Advertisement

The European Empires in a Transforming World

Chapter
  • 46 Downloads
Part of the Themes in Comparative History book series (TCH)

Abstract

The end of the First World War may appear as a somewhat premature point at which to begin an outline history of European decolonization. Indeed, the territorial zenith of modern colonialism was attained only in 1919 with the completion of the Treaty of Versailles, bringing new areas (such as Palestine) within the ambit of European rule.l Even more telling is the fact that it was only during the Great War and in its immediate aftermath that westernizing processes began to impinge upon the broad front of non-European societies, and so created the conditions for mass nationalist responses. With this in mind, it might be argued that while the inter-war years were of clear relevance to certain later decolonizations (with one obvious example being the emergence of Gandhian populism in India during the early 1920s), in the main their continuities lay backwards to the age of classical European expansion, not forwards to the era of imperial dissolution. Nonetheless, the sense that processes of decolonization, even in their broadest connotations, only take shape after 1939 is dictated by a falsely based preoccupation with the outward form of political nationalisms among colonial populations. The latter, indeed, were the exception rather than the rule before the Second World War.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

1 The European Empires in a Transforming World

  1. 1.
    Colin Cross, The Fall of the British Empire (London, 1968) pp. 15–34.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    John Gallagher, The Decline, Revival and Fall of the British Empire (Cambridge, 1982) p. 74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    There is no comprehensive account of the impact of the 1930s depression on the colonial world. See, however, A. J. Latham, The Depression and the Developing World, 1914–39 (London, 1981).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. M. Carr-Saunders, World Populations: Past Growth and Present Trends (London, 1936) pp. 269, 280.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A spate of books dilating on the problems of Asian agricultures appeared in the 19205 and 1930s. A classic example of this literature was Sir Malcolm Darling, The Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and Debt (Oxford, 1925).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    This treatment of Indo-Chinese affairs is largely based on material in Charles Robequain, The Economic Development of French Indo-China (Oxford, 1944).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    For a contemporary survey of this region during the later 1930s see Virginia Thompson, French Indo-China (London, 1937).Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    B. B. Misra, The Indian Middle Classes: Their Growth in Modern Times (Oxford, 1961) pp. 213–307.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Eric Davis, Challenging Colonialism: Bank Misr and Egyptian Industrialization, 1920–41 (Princeton, 1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 11.
    The fullest account of this subject is Rajat K. Ray, Industrialization in India: Growth and Conflict in the Private Corporate Sector, 1914–47 (Delhi, 1979).Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    See Victor Purcell, The Chinese in South-East Asia (Oxford, 1965).Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    For a sensitive study of ‘independent Christianity’ in an African setting see B. G. M. Sundkler, Bantu Prophets in South Africa (Oxford, 1961).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    A cruder political coverage of the same theme. may be found in Robert I. Rotberg and Ali A. Mazrui, Protest and Power in Black Africa (Oxford, 1970) pp. 377–426.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Thomas D. Williams, Malawi: The Politics of Despair (London, 1978) pp. 110–18 and Rotberg and Mazrui, Protest and Power in Black Africa, pp. 337–76.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    John F. Cady, A History of Modern Burma (Ithaca, 1958) pp. 309–14.Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    Harry J. Benda, The Crescent and the Rising Sun: Indonesian Islam and the Japanese occupation, 1942–45 (The Hague, 1958) pp. 9–99.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    For a general political survey of the Dutch East Indies in this period see G. M. Kahin, Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia (New York, 1952) pp. 1–101.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    A good overview of the causes and course of the Depression is Charles P. Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (London, 1973).Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    This point comes out well, if somewhat obliquely, in P. J. Vatikiotis, Nasser and his Generation (London, 1978) pp. 47–64.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    R. F. Holland, ‘The End of an Imperial Economy: Anglo-Canadian Disengagement in the 1930s’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, xi (January, 1983).Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    B. R. Tomlinson, The Political Economy of the Raj, 1914–47: The Economics of Decolonization (London, 1979) pp. 31–4.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    D. K. Fieldhouse, Unilever Overseas: The Anatomy of a Multinational (London, 1978) pp. 148–69, 558–60.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    A. G. Hopkins, An Economic History of West Africa (London, 1973) pp. 237–67.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    Michael Lipton, Why Poor People Stay Poor: a study of urban bias in world development (London, 1977).Google Scholar
  25. 27.
    For comments on smallholder production in south-east Asia see P. T. Bauer, The Rubber Industry: a study in competition and monopoly (London, 1948) pp. 56–73.Google Scholar
  26. 28.
    The regulation of rubber production was perhaps the most interesting of the commodity control experiments which characterized the post-1929 Depression. See Sir A. McFadyean, The History of Rubber Regulation, 1934–1943 (London, 1944).Google Scholar
  27. 29.
    Gavin Kitching, Class and Economic Change in Kenya: The Making of an African Petit Bourgeoisie, 1905–1970 (Yale, 1980) pp. 57–107.Google Scholar
  28. 30.
    G. C. Allen and A. G. Donnithorne, Western Enterprise in Indonesia and Malaya: a study in economic development (London, 1957) pp. 57, 124, 204–6.Google Scholar
  29. 31.
    See B. R. Tomlinson, ‘Colonial Firms and the Decline of Colonialism in Eastern India, 1914–47’, Modern Asian Studies, 15, No. 3 (1981). This business cooperation across the racial divide was not, in itself, an especially novel phenomenon, but had been distinctive of an earlier phase of British rule in India.Google Scholar
  30. 31.
    See C. Bayly, Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the age of British Expansion, 1770–1870 (Cambridge, 1983).Google Scholar
  31. 32.
    This treatment of Egyptian developments during the early post-war years is largely based on John Darwin, Britain, Egypt and the Middle East: Imperial Policy in the Aftermath of War, 1918–22 (London, 1981) pp. 49–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 33.
    Viscount Wavell, Allenby in Egypt (London, 1943) pp. 35–47.Google Scholar
  33. 35.
    There is no major scholarly survey of the impact of the First World War on India. Some information may be gleaned from De Witt C. Ellinwood and S. D. Pradhan (eds), India and World War One (New Delhi, 1978).Google Scholar
  34. 36.
    A recent study of this subject is Gail Minault, The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (New York, 1982).Google Scholar
  35. 37.
    Judith Brown, Gandhi’s Rise to Power: Indian Politics, 1915–22 (Cambridge, 1972).Google Scholar
  36. 38.
    This analytical approach is pursued in J. Gallagher, A. Seal and G. Johnson, Locality, Province and Nation: Essays on Indian Politics, 1870–1940 (Cambridge, 1973).Google Scholar
  37. 39.
    P. J. Robb, The Government of India and Reform, 1916–21 (Oxford, 1976).Google Scholar
  38. 40.
    B. R. Tomlinson, The Indian National Congress and the Raj, 1929–42: The Penultimate Phase (London, 1976) pp. 28–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 41.
    For the flavour of contemporary British discussion on India’s internal political condition see George Schuster and Guy Wint, India and Democracy (London, 1941) pp. 133–210.Google Scholar
  40. 42.
    R. F. Holland, Britain and the Commonwealth Alliance, 1918–39 (London, 1981) pp. 164–6.Google Scholar
  41. 43.
    For analyses of Irish Free State developments as they impinged on British Commonwealth affairs prior to the Second World War see David Harkness, The Restless Dominion: the Irish Free State and the British Commonwealth of Nations, 1921–31 (London, 1969); Holland, Britain and the Commonwealth Alliance pp. 152–66.Google Scholar
  42. 43.
    Ged Martin, ‘The Irish Free State and the evolution of the Commonwealth, 1921–49’ in Ged Martin and Ronald Hyam, Reappraisals in British Imperial History (London, 1975).Google Scholar
  43. 44.
    Intra-Commonwealth diplomatic dealings during the run-up to the Second World War are exhaustively covered in R. Ovendale, ‘Appeasement’ and the English-speaking World: Britain, the United States, the Dominions and the policy of ‘appeasement’, 1937–9 (London, 1975).Google Scholar
  44. 45.
    Surprisingly, there are few textbook treatments of South African affairs in the twentieth century. For political developments T. R. H. Davenport, South Africa: A Modern History (London, 1977) provides a broad outline.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Those interested in economics may refer to D. Hobart Houghton, The South African Economy (Cape Town, 1964).Google Scholar
  46. 45.
    and Jill Nattrass, The South African Economy: its growth and change (Cape Town, 1981).Google Scholar
  47. 46.
    Two recent studies which touch on this issue are Dan O’Meara, Volkscapitalisme: Class, capital and ideology in the development of Afrikaner nationalism (Cambridge, 1983).Google Scholar
  48. 46.
    and David Yudelman, The Emergence of Modern South Africa: State, Capital, and the Consolidation of Organized Labour on the South African Gold Fields, 1902–1939 (Westport, Connecticut, 1983).Google Scholar
  49. 47.
    For a description of migrant labouring in African social experience see Charles van Onselen, Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia, 1900–1933 (London, 1976).Google Scholar
  50. 48.
    Clement Kadalie, My Life and the ICU: The Autobiography of a Black Trade Unionist in South Africa (London, 1970).Google Scholar
  51. 49.
    L. H. Gann, A History of Southern Rhodesia: Early Days to 1934 (London, 1965) p. 247.Google Scholar
  52. 50.
    Anglo-South African relations in this period are covered in R. Hyam, The Failure of South African Expansion, 1908–48 (London, 1972).Google Scholar
  53. 51.
    Michael Crowder, West Africa Under Colonial Rule (London, 1968) pp. 198–233.Google Scholar
  54. 52.
    John Iliffe, A Modern History of Tanganyika (Cambridge, 1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 53.
    The standard account of ‘trusteeship’ thinking is Kenneth Robinson, The Dilemma of Trusteeship: Aspects of British Colonial Policy Between the Wars (London, 1965).Google Scholar
  56. 54.
    Robert G. Gregory, India and East Africa: A History of Race Relations within the British Empire (Oxford, 1971) pp. 177–265.Google Scholar
  57. 56.
    It was particularly important, for example, in promoting pan-African ideals. See J. Ayodele, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism in West Africa, 1900–45 (Oxford, 1973) pp. 327–37.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. F. Holland 1985

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations