Decolonization 1951–75


Map Code: Ax01201

Following World War II, people across Europe and Africa began to question the morality of the European colonies created during the scramble for Africa in the latter 19th century. It had become increasingly obvious that the colonies were exploitative in nature. The Atlantic Charter, signed by the Allies in 1941, had outlined a plan for the independence of overseas colonies and their right to self-determination and, although there was a level of resistance in Britain, the war had shown that change was needed. The British Colonial Development Act passed in 1929, and equivalent French legislation, had prioritized investment in colonies and had led to educational improvements in Africa. This created a new generation of educated Africans who engaged in politics and independence movements. In 1960, also known as the Year of Africa, 17 African nations gained independence and colonialism began to fade.

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