Nationalism

The rise of nationalism was very important in Africa. The national patricians and the establishment during colonial times meant the lose of their gained power and influences all which had had until now. The status quo until now meant had supported the colonial powers to change the economy, culture and the way of life for Africans. Of course, Africans never accepted colonial rule and destruction of their customs. Paradoxically, colonialism resulted in an awareness of consciousness among all Africans; awareness of themselves as Africans, consciousness of being oppressed, exploited and humiliated. This common consciousness gave rise to nationalist feelings and eventually to a drive, and at times, a fight to independence.

Successfulness in Gaining Independence

World War II was a traumatic experience to many. However, it had powerful effects such as giving new spur to colonial protest. It brought a new force to the call for anti-colonialism change. In addition, war experiences helped develop better political understanding of the colonial system in the in the world and it raised political consciousness. Many Africans joined the Allies in order to defeat anti-Nazism and anti-racism. Africans believed that the war would end the system of colonization as they had known it. They fought as equals along side European soldiers in the second world war conflict, and they won battles. Therefore, in their mind, the colonial white of superiority became nonsense. Also, during the war, many Africans learned to write and read European languages and they received technical training. This served to deepen their understanding and welcoming of the idea of freedom. The war weakened the main colonial powers, France and Britain, both economically as well as in the area of the socially and politically in their relationship with Africa.

The Western powers had a great part in Africa gaining its independence. During the war, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met together and Roosevelt and Churchill composed the Atlantic Charter. The charter promised that after the allies won the war that they would respect the right of all people to choose the form of government under which they would live. Africans heard about this charter through the radio, and colonial nationalist welcomed it, as they believed it to mean that at the end of the war, they would have the right to ask and obtain self-government and/or independence.

After the war, the super powers (U.S. and Russia) seemed to be without limit in their might. Although they were allies of France and Britain during the war, they had no intention of helping the French and British in keeping their colonies. The United States believed that the pre-war empire would disappear and they believed that the colonized people should have political freedom and at the same time, Africa would become part of a new international world system under indirect American leadership. The U.S. gave more encouragement to colonial nationalist by openly attacking imperialism and supporting the demands of oppressed people. The U.S. attitude of anti-colonialism was explained due to the necessity of the open door policies and the necessity to prevent Russian influence on the third world. Russia, on the other hand, was against colonialism for ideological reasons such as freedom and world peace. Russia also wished that Africa should fall in line with the national interest of USSR. Both powers were in favor of ending colonial rule in Africa and they put a great deal of pressure on ending it at the conclusion of the war. Both powers had great interest of having Africa under their influences and as markets for their products.

The United Nation organization also contributed to the growth of nationalism in Africa. The objective of the UN was to develop relationships between the nations based on the respect of the principal of equality of peopleís right and the rights of nations of self -determination.

Rise of Movements

As stated before, independence occurred due to World War II. Europe who was a great power was a weakened and defeated power in the 40ís. With help of the West, independence in the colonies seemed inevitable. The British thought it was better for them to retreat before the rise of nationalism became an oncoming tide of nationalism. Great Britain knew this to be true so there was not much effort made to stop the independence movement in her colonies