essay
  • IRM Bulliet Cold War And Decolonization Essay
  • Western and African Philosophy Essay
  • African People and Human Experience Essay
  • Essay on Barry Hallen’s A Short History of African Philosophy
  • The Impact of Western Media on African Cultures Essay
  • Review of Home and Exile by Chinua Achebe Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free