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GORDON SSENDIWALA - 637837 TERM PAPER 2 HUM 1000 KENYA & SOUTH AFRICA’S STRUGGLE FOR INDIPENDENCE:
Early African reaction to European intrusion into Africa in the late 19th century was not uniform. A few groups that had suffered from long-term warfare or slave raiding (such as in parts of East Africa) gave an uncertain welcome to European presence in their regions in hope that there would be peace. Other groups strongly resisted the coming of European political control. However, many people had no initial reaction to colonialism. This was because the early years colonialism had little impact on the lives of many rural African peoples. This situation changed as the impact of colonialism became more widespread and intense in the middle decades of the 20th century. The next two decades, the period historians call the inter-war years, were relatively quiet years in colonial Africa. During the inter-war years, opposition to colonialism was expressed in one of the following forms: * Demands for opportunity and inclusion: Many Africans at this time accepted the reality of colonial rule but they did not accept the harsh discrimination and the lack of opportunity that was a central part of the colonial experience. Opposition to these aspects of colonialism was particularly strong among educated Africans. * Religious opposition: A number of the early anti-colonial up-risings featured in the last section were led by religious leaders. The Chimurenga (Zimbabwe) and Maji-Maji (Tanganyika) uprisings were led by African priests who were strongly opposed to colonial rule. This tradition of religious opposition to colonialism continued throughout the 20th century. However, unlike the earlier acts of religious resistance, the new opposition was led by African Christians. * Economic opposition: During this time period economic opposition was often not well organized. However, there were attempts in the 1920s and 1930s by mine workers in southern Africa and port workers in West and East Africa to organize into unions. World War II (1939-1945) had an important effect on Africa. Some important battles were fought in North Africa. Many Africans from French and British colonies were also recruited to fight for the Allies in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. At the end of the war, the returning soldiers asked an important question, "Why should I give my life to keep Europe and America free, when I am not free in my own country?" To the ordinary African, life as a colonial subject was hardly better than life under Fascism or Nazism. Great changes were taking place in other parts of the world in the immediate post war period. European colonies in Asia demanded and earned independence from Europe. Of particular importance was the independence of India and Pakistan from Britain in 1947. Many Africans looked at India as an example of what was politically possible for their own countries.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, new mass-based...
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