Colonialism and the Rise of African Nationalism

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Lumumba was the first leaders of Congo, which was previously ruled under Belgian colonialism. He was inexperienced in leading and decolonizing he was only given about 6 months to prepare, versus Nigeria which Britain gave 10 years to prepare for such a change. Few Belgian officials were left in Congo, which caused chaos to erupt, and rebellion of the people. Congo was a mineral rich state, which caused it to become threatened and left it vulnerable to foreign powers. Congo changed from Belgian colonialism to international colonialism. International troops came to help Congo at the request of the Prime Minister. United Nations peacekeepers came in attempt to keep the chaos under control. However, this did not work as expected. Foreign-backed paramilitary rebels kidnapped, tortured, and killed Lumumba. Enemies of Africa used these unfortunate events as proof that Africa was incompetent and could not govern itself. This event was a huge step backwards. There was no more unity among African countries. (The Rise of Nationalism)

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        In Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, 43 African nations came together in a Pan-African Conference. The Organization of African Unity compromised between 2 extremes, one of which was a concentrated continental government, and the other which was nations divided by language.

        Nkrumah became the first prime minister of Ghana after Ghana’s decolonization. He was a big supporter of Pan-Africanism; however, he was accused of neglecting his own country. Nkrumah spent much of his time in countries other than his own. In 1966, Nkrumah was away in another country. Military generals rebelled against the government and took over the country.

        In Guinea-Bissau, Cabral was the country’s leader. He wanted to rebel against the oppressive Portuguese but could not get any help from the West. He turned to communists for help and ended up leading a guerrilla warfare liberation movement against Portugal’s fascist government to fight for the independence of his own country. The military, however, was only after independence. Their military was made up of militants rather than professional soldiers. After the struggle, the militants had to go back to working. In 1973, Cabral was assassinated. (The Rise of Nationalism)

        In Rhodesia, ~250,000 their population was made up of white people. White Westerners dominated the country’s government. Native Africans were not given any rights, and those who stepped outside of rule were imprisoned with no trial, or simply massacred. They did not allow the native Africans to maintain independence. Rhodesia became independent Zimbabwe in 1980.

        South Africa has denied black people human rights ever since the slave trade. Anti-apartheid leaders are jailed. Nelson Mandela, who was a revolutionary, was jailed for more than 20 years. Protestors who fought for their human rights in the country were shot and killed by police. It is estimated that between 80-200 people were shot in the event of one protest. Children refused to attend school in protest of the current state of the government but were shot and killed by police. In response to this massacre, there was a revolutionary uprising by young people. This event signaled a positive revolutionary oncoming change in the government and is a powerful symbol of the fight for independence all over the continent of Africa. (The Rise of Nationalism)

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Colonialism and the Rise of African Nationalism. (2020, Mar 23). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from

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