World World War by supplying their empires with both

World War 2 along with economic,
political and cultural factors were the main reasons that promoted
decolonization because it weakened European powers and even ended some. In 1945 European powers were in decline and nationalism
was growing rapidly amongst the colonial subjects, British and European power
experienced some roadblocks and unexpected situations at the end of the Second
World War which left them financially weak making them unable to support expensive
military overseas commitments but were still relying
on its empire to produce their economy.

 Colonies went
through industrialization and economic development during the Second World War.

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These factors accelerated the process of decolonization because most of them
became economically sustainable. Even though it is not mentioned often colonies
played one of the most important roles in the Second World War by supplying
their empires with both raw materials and military personnel (11/13/17). A
great example of this is India because it provided Great Britain with
approximately two and half million soldiers. India also produced ammunitions
that the Allies used to fight in the South-Asian region. At the end of the
Second World War the world saw India become one of the largest industrial
economies in the world. The end of the Second World War also led to a reversal
of roles between colonies and their rulers because of improved economic
strength. For instance, Great Britain was in debt to India before the end of
the war. Therefore, the economic strength of colonies allowed them to become
more involved in politics to fight for independence. The loss of India was the
first sign that the British Empire was collapsing since they had the most
invested there. After a short period of time, the British also lost Egypt in
1954. Thereafter, more empires started losing their colonies and by 1975 most
of the colonies were independent.

            Since
colonies were gaining economic strength it contributed to cultural factors
through the rise of nationalism giving a sense of independence to colonies. One
of the most significant, and early events of decolonization was the rebellion
of the 13 American colonies under the British Empire against British rule. This
set the principles that people have the right to rebel against oppressive unjust
rule and governance in which they have no say in. Britain recognized the
independence of the United States in 1783. The nationalistic and social democracy movement within the colonial
countries began to pursue decolonization. Various European countries began to
embrace elements of social democracy and these movements became very important
within European politics after the end of the Second World War. The nationalist
demand for Independence were also fueled by acknowledging this very simple
dynamic, which was while the European power were fighting against fascism
during the second world war, they were in essence fighting for democracy by
referring to the Atlantic charter and at the same time they were denying those
same rights to their colonial subjects, this contradiction gave the nationalist
more means to continually press for decolonization.

            The
Atlantic charter agreed by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in August
1941, was intended to show the world that America and Britain are working together
to fight against fascism. The charter outlined principles of order for the post
war world, which included the ending of further territorial expansion of other
countries and recognition of the right of all people to choose their own
government (p246). There was significant disagreement about the principles of
the charter, Churchill wanted the charter to only apply to the victims of Nazi
aggression, Roosevelt refused, claiming the charter applied everywhere, Britain
was pressured to abide by the terms of the charter. This major disagreement
reflected America’s interest in seeing the breakup of Europe’s empires
(11/13/17). The Atlantic charter was the first political move that great powers
made to end empires for the colonies they have taken over. 

The independence movements in India were becoming more
vocal about the plight of India; and resistance will eventually come from the
Indian National Congress led by Mohandas Gandhi, this movement became the focus
of resistance. The Indian National congress was formed by Indians technocratic
elite, they have been concerned by the racial issues inherent within the
British absentee capitalist control of India. The main goal of the movement was
to establish free and democratic India through political means. The tension
between the Indian movements and Britain increase after the Second World War,
the Indians provided valuable military help in the fight against Japan
especially in Burma, Britain promised Indian independence once the war had
ended, but Britain did not fulfill their promise, which led to a peaceful
Indian protest led by Mohandas Gandhi, he turned the Indian National Congress
from an elite organization of westernized Indians into a mass movement of
resistance against the British.

            Britain
wanted Africa’s decolonization process to be a gradual and transfer of power in
order to protect and install democracy, but Harold Macmillan the British Prime Minster
at time in his ‘wind of change speech’ to the South African Parliament “The
wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not,
this growth of national consciousness is a political fact” (p.292). Formation of UNO and the power of the world opinion.

The formation of united organization lead to the assumption of the world
opinion which become a significance party of the policy consideration of the
colonial power that small countries could not stand for their own decision.

Such opinion crystallized the United Nations which becomes the foremost agency
for hastening decolonization process (12/6/17). The period after the World War
II provide a moral right of the colonies in Africa for what they go for “self-government” by being under the mandatory
territories under British government colonies while they are waiting to rule
themselves. Colonies such as Nigeria, Senegambiaand Gold coast were now backed
by the fact that the colonial powers were exhausted and could no longer ruled
by the foreigners. Kwame Nkrumah’s
Ghana was the first to achieve independence; this was an inspirational moment
for the rest of Africa that strengthened Harold Macmillan’s so called “wind of
change”, after 1957 we see the domino effect of as the early 1960’s saw
Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia following Ghana’s footstep of
achieving independence.