Decolonization in Africa

Decolonization in Africa

Decolonization in Africa

Decolonization in Africa

Synopsis

John Hargreaves examines how the British, French, Belgian, Spanish and Portuguese colonies in tropical Africa became independent in the postwar years, and in doing so transformed the international landscape. African demands for independence and colonial plans for reform - central to the story - are seen here in the wider context of changing international relationships.

Excerpt

Every author has many debts to acknowledge. Archivists must find the importunities of contemporary historians trying; special thanks to the staff of the Public Record Office, of the Archives Nationales; Section d'Outre-Mer and Marie-Antoinette Ménier, and of the Archives d'Outre-Mer at Aix and Jean-François Maurel. Michael Smethurst's staff in the University of Aberdeen, and Donald Simpson's in the Royal Commonwealth Society, were as helpful as ever. Conversation with colleagues in Britain and in Europe is invaluable to those working in a rapidly developing field; I am grateful to the Social Science Research Council for enabling me to visit Aix and Paris in 1984 under their Franco-British exchange programme, and to the Institut d'Histoire du Temps Présent and the Centre des Hautes Etudes sur l'Afrique et l'Asie Modernes for invitations to contribute to their respective colloquia. I also acknowledge helpful comments from participants in seminars of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London, and of Aberdeen University.

Among many friends and colleagues whose help has been invaluable I somewhat invidiously mention Roy Bridges and Jean Houbert in Aberdeen, Anthony Clayton, Andrew Roberts, Robert Smith and Michael Twaddle, Marc Michel in France and Roger Louis, at Bellagio in 1977 and later. Kenneth Robinson's wise counsels have been invaluable. I was much stimulated, before retirement, by reactions from students in my Honours class at Aberdeen; and while supervising research. I have derived stimulating insights into many matters from Fewzi Borsali, Edho Ekoko, Badra Lahouel, Alastair Milne, Alan Short and Akintola Wyse. I owe a very special debt to John Kent, not least for incisive comments on draft chapters.

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