Notes on P. 666 – 669, 723 – 727, and 804 – 806

Beginnings of the Liberation Struggle in Africa

· Began with small pre-colonial western-educated groups.
o Became very involved in WWI.
· Discontent and conflicts postwar were caused by Africa witnessing Europe’s weakness.
o Broken postwar promises for political organization added to the outrage.
o On top of further discontent over the Great Depression.
· Western-educated politicians didn’t seek out urban workers or peasants to bolster their standing as nationalists, even though many other peoples did elsewhere in the world (1940s).
o Early African American nationalists, such as Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. Du Bois began establishing pan-African organizations in the 1920s and 1930s (anti-colonial sentiment).
o Pan-Africanism = A movement, founded around 1900, to secure equal rights, self- government, independence, and unity for African peoples.
· Since the French were much more restrictive about political organization, nationalists were centralized in Paris during the mid-1920s.
· British colonial nationalists were able to focus on their individual areas due to a more tolerant gov’t.
o The négritude literary movement in France (Léopold Sédar Senghor, Léon Damas and Aimé Césaire) reversed racial stereotypes about African intellectual inferiority.
o National Congress of British West Africa was established in British territories to allow African leaders ties with pan-colony associations.
§ In the 1920s, many of these organizations shrank into separate local groups concerned with individual colonies.
§ Strengthened when surprisingly tolerant British government allowed Western-educated Africans to be representatives in some colonies advisory councils.

Liberation of Non-settler Africa

· Africans became acquainted with European weapons due to the era’s conscriptions, confiscations, inflation, and increased racial discrimination.
o This allowed the natives to turn on their overlords effectively.
· Wartime demands allowed previous limiting colonial economic policies to be lifted and allowed for swift, rural migration to aid the massive industrialization and urbanization.
· Non-settler decolonization plans followed one of two plans.
o Restiveness or, radicalism.
o Negotiations and concessions, or gradualism.
· Kwame Nkrumah, was the Prime Minister of Ghana (1957) who’s radical leadership united nationalists throughout British and French colonies.
o In the 1940s, when Nkrumah returned to Ghana, the area was experiencing widespread civil disobedience.
o By 1948, it developed into rioting, led by urban workers, farmers, and the western-educated elite.
o Established the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) since he was sick of moderate African leader's reluctance to organize opposition groups.
· The French made negotiations with leaders like Senghor and Felix Houphouât-Boingy, resulting in reforms, political advancement, and the domination of moderate African leaders throughout the independence movements.
o By mid 1960s, all French west African colonies were free.
· Belgium fled from Congo in 1960 without any hope of regaining control.
· Settler societies were essentially extinct by the mid-1960s.

Repression and Guerrilla War: The Struggle for the Settler Colonies

· European elite groups in Africa (Boers or Afrikaners) blocked indigenous nationalism and concessions for settler colonies like Algeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
· When peaceful protest and negotiations yielded no results, African leaders had no choice but to resort to violence:
· Kenya
o 1950s – Jomo Kenyatta and the Kenya Africa Union (KAU) lead the Land Freedom Army guerrilla attacks against the British settlers and loyalists.
§ 1954 – Failed coup gets Kenyatta and the KAU imprisoned by the British who viewed the "Mau Mau" as a dangerous insurgency.
o 1956 – Mau Mau suppressed, but British open up to negotiations.
§ Fortunately, Kenyatta is released and Kenya became independent with a one-party rule by 1963.
· Algeria
o The French grudgingly held on to Algeria since they had already retreated from Vietnam.
o The National Liberation Front (FLN) mobilized the Arabs and Berbers into a full-scale revolt.
o de Gaulle came to power in 1958, coincidentally when the French began to negotiate independence with Algerians.
o His efforts were setback by violent skirmishes between settlers and natives.
o The Secret Army Organization (OAS) attacked Arabs, Berbers, and their sympathizers while ending the Fourth Republic in a coup in 1958.
§ They also tried to overthrow the Fifth Republic by killing de Gaulle.
o Gained independence in 1962.

The Persistence of White Supremacy in South Africa

· Violent revolutions throughout the 1980s ended settler dominance in several colonies.
o Angola (1975)
o Mozambique (1975)
o Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (1980)
· Afrikaners born in this area considered themselves to have a distinct identity, separate from the Dutch and British overlords.
· Afrikaners were an extremely racist group who, following the Boer War, awarded themselves political concessions for internal political control and control over the larger black population.
o Centralized as the Afrikaner National Party in 1948 and gained South African independence in 1961.
o The Apartheid system was an account of thousands of laws, similar to the American “Black Codes”.

The Apartheid State and its Demise

· Even in the 1970s, after most colonies had been abandoned/decolonized, South Africa was the largest, most populous, and prosperous part of Africa. (Still colony)
· The apartheid was used to affirm white minority rule, and monopolize political and economic influence for the British and Dutch.
· In order to discourage the black population, the state created homelands.
o Homelands were impoverished and overpopulated, making them ideal places to find cheap labor for mines, factories, and farms.
o Favoritism was intentionally used to pit leaders and groups against each other, escalating internal conflict.
· Well-equipped, well-trained police force was established to maintain the apartheid.
o Heavily funded by the state.
o Was extremely successful in suppressing protests, despite being ruthless.
o Leaders like Walter Smith and Nelson Mandela were imprisoned in maximum-security prisons.
o Steve Biko and others of the Black Consciousness movement were murdered in custody, and organizations like the African National Congress were outlawed altogether.
· Guerilla warfare intensified from 1960 on.
o Oppression continued and intensified up until the late 1980s.
o International boycotts, failed military expenditures, and the continued conflicts with guerillas convinced white Afrikaners to negotiate with leaders such as moderate F. W. de Klerk
§ Released Nelson Mandela!
§ Mandela became the first black president of the country and the National Congress party gained power.
§ de Klerk's party (supported primarily by whites) conceded power peacefully, finally implementing a pluralist democracy.

Colonial Power
Nature of Movement
Key Leader(s)
1954 - 1962
Mohammed Ahmed Ben Bella
Now a Democracy
Began as peasant uprising over
control of crops
Holden Alvaro Roberto
Belgian Congo
(Owned by
King Leopold)
Corruption led to violence
Scandal in 1908 exposed corruption
King Leopold
Patrice Lamumba
Civil wars
Economy = oil
March 6th
Peaceful negotiations
Kwane Nkrumah
October 2, 1968
First Marxist state
in Africa (Soviet aid)
Peaceful transition to independence.
Junta - military dictatorship
Samory Toure
*Economic aid - Russia
Presidential republic
December 12, 1963
Secret Mau Mau Society waged
wars against the British settlers
along with manyof their own peoples
Harry Thuku
Tom Mboya
Jomo Kenyatta
Joseph A.Z.
But with little
(In our Googledoc)

South Africa
Independence 1910
De-segregation 1994
Shaka Zulu

Paul Krugger
Successful in gaining independence,
but not equality or prosperity
Summary of Africa
African countries have only recently broke free from the clutches of European imperial rule, claiming independence. The African colonies were exploited by these European empires for economic gain and expansion. The colonies were a serious source of income through their extractable raw materials and natural resources. Many Africans were put to work (many through slavery), which consequently ushered them into the realm of global trading. The prosperity was enjoyed disproportionally, of course, leaving the masses with little to live off of. These conditions were tolerated at first, but the African colonies eventually began revolutions or negotiated their way towards independence. Nationalism was a common factor for most of these revolutions and had been spreading throughout Africa for years beforehand. In some cases the revolutions grew too troublesome for European nations to continue asserting control over their African colonial territory. In other cases the European nations understood that they could no longer feasibly retain control of their colonies and negotiated their independence. This was the case for Belgium in the Belgian Congo and France in Guinea, where they agreed that separation would be mutually beneficial. In Algeria, an important factor to their revolution’s success was their powerful leader, Ahmed Ben Bella – a veteran of WWII, who created then National Liberation Front (FLN). Algeria was freed after a war of independence and Ben Bella was made a president of the fledgling nation. Slowly, every single African nation was successful in gaining independence, but many were unable to create equality any better than when they were colonies, and some formed new corrupt governments (posing as democracies). These pseudo-democracies were more autocratic than free and the leaders ended up with most of the power.