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Nationalism can be defined as the desire for Africans to end all forms of foreign control and influence so as to be able too take charge of their political, social and economic affairs. Before 1960 most of Africa was still under colonial control. However, by 1970 most of Africa was independent of European colonialism. 

African nationalism is however, a product of colonialism in Africa. It is traced from colonial imposition in 1880s with anti-colonial resistances such as the Mandika (1882-89), Nandi (1895-1905), Hehe (1891-98) and Majimaji (1905-07) resistances. African nationalism grew in intensity and complexity with the years after the formation of colonial states and intensification of colonial oppression.

African nationalism reached its intolerant height during the decade following the end of World War II as colonial exploitation intensified to intolerable state. It passed through three phases; the Proto nationalism phase, 1884-1919; the Cooperatives, Welfare, Workers and Independent Religious Movements phase, 1920-1945 and Mass Nationalism, 1945-1960s. Independence was achieved by three major forms; constitutional means, warfare and revolutionary means.

Phases of Nationalism 

1. Before 1945
The process of decolonization or national liberation was fundamental in Africa. It allowed African state to regain their independence which they had lost for more half centuryNationalism before 1945 was elitist i.e. it was not directly related to a political goal. It was intended to seize political power. The main aim of the Africans at this stage was to have reforms in colonialism such as end of land alienation, taxation and forced labor.

2. After 1945
The rise of Africa nationalism data back to the period of colonial conquest and the imposition of colonial rule on one hand and primary African resistance against colonial rule on the other hand . But later the intensification of exploitation stimulated the nationalistic struggle. Nationalism was seriously nationalistic. It aimed at over throwing alien rule.The African were not interest in just changes, but complete independence.

Kenneth Kaunda, Samora Machel & Julius Nyerere


There were various factors that contributed to the rise of nationalism; these factors were categorized into internal and external factors.


These were those that stimulated hostility from within Africa. The main factor was colonialism which is divided into two sub–factors.

1. Exploitation

a) Land alienation.
Land alienation involved grabbing of land from the natives by the white settlers. Land was taken so that the colonialists get areas where cash crops production and mining activities can take place to produce the required raw materials. Land alienation was common in settler colonies such as Zimbabwe.

b) Taxation
The colonialists introduced various taxes as an indirect way of getting cheap labor. The taxes which were introduced included poll and hut taxes, but these taxes were collected with a lot brutality. Some people were flogged and even failed to pay taxes

c) Forced labor.
The colonialists introduced labor laws that completed or forced the Africans to provide cheap and sometimes free on European economic enterprises. Laws such as Kipande system in Kenya competed all able bodies to provide cheap labor on white settlers’ farms, failure to provide labor punishment was given.

2. Payment of low prices to peasants’ products

Peasant were exploited, these group increase cooperation among themselves and boy cotts, strike and other movements threatened colonialism and establish the great challenge that led to the freedom and way to form political parties which were the main venue for forming government.

These cooperatives were, Kilimanjaro Native planter Association KNC) The Bataka Association - Uganda and The Bukoba Cooperative Union. The peasants produced products which they sold to the colonial government, but they received low prices for their products yet the white settlers were given higher producer, prices. This prompted them to fight for independence.

3. Dictatorial nature of the colonial government.

The colonial powers established their governments in African by using the barrel of the gun. The Africans hated the oppressive resistance such as the army, police and prison. To make matters worse, Africans were not allowed to be in any higher position in colonial government.

4. Role of Colonial Education

Colonial education resulted into emergence of education group elite. These group had a great hope and constitutions, after their education, their hope was to get while color job like good employment was difficult, low wages and segregation in work was common. These educated Africans started to mobilize their fellow Africa to stand up for for the independence. These educated Africans formed the political parties to demand Independence constitutional with other organized gorilla fighting.

Colonial Education produces elites who played a crucial role in the rise of African nationalism. People like Nyerere in Tanganyika, Nkurumah in Ghana and Banda in Malawi organized Africans to form political parties that contributed to the rise of African Nationalism.

5. Formation of independent churches

These were churches that were formed by the Africans as a reaction to which they were facing in the European churches. These churches addressed not only religious issues, but also political and economic grievances. The examples of these churches are the African National church in Tanganyika contributed to the rise of Nationalism by exposing the evils committed by colonialism.

6. The role of trade unions

The trade unions were formed by workers as a reaction to their exploitation and oppression under colonialism. The trade union had numerous demands e.g. increased wages and better conditions. The examples of Trade union included Tanganyika Territory Civil services Association in Tanganyika, Nyakato Agricultural Institution. The trade unions contributed greatly to the rise of African nationalism by putting pressure on the colonial power to implement changes in colonialism.

7. Italian and Ethiopian conflict.

The Italian–Ethiopian conflict contributed to the development of African nationalism. They fought from 1935 to 1941 between the Italians under Mussolini and Hailee Selassie respectively, though the Ethiopians were defeated but their determined resistance to protect their independence encouraged Africans to fight for their independence.

8. The role of returned soldiers

The ex soldiers from WWI and WWII contributed to the rise of nationalism. These promises were promised employment and good life and return. The promises were not Fulfilled from there, these soldiers started to question the colonial government. -These soldiers came with new ideas and technique for fighting one of the ideas used that "white man can be defeated" Example: Dedan Kimath during Maumau was in kenya 1952, the soldiers were abandoned false idea, that white man can not be defeated". the experience in the war seen white man dying and other running away.

This gave them hope that it was possible to fight the white man as Samora Machel once said "in sawing the seen evolution ..............and whenever a peacefully means fail, violence is inevitable. This was also applied by Frantz Fanon when advised Africans to use violence as means of maintain Independence and history.

9. Independent of Ghana

Some few analysis that, Ghana contributed a lot towards the independence African countries in different way. -After attained her Independence during 1957, this independence stimulated and encourage other African countries to struggle for nationalism, the country also take as case study and centre for training liberation armies and from the thought obtained in Ghana It was easy for other country to speed up the nationalism movement.

Kwame Nkurumah (Ghana), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria) and Kamuzu Banda (Malawi)


The rise of African nationalism was also influenced by global situation, there were forces operating from outside Africa which played a big role in the rise of African nationalism.

1. The role of the United Nations (UN)

The end of WWII was led to the formation of the international organization like united Nations which was against all forms of exploitation and colonialism in different part of the world, this organs was played the great role in the independence struggle in different parts of Africa because this body helped different colony to regain back their independence and demise colonialism in different parts of Africa because it was the distructive and distance for the development in Africa.

A part from that UNO has ordered some colonial powers to prepare the territory to the independent. Example British was given Tanganyika and ordered to prepare the territory until it become capable to be Independent.

The United Nations Organization was formed in 1945 with the main objective of maintaining peace in the world. The UN formed the Trusteeship council which had to make sure that all colonies regain their independence by using peaceful means. Tanganyika is one of the countries that benefited from the United Nations because it was trusteeship territory.

2. The Pan Africanism movement

This movement was formed in the United States of America by the Black people in Diaspora. The main goal of the movement was to fight for the abolition of slave trade and slavery, but after the abolition of slave trade it turned into a liberation movement whereby it advocated for nationalism. The movement argued that, “Africa was Africans” After the independence of Ghana in 1957, that Pan Africanism movement shifted its headquarters to Accra where it spear headed the independence of many African countries.

3. The rise of the United States of America

The end of WWII, market the new power coming up USA, took the part of Britain USA had no colonies in Africa and From there it needed areas for getting raw materials, markets and areas for investment to get their colonies she had to encourage the so called "open door policy". She encourage other European countries to grant independence for their colonies.

Much more USA adapted capitalism Ideology to ensure such Ideology spread through the world, she decided to support nationalism/decolonization movement as the best way to make expansionism and spread the idea of the capitalism

4. The role of the USSR

The WWII ended with the rise of socialist, USSR was making a step towards Industrial development hence demanded areas for the economic motives like areas for raw material, market and capital investment. This need made USSR to support decolonization process.

5. China revolution

The revolution of China 1949 unfitness the rising of the plotetarial and peasant forming a government of socialist since socialism was against colonialism it supported decolonization process in different parts of the world.

After the Second World War the USA emerged as the leading economic and political power. The reasons were; World War Two was not fought in America, hence it did not experience destruction of industries and infrastructure. During the war the, USA was the supplier of war requirement in Europe hence it gained a lot of profits. The USA introduced the open door policy through which the USA needed raw materials, markets and areas for investments from overseas.

Pan-Africanist Pioneers:  Edward Wilmot Blyden, Henry Sylvester Williams and William Edward Burghardt  Du Bois


Ghana was one of the African countries that attained independence by the use of peaceful methods or constitutional method. Ghana was initially called Gold coast. In 1946 the British colonial government introduced what was called the Burns constitution. Although this constitution provided for an African majority in the legislative council, it had two main weaknesses.

1. The legislative council was merely advisory and it did not have deliberative vote, the decisions were made by the British officials.

2. Its representatives were very limited because out of the eighteen, thirteen were chiefs who were selected by their fellow chiefs who were supporters of the colonial system.

The Burns aroused frustration among the Africans in Ghana especially elites. As a result they formed a nationalist movement known as the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 under the leadership of SB Danquah, Kwame Nkrumah was the secretary. The UGCC organize numerous attacks to the colonial government, this forced it make another constitution known as the “coussey constitution”. This constitution proved for more elected members in the legislative council. In addition eight out of eleven cabinet posts were to be held by Africans.

The new constitution seemed to have pleased some of the members of the UGCC, but the radical ones e.g. Kwame Nkurumah broke away from the UGCC and formed another nationalist movement known as the Convention People Party (CPP) in 1947.

The CAP had two powerful slogans known as, “Seek first the political Kingdom and all things will be added unto it” and “self government now”. The CPP was advocating for complete independence and not changes in colonialism. There was a political movement known as the National Liberation Movements (NLM) that was formed to challenge CPP.

 Dr Kwame Nkrumah giving  independence speech on 6th March,1957 

Reasons for a Successful Independence Struggle in Ghana

There are various factors that account for a successful independence struggle in Ghana. It is one of the first African countries to attain independence. Ghana attained its independence in 1957.

1. Absence of tribalism.
There was absence of tribalism in Ghana whereby the political party, Convention Peoples Party was not associated with any major tribe in Ghana. The absence of tribalism made it possible for the nationalists to get enough support that was needed to present a common front against the colonial government.

2. Strong leadership.
Strong leadership is one of the factors that enabled Ghana to acquire her independence earlier than many African countries, Kwame Nkurumah was a strong leader who was able to unite all Africans in Ghana and fight for one common cause that is independence.

3. Clear policies
The Convention Peoples Party that fought for Ghana’s independence had clear policies and elaborates programs. The party advocated for better prices for peasants products high wages to African workers and getting rid of colonial rule. This impressive idea managed to get support of the people in the struggle for independence.

4. Common language.
The use of English as a common language helped greatly to the independence struggle in Ghana. This language was known to almost all the people in Ghana hence they became aware about the objectives of the Ghanaian nationalists and gave them the much needed support against the colonial government.

5. Absence of many white settlers.
There was absence of many white settlers in Ghana; the British had established a peasant economy thus they did not invest heavily. The absence of many white settlers made it easy for the British to grant independence to Ghana.

6. Good transport system.
Ghana had relatively a good transport system which was helped by the small nature of the country. The transport system made it possible for the nationalists to move around the country campaigning to overthrow the colonial regime.

7. Popularity of CPP
The CPP was very popular in Ghana; the party had great support from the cocoa growers and the peasants and there were the ones who made up the biggest party of the population. The party became so popular that in the 1951 elections, it won 33 seats against the three of UGCC. Following this result a government and in 1952, he became the Gold coasts first prime minister. On March of 6 th 1957, the Gold coast became independent taking the name of the ancient Ghana Empire, In July 1960; Ghana became a republic with Kwame Nkurumah as the first president.

8. External forces
External forces such as the United Nations Organization rise of USSR and the USA contributed greatly to the independence of Ghana. The UN put pressure on Britain to grant independence to Ghana. The USSR pledged to assets all African countries in their struggle for independence.

Ghana Independence Day

Role of Ghana to African Nationalism

The independence of Ghana in 1957 marked a turning point in Africa, it played a great role in ensuring the rest of the continent is liberated from colonial rule and this cause was led by Kwame Nkurumah.

1. Inspiration
The independence of Ghana in 1957 inspired many African countries to fight for their independence as well. Kwame Nkurumah acted as a limelight to other African states that were still under colonialism to fight for their independence. This is one of the reasons that encouraged Africans to use armed struggle so as to attain independence.

2. Material support.
Ghana under Kwame Nkurumah provided financial support to most of the nationalist movements in Africa that were fighting for independence. The financial and moral support given by Nkurumah inspired many African countries to fight against colonial rule.

3. Headquarters of the pan African movement.
Following the independence of Ghana in 1957, Accra the capital city of Ghana became the headquarters of the pan African movement. The Pan African movement played a significant role in the independence of Ghana. In 1958 all independent states such as Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia and Ghana met in Accra where they laid strategies on how to help other African countries to attain independence.

4. Encouraged African unity.
Kwame Nkurumah contributed to the independent of many African countries by encouraging unity in the continent. He convened a meeting for all African trade unions in 1959 with the aim to unite all African states into a confederation. African unity was a crucial factor if African was to succeed against colonial rule.

5. Put pressure on France.
Kwame Nkurumah exerted a lot of pressure on France to grant independence to Algeria. In 1959 to 1960 a team of delegates from Africa, Britain and America went to monitor the situation in Algeria. It was Nkurumah who took initiative of such a visit. Ghana also pressurized France to end her dominated in West Africa.

6. The role of radio Ghana.
Radio Ghana played a great role in the struggle for independence. It became the mouth piece of African nationalist movements to air out their feelings towards colonial government exploitation and oppression. Broad casting on the radio led to massive support for the nationalist both in and outside Africa.

7. Ghana became the model.
Ghana under Nkurumah became the model for all African countries to emulate. Nkurumah once said that if he could, he would have delayed the independence of Ghana until a time when other Africa countries are independent. The position of Ghana encouraged many African countries to struggle for independence.

Ethiopian Emperor Selassie (C) and Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah (L) at the formation of the OAU in Addis Ababa, 1963


African struggle for independence in Zimbabwe was complicated because of the dominance of white settlers. After World war Two, there was an influx of white settlers into Zimbabwe that led to massive expropriation of African land. In 1951, Africans formed the all African confederation convention party that aimed at opposing the formation of the federation of three central African colonies i.e. Zimbabwe, Zambia and Nyasaland (Malawi). When the Federal constitution was imposed in 1953, the African convention fell apart.

The White settlers consolidated their independence in 1970 when the country was proclaimed a republic, white settlers had sealed all hopes of a peaceful transition to independence when Ian Smith unilaterally declared independence in 1965 (unilateral Declaration of independence). A new nationalist party called the African National council (ANC) was formed. The aim of the ANC was to oppose the British / Rhodesia agreement and ensure that independence was granted to the African majority.

Nationalist political movements experienced a setback in organizations. Despite these measures the Africans were not discouraged. In, 1960, they formed a new political party called Zimbabwe African peoples Party (ZAPU), this part was led by Joshua Nkomo. ZAPU was banned in 1962 and its leaders were detained, but it continued to operate underground.

A split in ZAPU leadership in 1963 led to the formation of Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) led by Ndabaningi Sethote. The disintegration of the federation following the independence of Zambia and Malawi, forced the Rhodesia. Front (political party of the white settlers) to press Britain to grant independence to Zimbabwe under minority rule. Britain tactfully approved the request and on 11 th November 1965 Ian Smith unilaterally declared Southern Rhodesia independent, since then African nationalist movements were engaged in a prolonged gorilla war until majority rule was declaredin 1980.

Struggle for Independence in Zimbabwe

Factors for Armed Struggle

1. Banning of nationalists movements.
The British colonial government was not ready to grant independence to Zimbabwe, it banned or suppressed many nationalist movements in Zimbabwe making the struggle for independence long and complicated. This position compelled the African nationalists to resort to the use of armed struggle to attain independence.

2. Tribalism.
Tribalism hindered the struggle for independence in Zimbabwe. Most of the Nationalist movements were divided along tribal lines; the dominant tribes were the Shona and Ndebele. Due to tribalism the Africa nationalists could not put a common front against the colonialists, thus the only alternative left was to use armed struggle to attain independence.

3. Richness of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is so rich in terms of minerals such as gold and diamond and it has enough fertile soil that can support the growth of cash crops that were needed in the metropolitan countries. The richness of the colony made it difficult for the colonial government to grant it independence, this made the Africans to use armed struggle.

4. Establishment of a settler economy.
The white settlers had established a settler economy in Zimbabwe where they had invested so much in plantation farms and mining activities. The massive investments made the colonial government reluctant to grant the Africans independence because it would tantamount to scarifying all the wealth in Zimbabwe. This position made the Africans to use armed struggle.

5. Declaration of independence by Ian Smith.
The white settlers in Zimbabwe requested Britain to grant Zimbabwe independence but under minority rule i.e. controlled by the white settles. Britain approved the request and in 1965 Ian Smith unilaterally declared Zimbabwe independent, but under minority rule. This action prompted the Africans to engage in an armed struggle to attain their independence.

6. Harshness of the colonial government.
The colonial government was very harsh in Zimbabwe; nationalist leaders were imprisoned and the government pursued policies such as forced labor whereby to implement this; travel passes were introduced to try and limit the movement of the people.

7. Disunity.
The political parties in Zimbabwe were not united thus it became very difficult for them to present a common front against the colonial government. There were sharp differences between the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and Zimbabwe African People’s Party (ZAPU). These differences left African nationalist like Mugabe with no choice but to use armed struggle.

8. Support of the imperialist power.
The Zimbabwe minority regime was supported by the imperialist’s powers in order to defend their interests. This was seen when powers like the USA, France and Germany failed to observe the United Nations sanctions code against Ian Smith minority regime.
NB: These factors compelled the African nationalist leaders to use armed struggle, majority rule in Zimbabwe was achieved in 1980.

Zimbabwean 1st President Robert Mugabe on Independence Day in 1980



The early political movements in Angola developed mainly along ethnic lines. The initial political parties expressed cultural activities like praising African culture. In December 1956, the movement for peoples liberation of Angola (MPLA) advocated for equal rights of the all the colonized people irrespective of their color, creed or tribe.

In 1962, the Front for National liberation of Angola (FNLA) was formed. By this time, there were two major liberation movements i.e. the MPLA and FNLA. Later the FNLA split thus creating another liberation movement called union for Total independence of Angola (UNITA), under the leadership of Jonas Savimbi. UNITA declared that it would stand for full independence of Angola.

A positive element in the struggle for independence occurred in 1974 at a meeting in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo where the MPLA and the FNLA adopted a common front in their struggle for independence. The three major movements, MPLA, FNLA and UNITA met in January 1974 at a meeting in Mombasa, Kenya under the leadership of Present Jomo Kenyatta. At this meeting the three major movements agreed to end all types of constitutes and propaganda which hampered unity and cooperation.

The MPLA, the largest and the strongest movement took the reins of the state in spite of the civil wars. The situation worsened when Fascist South Africa invaded Angola in support of UNITA and FNLA. However, of June 1976 the MPLA’s forces and the MP assumed full control of Angola.

Angolan 1st President Agostinho Neto thanking Cuban President Fidel Castro for much  support in achieving Angola Independence in 1975


In Mozambique the nationalist movements championing the grievances of both the workers and peasants emerged in the 1960. Due to the suppression of nationalist movements within Mozambique, nationalist movements were organized from outside by Mozambicans in exile.

These movements included the following:
1. National Democratic union of Mozambique formed in Southern Rhodesia in 1960.
2. Mozambique African National Union formed in Kenya in 1961.
3. African union of independent Mozambique formed in Nyasaland in 1961.

By the end of 1961, all the three nationalist movements had shifted their headquarters to Dar es Salaam. In 1962 they merged or joined to form front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO).

FRELIMO concentrated on training cadres, party organization and mobilization of world support. Actual armed struggle began in Mozambique in 1964 and the final victory of FRELIMO and the people of Mozambique came in 1975 and Samora Machel became the President.

 FRELIMO Guerrillas

Reasons for armed struggle in Angola and Mozambique:

1. Banning of nationalist movements.
Portugal banned all nationalist movements in these colonies because she was not ready to grant independence. The nationalist movements in Mozambique were operating from outside, this complicated the struggle for independence thus the Africans had to resort to the use of armed struggle.

2. The perception of portages.
Portugal like France always argued that she had no colonies in Africa, but overseas provinces that were part of Portugal. Portugal claimed that these territories had no rights for independence. This position forced the Africans to use armed struggle to acquire independence.

3. Portugal was poor.
Portugal was a very poor therefore she depended heavily on her colonies for wealth, due to this predicament Portugal could not grant independence to Angola and Mozambique , forcing the Africans to use armed struggle.

4. Richness of the colonies.
A colony such as Angola was so rich in terms of raw material particularly all thus the Portuguese were not ready to grant it independence, hence the only solution left was to use armed struggle.

5. Portugal was a fascist state
Portugal was a fascist state i.e. was a country that did not believed in democracy to make matters worse, she believed in the everlasting civilizing mission in Africa hence she could not grant independence to Angola and Mozambique when the civilizing mission was incomplete. This altitude compelled the Africans to use armed struggle to regain their independence.

6. Many Portuguese were illiterate.
Many Portuguese were illiterate thus ignorant about the outside world especially of the new form of imperialism. Portugal believed that granting independence to her colonies meant the end of exploitation; hence it became reluctant to grant independence to its colonies.
None the less, Angola and Mozambique were able to acquire independence after a prolonged armed struggle.

Mozambique's first President Samora Machel. The victory of Frelimo over Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique

Contribution of Pan Africanism to the Rise of African Nationalism

The Pan African Conferences
The first Pan African Conference was consequently convened in England 1900 under the leadership of Sylvester Williams, a barrister from Trinidad. Among the other things, the conference discussed human rights violations against African in South Africa and racial discrimination against people of Africa origin in the World. The second Pan African Conference took place after the first world war in 1919. It attracted 50 participant, with twelve of them coming from African continent.

1.The Pan Africanist movement united all Africans from all walks of life to oppose colonialism. The common desire for independence was a unifying factor that terminated tribal interests. By uniting all Africans it became easy to oppose colonial rule.

2. The Government provided a platform or a platform where Africans could discuss the grievances caused by colonialism. In all the congresses of the movement, the people of African origin discussed about implementing the spirit of oneness among all the black people all over the world.

3. The Movement awakened the interests of the Africans to fight for independence. During the conferences of the Pan African movement, members discussed a wide range of issues such as racial discrimination, unfair taxation policies and land alienation which they were facing under colonial rule.

4. The Pan African movement played a big role in the rise of African nationalism because it stressed that the fight for political independence by the Africans was a necessary step towards complete economic and social emancipation.

5.The Pan African congress chose total liberation in their struggle for independence from Manchester. The activities of the movement were shifted to Africa following the independence of Ghana in 1957. The Capital city of Ghana, Accra became the headquarters of Pan Africanism where Kwame Nkurumah spear headed the independence of many African countries.

6.The movement represented the African continent in the international conferences especially in the United Nations Organization (UNO). The United Nations Organization wanted to ensure that all the countries attain independence throughthe peaceful means.

Pan-Africanists: Kwame Nkurumah (Ghana), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria) and Kamuzu Banda (Malawi)


After World War I the world powers worked very hard to stop the occurrence of another great war. In 1920s several peace treaties were signed in an effort to strengthen relations among the European powers. It was however very difficult to create such relations because many European powers were dissatisfied with the conditions they found themselves in, so in the 1930, there was general aggression which worsened the relations between the powers thus culminating into the Second World War.

Causes of the Second World War

1. The Versailles peace treaty.
The terms of the treaty blamed German for being responsible for the outbreak of World War II. The allied powers occupied most of German territories and forced her to disarm. The war reparations made German to become bankrupt leading to inflation and wide spread of unemployment. The German blamed the Versailles treaty for their troubles and Hitler wanted to reverse this situation by adopting an aggressive foreign policy.

2. Hitler’s ambition to restore German dominance in Europe contributed to the outbreak of World War II. He made it clear that German cannot become a world power without affecting another war. He demanded rearmament of German and set out to assert German authority over smaller and weaker states which destabilized European peace.

3.The rise of dictatorship. Dictatorship developed during the 1920 and 1930 which destroyed democratic rights. In Italy Mussolini founded the fascist party in 1919; he seized all political powers of the country and transformed the country into a totalitarian state. The national socialist party or the Nazi party came to power in 1933 in German with;

a) Introduction of the cold war. The cold war was an ideological and economic struggle between two opposing blocs i.e. USA and her allies on one hand and the Soviet Union and her allies on the other hand. The cold war was accompanied by an arm race between USA and USSR

b) Formation of the United Nations. The UN was formed in 1945 to promote peace, security and international cooperation. It was founded on a broader basis than the League of Nations, whereby membership is open to all nations irrespective of their political and ideological belief.

c) Introduction of the marshal plan. The marshal plan was a package of loans given to European countries to reconstruct their economies after the Second World War with the introduction of the marshal plan, the USA found herself getting more involved in European affairs.
d) Formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This was a military alliance of the USA and most states of Western Europe formed in 1949. The organization committed to USA to defend Western Europe and in return those countries would support the USA. This scheme threatened to destroy the communist Russia.

e) Formation of the war saw Pact. The Soviet Union response to NATO was the formation of the war saw pact in 1955 which brought all the soviet satellites into a military union. From the 1950’s Europe remained a divide continent and a major theater of the cold war

f) Formation of NAM. The Non Alignment Movement was a kind neutralism i.e. a policy of not aligning with any power block; it is therefore a free and independent policy whereby international issues are decided on merit.

g) Loss of live. The World War II led to huge loses of lives because very many people, both soldiers and civilian were killed during the war.

h) Massive unemployment. The war created massive unemployment. This was due to the return of the demobilized soldiers and prisoners of war who increased the demand of jobs.

i) Change in the balance of power. The second world war changed the balance of power in the world, it destroyed the economies of power such as France and Britain and contributed to the emergence of the united states of America and the union of soviet socialist republics as the world powers.

Benito Mussolin and Adolf Hitler

Effects of the Second World War in Africa

1. Intensified exploitation. There was intensification of colonial exploitation of African resources so as to reconstruct their economies. There was establishment of development schemes geared towards maximization of capital. The examples of these schemes included Kongwa and Urambo in Tanganyika.

2. Increased state intervention. There was increased colonial state intervention in the production of raw materials and marketing of primary exports. Under peasant agriculture, there was creation of master farmers who were given loans and credits so as to boost the production of raw materials.

3. Establishment of more processing industries. There was establishment of more processing industries to reduce the weight of raw materials so as to keep freight charges low to facilitate their exportation to Europe. The examples of those processing industries are cotton grinner in Mozambique.

4. Intensification of African nationalism. There was intensification of African nationalism because of returning African soldiers who came back with new ideas like the Europeans are not invincible; they can be defeated in a prolonged struggle. This belief encouraged the Africans to fight for their independence.

5. Introduction of American neo–colonialism. Due to the second world war, the USA emerged as the leading capitalist power, but it had no colonies hence she introduced the open door policy whereby she put pressure on the European countries to grant independence to African countries. The introduction of the open door policy later led to the introduction of American neo–colonialism in Africa.

6. Loss of lives. The Second World War led to heavy losses of lives because many of the people who were taken to fight never returned back because they were killed on the battle fields.

7. Collapse of the Italian imperialism. The Second World War contributed to the collapse of Italian imperialism in Africa. The defeat of the central powers where Italy was an active member forced her to lose her colonies of Libya and Eritrea.

8. There was change in the mandatory status of former German colonies such as Tanganyika, Namibia, Rwanda and Burundi had become mandate states under the League of Nations organization, they became trusteeship territories.

Second World War

The Role of the Second World War in the Rise of African Nationalism

The Second World War played a great role in the rise of African nationalism by doing the following

1. Formation of UNO.
The UNO was formed in 1945 with the main objective of maintaining peace in the world. The UN formed the trusteeship council which had to make sure all colonies gain their independence by using peaceful means. Tanganyika is one of the countries that benefited from UN because it was a trusteeship territory.

2. Rise of the USA.
After the World War II, USA emerged as a leading economic and political power. USA introduced the open door policy though which USA needed raw materials, markets and areas for investment from overseas hence her support for decolonization became paramount so as to have access to these needs in the colonies. 


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