9

INDEPENDENCE OR REVOLUTION

Was the end of colonization brought about solely by the struggle for the liberation of the subject and vanquished populations? Or was it the result of the decline of the mother countries rendered incapable of managing the huge capital which they had accumulated? Or was it caused by the external pressures of the world, in conjunction with the other factors?

At any rate each independence did not draw all its strength solely from within its specific territory, whatever might have been the reaction and the vision of the vanquished. The example of the North African countries testifies that it was, at one time, Islam, at another time, the feeling of belonging to the Arab world, and at other times still, a patriotism more directly linked to the motherland, which served as the leaven, or even as the lever of the popular uprising. If the national sentiment in Vietnam and in Indonesia provoked the reaction of the populations in their opposition to the French and the Dutch, it is equally true that proletarian internalism also exerted its influence, in the same manner as did Panafricanism, especially in anglophone Africa.

With their affirmation of ideologies of liberty or of revolution these movements may have emerged and developed in harmony with others or not, or even in anticipation of them.


Which goals?

The liberation movements benefited from the support of Churches, or of parties which sometimes rivalled one another, with one common objective: independence. They were distinguished by the variables in the tactics used, by the variations in the contents of this independence.

Some claimed to be more revolutionary than nationalistic. Such was the case of the Vietminh which triumphed all the more as no religious power-neither the Caodaists, nor the Christians-could compete against it. Moreover, after 1949, it was backed by Communist China.

On the other hand, when religion played a dominant role, as in India or in Burma, or even in the Philippines and in the Maghreb, the

-262-

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Colonization: A Global History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Colonization or Imperialism 1
  • 2 - The Initiatives 24
  • 3 - Conflicts for an Empire 52
  • 4 - A New Race of Societies 104
  • 5 - Rose-Coloured Legend and Pitch-Black Legend 163
  • 6 - The Vision of the Vanquished 186
  • 7 - The Movements for Colonist-Independence 211
  • 8 - Leaven and Levers 239
  • 9 - Independence or Revolution 262
  • 10 - Liberation or Decolonization 305
  • 11 - Decolonization Halted 344
  • Chronology 361
  • Filmographic Selection 370
  • Bibliography 376
  • Index 390
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