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Decolonization of Africa (1945-1991)

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  1. The tyranny form of government
    1. The concept of power
    2. The tyrant, the sole holder of power
  2. Tyranny, a controversial and transient system
    1. A controversial system
    2. A transient regime

In 1945, Africa was the most colonized continent in the world. Only Liberia and Ethiopia, which were released by the British from the Italian occupation, escaped European domination. France occupied French West Africa or AOF (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire), or AEF French Equatorial Africa (Chad, Central Africa, Congo, Gabon) and Madagascar. The United Kingdom was present in East Africa (Sudan, Kenya, British Somaliland), Africa (Southern Rhodesia to become Zimbabwe, South African Union), and West Africa (Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria). Belgium had colonized the Congo (Zaire), Rwanda and Burundi. Portugal dominated the Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique. After 1945, the decolonization movement (emancipation, liberation of the colonies that form independent states) took a massive dimension and accelerated.

The process started in Asia (India, 1947; Indonesia, 1949, and 1954Indo-China war), and continued in Africa, during the "African wave" (1956-1966). This was completed in 1991 by the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. World War II caused a loss of prestige in cities. The humiliating defeats of the Netherlands, mainly from France, who crushed it in five weeks, reduced the fear inspired by the colonial powers that no longer appeared invulnerable. The performance of European countries that were killing each other and the barbarism of the Axis powers, particularly Nazi Germany, called into question the legitimacy of the civilizing mission of white men that allowed European cities to justify the colonization.

The role of the Japanese in Asia contributed to the questioning of European domination. They seized and occupied European colonies, including Indochina and broadcast anti-colonial propaganda, such as "Asia for Asians". They participated actively in the destruction of the myth of the superiority of the white man.
Cities have used their colonies to support their war effort, 175,000 black Africans and nearly 275,000 North Africans fought in the French army and the colonies provided raw materials and agricultural products . Colonies hoped for concessions in return for their commitment and sacrifice.

The Allies declared a "crusade for freedom, democracy and human rights." During the war, Roosevelt wrote to Churchill: "We can fight against fascist slavery and yet not free the peoples under retrograde colonial policy ". The Atlantic Charter (August 1941), signed by Churchill and Roosevelt said "respect the right of peoples to choose the form of government under which they want to live and the restoration of sovereign rights of nations that have been deprived by force ". Colonized people complained of increasing contradictions between the values of justice and freedom defended by the victors of the war and the permanence of colonialism.

Colonization carries its own challenge. In contact with the colonizers, the enslaved people gained national consciousness under the influence of Westernized native elites excluded from power. These elites rejected the administrative and political domination in the name of "right of peoples to self-determination", condemned the "colonial pact" (unequal system in which the colonies are relegated to suppliers of raw materials, mining and agricultural materials) on behalf of the equality of nations and condemn the exploitation of one nation by another and condemned the contradictions of colonial societies.

Tags: Colonization, Atlantic Charter, African wave

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