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What Were The Main Causes Of British Decolonization After World War Two?

889 words - 4 pages

Book Review
The one interesting aspect that I was surprised with my three authors was the little detail given on nationalism in the decolonization process. Before reading these three books, I thought that nationalism played a key factor in decolonization. However, my assumption was incorrect. The author, John Darwin, brought nationalism into question, but ultimately Darwin felt that WWII had weakened the British, which subsequently lead to a problematic post-war economic situation. All the authors discussed nationalism and its part in decolonization, but all came to a conclusion that nationalism may have played a part, but it was insignificant in the entire process of decolonization. Most ...view middle of the document...

The first movement took place during 1945-148 in Asia and the second movement took place during the 1960-1964 in Africa. This was not something that I found in my two other books. However, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire did incorporate how the loss of India did result in further decolonization. James did not discuss the decolonization process in two movements though. Basically Darwin believed that Britain had been weakened by WW2, which then lead to the first movement of decolonization. Both WWII and the first movement then started a vicious cycle in declining influence and power, which Britain struggled to break out of.
One other interesting difference in interpretation is how John Darwin and his book Britain and Decolonisation, did not discuss the British leaderships ultimate goal of voluntarily letting the colonies go. Darwin did discuss how the British leadership knew that the Indian partition would occur, but he did not bring the overall idea of the leadership wanting to decolonize into question. For example, in The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, James wrote that Attlee “saw it as a moral duty to which he and his party had long been pledged.” Even in European Decolonization, Holland wrote that Attlee certainly had a sentimental attachment to the goal of Indian independence. Holland saw the decolonization process as one that all leaders on both sides voluntarily took part in.
All authors came to the conclusion that the Suez Crisis was the culminating event that led to the destruction and decolonization of the British Empire. The Suez Crisis ultimately showed the full measure of Britain’s Middle Eastern weakness and its ability to operate as a world power. All Britain could...

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