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The Importance Of Mau's Achievement Of Independence In Kenya

1205 words - 5 pages

The Importance of Mau's Achievement of Independence In Kenya

The Mau Mau played a very important role in helping Kenya to gain its
independence from British rule. Their presence sparked off the growth
in nationalist feelings, which made people see that the British were
not needed and also made the Kenyans realise just how badly they were
being exploited. Although the British didn't give in to the Mau Mau
through their terror tactics it made the British both in Kenya and in
Britain realise their presence was not accepted and appreciated.

However, as well as the Mau mau, there were a lot of other factors
which contributed towards Kenya getting its independence.

A major factor leading to independence was the British Prime Minister
Macmillan of the conservative government. He had been appointed to try
and her Britain to decolonise. When he was appointed Prime Minister he
ordered a cost analysis to be done, taking note of how much money each
colony made for Britain and how much it was costing the country. His
aim was to decolonise the countries which could take care of
themselves and rule sufficiently but still maintain trade with the
British. He realised things weren't going too well and appointed
Lennox-Boyd to go and take care of things in Kenya and to see if they
were fit to rule themselves.

Lennox-Boyd went to Kenya and reported that it would be at least 15 -
20 years before the Kenyans would be fit to rule themselves as they
were not civilised and not educated enough to run the government of a
country unaided. Lennox-Boyd set up the Lennox-Boyd constitution
trying to settle disputes. However the new committee was unfair to the
Black Africans. The majority of representatives appointed were
Europeans, then Asians and lastly Africans. The Africans didn't like
the constitution, which later had to be changed. Boyd changed his own
constitution to make Africans have more representatives in
authoritative positions. However the Africans were still not happy.

Increasing pressure on Britain from the USA to decolonise also spead
up the process. The USA was opposed to colonies as they wished to be
able to trade freely where ever they wished. When countries had
colonies they were limited as to who and what they could trade with.

Pan African Nations were seeing their independence. Kenya had links to
Ghana through Mboya, a well educated man who wanted freedom, who also
had close ties with the USA. The leader of Ghana was advising Mboya on
what action to take, and even offering financial support. The people
of Kenya saw countries around them becoming free and made them even
more determined.

In order to prevent the Mau Mau causing any more terror, British and
kikuyu loyalists would gather up anyone they suspected and put the in
detention camps with out trial. In the camps they would...

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