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Decolonization and Postwar Settlements


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Title: Decolonization and Postwar Settlements

Decolonization and Postwar Settlements
Post-Surrender Terms for Japan
  • Condition of Japan following war
  • Japan was devastated.
  • All the cities (except Kyoto), the industries,
    and transportation networks were severely
  • A severe shortage of food continued for several
  • Inflation the cost of living rose by 10 percent
    each month for about two years.

Occupation of Japan (August 1945 - April 1952)
  • The entire operation was mainly carried out by
    the United States.
  • General Douglass MacArthur was named the Supreme
    Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP).
  • The Japanese people cooperated willingly with the
    occupation authorities.
  • The chief objective of SCAP were demilitarization
    and democratization.

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Occupation of Japan (August 1945 - April 1952)
  • Demilitarization
  • The remains of Japans war machine were
  • Japan basically lost all the territory seized
    after 1894.
  • Eventually able to maintain self-defense forces.

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Occupation of Japan (August 1945 - April 1952)
  • Democratization
  • Economic reforms
  • Effort to eliminate big business conglomerates
    independent companies such as Honda, Toyota, and
    Sony emerged.
  • Land reform program to achieve a more equitable
    distribution of wealth.

Occupation of Japan (August 1945 - April 1952)
  • Democratization, cont.
  • Educational reforms
  • Efforts to remove militaristic and
    ultra-nationalistic influences from schools.
  • Suspended the teaching of Japanese history and
    geography until new textbooks could be written.
  • Encouraged students to think (no rote learning).
  • Reorganized school system after U.S. pattern.

Occupation of Japan (August 1945 - April 1952)
  • Democratization, cont.
  • Political reforms
  • Eliminate the power of the emperor (figurehead)
    announce that he was not divine peerage
  • Make the executive power of the government
    responsible to the people or the representatives.
  • Establish a legislative body that would be
    directly responsible to all adult citizens
    (universal suffrage).
  • Develop democratically controlled political
  • Eliminate ties between the government and Shinto
  • Adoption of a new constitution and bill of rights.

Peace Treaty
  • U.S. policy changed from keeping Japan from
    reemerging as a military power to rebuilding its
    economy and transforming it into an important
    part in the anti-Communist bloc.
  • On the same day that the peace treaty was signed,
    a mutual security pact was signed between Japan
    and the U.S. It provided for continued U.S.
    military presence to protect it from communism.
  • Okinawa was to remain under U.S. occupation
    (1972) retaining rights to military bases.
  • Ratified October 1951 went into effect April

United Nations Declaration on Granting
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,
  1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation,
    domination and exploitation constitutes a denial
    of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the
    Charter of the United Nations and is an
    impediment to the promotion of world peace and
  2. All peoples have the right to self-determination
    by virtue of that right they freely determine
    their political status and freely pursue their
    economic, social and cultural development.

  • As it became apparent that the Europe-centered
    world was no more, anti-colonial nationalism
    surged after 1945.
  • The process of decolonization followed three
    broad patterns
  • Civil war (China)
  • Negotiated independence (Indian subcontinent and
    much of Africa)
  • Incomplete decolonization (Algeria and South

Civil War in China
  • Communist movement in China grew as poverty and
    civil unrest spread.
  • Rise of Mao Tse-tung (Communist)
  • Party membership swelled from a mere 40,000 in
    1937 to over a million in 1945.
  • After Japan surrendered to end World War II, the
    civil war between the Nationalists and the
    Communists resumed.
  • U.S. supports Chiang Kai-shek and his
  • Never fully recovered from its demoralizing
    defeat at the hands of the Japanese. (Lost
    popular support)
  • Corrupt and inefficient government.

Civil War in China
  • Faced with Communist victory, the Nationalist
    leaders escaped and set up a rival Chinese state
    on the island of Formosa (Taiwan) in 1949.

Negotiated Independence in India and Africa
  • In India and much of colonial Africa,
    independence came with little bloodshed.
  • The British withdrew after WWII.
  • Pakistan and India gained independence in August,
  • Problems in India between Hindu majority and
    Muslim minority.
  • Gandhi shot dead by a Hindu zealot in 1948.
  • Indias first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru
    was committed to the goal of state-directed

Decolonization in Africa and Asia after World War
Negotiated Independence in India and Africa
  • Within a decade and a half of Indian
    independence, most of the African states also
    gained their sovereignty.
  • In 1957, the Gold Coast (renamed Ghana) became
    tropical Africas first independent state.
  • By 1963 all of British-ruled Africa except for
    Southern Rhodesia was independent.
  • In each of these colonial possessions,
    charismatic nationalist leaders took charge of
    populist political parties and became the leaders
    to whom the British turned over power.

Decolonization in Africa and Asia after World War
Decolonization in Africa and Asia after World War
Negotiated Independence in India and Africa
  • Decolonization in much of French-ruled Africa
    followed a similarly smooth path, though the
    French were initially more resistant than the
  • At first, treated decolonization as assimilation.
  • France dissolved its political ties with French
    West Africa and French Equatorial Africa in 1960,
    having already given the protectorates in Morocco
    and Tunisia their independence in 1956.

Incomplete Decolonization Algeria and South
  • The presence of sizeable European settler
    populations complicated the path from colony to
  • Algeria 1 million Europeans
  • French leaders claimed that Algeria was an
    integral part of metropolitan France.
  • The colons constituted a minority to the 9
    million indigenous Arabs and Berber peoples.
  • South Africa 4 million Europeans
  • Minority white rule (Afrikaners) persisted.

Incomplete Decolonization Algeria and South
  • The Algerian War of Independence
  • The war dragged on for eight years (1954-1962),
    at a cost of as many as 300,000 lives.
  • At home, French society was torn apart.
  • The negotiations to end the war began only after
    an insurrection led by colons and army officers
    had caused the French Fourth Republic to fall in
    1958 and brought Charles de Gaulle to power.
  • By 1962, more than 9/10ths of the European
    population had departed.

Incomplete Decolonization Algeria and South
  • After winning the elections of 1948, the
    Afrikaner-dominated National Party in South
    Africa enacted an extreme form of racial
    segregation known as apartheid.
  • Apartheid laws stripped Africans, Indians, and
    colored persons (mixed descent) of their few
    political rights.
  • Schools segregated country divided into racial
  • The African National Congress opposed this
  • After the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, peaceful
    protest turned into violent protest.
  • Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison in
  • The West (U.S.) supported South Africa as a
    bulwark against the spread of communism in Africa.