The Assertion of a Post-colonial Age

Part of the Themes in Comparative History book series (TCH)


As a broad generalization, it can be said that by 1964 the great age of European decolonization had already passed its peak. The outstanding exceptions to this statement lay in southern Africa, where the entrenchment of white-settler society imposed a different time-scale on events. In the final section of this volume, therefore, the tangled story of Southern Rhodesia, and the final collapse of Portuguese rule in Africa after its long isolation from the mainstream of continental development, will be outlined. An exhaustive catalogue of transfers of power during the 1960s, however, with the seemingly endless succession of flag ceremonies set in dusty squares and presided over by some eminent (usually royal) metropolitan personage, will not be attempted. These were simply the motions of those decisions taken in the late 1950s and early 1960s whose origins and nature have already been explored. Even where the British still showed a tendency to cling to traditional relationships after 1960, as they did in parts of the Arabian peninsula, the reason for this tenacity had less to do with pressures emanating from the past and more to do with a new set of contemporary circumstances; we shall see later that even here — in Aden and the Gulf — the British finally decided to cut their losses and vacate.1 It is nicely ironic that in the latter of these instances the British departure ran against the wishes of the indigenous ruling elite; by the early 1970s the golden years of Anglophobia in the Middle East had long passed.


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10 The Assertion of a Post-Colonial Age

  1. 1.
    J. B. Kelly, Arabia, the Gulf and the West (London, 1981).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See, for example, Suzanne Cronje, Lonhro: Portrait of a Multinational (London, 1976).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Peter Lyon, ‘Transfer and Transformation: An Introduction’ in Peter Lyon and James Manor (eds), Transfer and Transformation: Political Institutions in the New Commonwealth. Essays in Honour of W. H. Morris-Jones (Leicester, 1983) pp. 1–2.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The events leading up to Britain’s final entry into the EEC are described in U. Kitzinger, Diplomacy and Persuasion: How Britain Joined the Common Market (London, 1973).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    For EEC-Third World relations see I. William Zartman, The Politics of Trade Negotiations between Africa and the EEC: The Weak Confront The Strong (Princeton, 1971).Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    and Chris Stevens (ed.), The EEC and the Third World: a survey (London, 1981).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    See Phillip Darby, Britain’s Defence Policy East of Suez 1947–1968 (London, 1973).Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    For a wide-ranging survey of south Arabian problems during the 196os see Fred Halliday, Arabia Without Sultans (London, 1974).Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    A military appreciation of the debacle in Aden can be found in Julian Paget, Last Post: Aden 1964–67 (London, 1969).Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Harold Wilson’s version of events in Aden appears in his memoir, The Labour Government, 1964–70: A Personal Record (London, 1971) pp. 138, 213, 231, 235, 376, 381, 396, 405, 444–5.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Humphrey Trevelyan, The Middle East in Revolution (London, 1970) pp. 254–66.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    For further reading see Miles Hudson, Triumph or Tragedy?: Rhodesia to Zimbabwe (London, 1982).Google Scholar
  13. 11.
    Elaine Windrich, Britain and the Politics of Rhodesian Independence (London, 1978).Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    David Martin and Phyllis Johnson, The Struggle for Zimbabwe: The Chimurenga War (London, 1981).Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    For a biography see H. Kay, Salazar and Modern Portugal (London, 1970).Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    See Neil Bruce, Portugal’s African Wars (London, 1973).Google Scholar
  17. 14.
    There is, as yet, no major study of Portugal’s African decolonizations. Malyn Newett, Portugal in Africa: The Last Hundred Tears (London, 1981) affords a general coverage.Google Scholar
  18. 14.
    Two short but informative accounts are Neil Bruce Portugal: The Last Empire (London, 1975).Google Scholar
  19. 14.
    and Kenneth Maxwell, ‘Portugal and Africa: The Last Empire’ in Prosser Gifford ad Wm Roger Louis (eds), The Transfer of Power in Africa: Decolonization 1940–60 (Yale, 1982) pp. 305–37.Google Scholar
  20. 14.
    Gervase Clarence-Smith, The Third Portuguese Empire, 1825–1975: A Study in Economic Imperialism is to be published by Manchester University Press during 1984.Google Scholar

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© R. F. Holland 1985

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