>>34097 Lack of manpower of WWII, organization of colonial forces into empowered armies due to having to import fighting forces DURING WWII, support from the Soviet Union, and popular opinion being against keeping colonies in almost all cases.
>>34097 After WWII the British were in no state to fight a series of conflicts in the colonies so accepted he idea of peaceful decolonisation, allowing them to remain cordial relations with much of the former empire to this day, with a significant portion remaining the British monarchy still.
Africa was expensive. Most of the colonizing powers weren't really making money on the process, as far as I know. They were all investing heavily in the hopes of future profits. As things got more terse a lot found that it'd just be more expensive and time consuming to try and hold on and opted to cut their losses and assume more informal economic control (which was how it was for decades before the scramble for Africa anyway). Colonization seems to me to have been a failed experiment, and the Europeans decided after the world wars that they weren't inclined to continue it.
The United States probably didn't help, either. They played their part in trying to break up the European powers, and Wilson's 14 points got a lot of colonials riled up with the whole self determination thing.
>>34097 Britain pretty much let go of it's all it's colonies, though not all at the exact time the British wanted them to be let go. Egypt was the exception, it had a military coup, and that succeeded because Egypt wasn't a colony so much as it was a client state. They had a king and they mostly ran things themselves as long as it fell in line with British interest, and so couping shit up wasn't that disruptive to the running of the country. Sudan was also an uppity place that I feel the Brits would have wanted to keep in their sphere of influence a bit longer, but without Egypt and with Sudanese rebellions and coups holding onto it wasn't really an option.
France gave independence to most of it's colonies in favour of focusing solely on keeping Algeria because it was regarded as part of France proper, a la French Guiana. Algeria had a rebellion.
Spain and Portugal, especially Portugal, held on to there stuff for longer because they were dictatorships. Once the dictatorships weakened and some civil wars/rebellions happened in the colonies, they were let go.
Congo can't think of off the top of my head, but pretty sure it was just international pressure.
The independent states, your South Africa's and Rhodesia's also bowed to international and internal pressures.
Obviously as well US and USSR both had a staunchly anti-colonial stance, and they held the most sway post-war.
Empire's largely had no economic value and Britain in particular had lost so many men in WW2 that it couldn't fight a series of colonial wars. A lot of natives from the colonies had also fought for the Crown and therefore had a legitimate claim to independence according to British public opinion.
France and Portugal hadn't lost nearly that many men in the war and France in paticular saw its Empire as its last reservoir of international prestige after their humiliating defeat in WW2.
It's also hugely expensive to run an effective Empire, and most countries didn't have that kind of money after WW2.
It's easier to understand decolonization when you see it not as natives gaining independence, but as the United States and the Soviet Union carving for themselves empires out of the decrepit European ones.
Post-WW2, the major colonial powers were struggling to recover from the war. Most had incurred huge debts, and they were more concerned with keeping their economy going at home than holding onto some backwater colony. Particularly in Africa, the colonies weren't exactly huge sources of money, so trying to hold onto it in the face of a rebellion was expensive.
Perhaps more important was the social and political changes that happened after WW2. The west pretty rapidly liberalized (not the /pol/ boogeyman kind), and the same ideas that killed Austria Hungary - national self-determination - started disseminating through the colonies. What made things worse was the second-class citizen status nearly all natives had in colonies. Especially in a world where the West was preaching fairness and equality, it was hard to truly justify holding onto these colonies.
And then you had a more malicious side of it - the Eastern Bloc. The Soviets saw independence movements as a way to whittle away at the power of the West. By funding rebels, they could destabilize the foreign possessions of their adversaries, at its worst making it difficult for foreign powers to use those colonies for military operations and at best securing them an ally that could be useful in the Cold War.
As for what had the greatest impact, I'd ague that it was the liberalization of the West rather than the communist conspiracy that really had the biggest impact. If you look at the states that held onto their colonies the longest, then we see it was the most oppressive states that were the last to go over to majority rule - Portugal, Spain, Rhodesia, and South Africa.
>>35959 >US bleeding-heart anti colonialism To be fair, it's hard to really play the side of the "good guys" if you're supporting nations committing human rights abuses and suppressing national self-determination.
I'd argue that the greater anti-colonialist movement around the world and the pressure that came with it did make the wars worse. By pressuring the colonial powers to stop their counterinsurgency operations,, they ended up extending the wars far longer than they needed to.
Just look at what happened with Operation Savannah. South Africa nearly conquered all of Angola in a month, and they were set to overthrow the MPLA, install a pro-west UNITA, and ultimately defeat SWAPO. But international pressure forced them to withdraw, extending the war by over a decade.
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