Nnamdi Azikiwe: African Nationalism Essay

1. Nnamdi Azikiwe was an active advocate of African nationalism and he took many steps to achieve that goal. He is significant for creating the West African Pilot in 1935, a news outlet that preached loud words about revolution. He reached those under the educated elite as he failed to shy away from controversial issued with his anticolonial viewpoint.

2. Ras Tafari became the leader of Ethiopia in 1930. He strove the modernize Ethiopia just as his predecessor, Menelik, did. Ras is significant for creating the country’s first constitution.

3. General Ibrahim Abbud became the general of the Ethiopian military after a coup de ta occurred in 1958. His authoritarian rule was similar to what the people of Ethiopia were use to. The significance of the coup was that not a drop of blood was shed; therefore hinting it was a set up by the government.

4. Kwame Nkrumah used his appointed title, secretary of the United Gold Coast Convection to create a gathering in 1949 called the Convention People’s Party. He was a well-educated man that led ideals of nationalism for the Gold Coast and all of Africa. He was also part of the organization of the Fifth Pan-African Congress at Manchester.

5. Colonial Development and Welfare Acts were laws aimed for the advancement of whites in Colonial areas. The British executed these acts after the Second World War to ensure the white colonials that they will be protected as British citizens and development will continue through new agricultural technologies.

6. Rassemblement Democratique Africain was a political party developed in French colonial areas in response to French Union. The French union was a constitution developed by the French, but it consisted of undemocratic ideals opposed by many. Many West African officials created the rassemblement after a meeting in Bamako.

7. Mau Mau was a violent and bloody revolution that occurred in Kenya. A revolution aimed at forcing people to hear the grumbles of Africans. The resistance caused such immense turmoil that the country of Kenya was in a state of emergency. Military action had to be summoned in order to quell the uprising. 8. Unilateral Declaration of Independence occurred on November in 1965.

This happened because of the amount of opposition towards Europeans and sudden surge of nationalism. The Unilateral Declaration of Independence allowed self-rule for all African countries. The role cities played in the driving force for African Independence was an important one. Cities led the way in modernization therefore an increase in economic activity in those areas was only necessary. Cities literally transformed the life of individuals, shifting from a rural lifestyle to an urbanized fast flowing life. It was a means of escape from the traditional way of living.

Cities became the center of nations as boundaries and borders were drawn to signify each country’s independence. Education and employment rate rose in cities due to economic development. Cities gave many people an avenue to make a name for themselves and turn nothing into something and that’s what fuel the growth of urban environments. The growth of voluntary associations played a very important political role in African independence movements. The Nigerian National Demographic Party and the National Congress of British West Africa were examples of voluntary associations.

Their growth came from the need the expel European and colonial government from Africa. The restrictions be placed on Africans did not have a place in African culture anymore. The rise of urbanization came along with the growth of these voluntary associations. The direct link between voluntary associations and their political role was the amount of leaders that developed through the associations. Persuasive trailblazers came from voluntary associations and attracted a large following in order to rebel against European forces socially, economically, and physically.

An example of this is the Mau Mau resistance. African’s experience in the first and second world war was largely negative. The difference between the two was the amount of frustrated individuals. After the First World War, the upper echelon, the educated elites were the only ones to truly voice their grievances post World War I, but even then limited due to the discrimination at work places and the possibilities of halting their financial goals. After the Second World War, the experiences were negative, but this time there were many avenues to express those grievances.

Voluntary associations were an example of an avenue and it led to many independence movements. Other impacts the Second World War had on independence movements was it showed African that they possessed the same amount of talent on the battlefield causing individuals to believe they shouldn’t have to face oppression off the battlefield. Africans winning some battles also opened the eyes of many. The ongoing reforms taking place in African cities were not happening at a fast enough pace. That also led to independence movements.

The Second World War is what really got people thinking. The independence of former British colonies was a much easier transition than the colonies of France and Belgium. Great Britain actually made strides in some of its colonies to initiate independence. An example was Tanganyikan. Nigeria and the Gold Coast got their independence not too far from each other after Britain realized that Africa was ready for self-rule. French colonies did not achieve independence quite as smooth British colonies. France was very reluctant to give its colonies full power.

As resistance grew, the French changed their administration process from assimilation to association. The French gave colonies a choice to either ratify the new constitution or cut ties with France completely. Many chose to ratify because cutting ties would stop the development colonial cities were seeing. Former Belgian colonies were almost destined to fail because of geographic demography of Congo. Large distances between cities added complexity to an already complicated situation, but they did get their independence. They did so because of a fearful Belgium community.