Quest for Freedom: The United States and India's Independence

Quest for Freedom: The United States and India's Independence

Quest for Freedom: The United States and India's Independence

Quest for Freedom: The United States and India's Independence

Synopsis

A study of India's struggle towards independence, which examines the quest in the broader context of the USA's response to the question of Asian nationalism. The author views American foreign policy at a time of important change in America's attitude towards the colonial world.

Excerpt

This book developed from a desire to understand the American response to Asian nationalism. I chose to approach this topic with an in depth examination of the American response to the Indian independence struggle in its climactic final stages during and immediately after World War II. India's quest for freedom was one of the most important events of the twentieth century. The successful Indian independence struggle began a process of decolonization that redrew the maps of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. The Vietnam war had its roots there, and the consequences and ramifications of the drive for national independence have still to work themselves out.

A number of interrelated questions arise. How much interest did the United States and Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman take in the Indian independence movement? What were the bases of that interest? I was particularly interested, as others have been, to learn how the United States balanced its traditional support for self-determination, on the one hand, with its wartime alliance with imperialist powers like Britain which sought to retain or regain their colonial possessions, on the other. How did the British, Government of India officials, and Indian nationalists attempt to influence American policy, and how did they react to American initia-

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