Political Problems

Part of the Focal Problems in Geography book series


A quarter of a century ago Harold Macmillan, the British Prime Minister, referring more particularly to events in Africa, spoke of the ‘wind of change’ which was blowing through the land. Today, the wind has blown itself out and the last relics of colonialism have gone, except for one or two very small areas. In southern Asia the wind blew a little earlier and the British in the Indian sub-continent, the French in South-east Asia, and the Dutch in Indonesia withdrew in the late 1940s and 1950s in the face of growing nationalist feeling and active anti-colonial opposition. After a long period under United States’ control, the Philippines became an independent republic in 1946. In South America, quite exceptionally, freedom from foreign control had come quite early and, except for the Guianas, all the countries were already politically, if not economically, independent. In the Caribbean area, however, most of the islands were under colonial rule until the Second World War, but since then there have been notable political changes. Thus, since 1946 there have been widespread political changes in those areas which are now termed the Third World and there has been a veritable cascade of newly independent countries; altogether some 65 sovereign independent states have come into being.


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© Harry Robinson 1981

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