African Independence Movements – Summary Thoughts
From 1950 – 1985, was African independence a disaster?
Corrupt dictators, horrible economies, droughts, total disregard for the rule of law, police states, military coups, etc.
The Colonial Legacy
Independence period is a continuation of the colonial period
Resistance to occupation was violent, out of proportion to the task
Troops maintained for internal control
Taxation, compulsory crop cultivation, forced labor
Loss of income, shortages of subsistence crops, famine, urban slums and ghettoes (townships)
Africans got no training in governing
No voting history (no democratic traditions)
“Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Pomp and circumstance
III. Legal Rights - Having a lawyer, Appeals, Jury, etc.
Imports and Exports
No re-investment in the colony
So, was African independence a disaster?
• Only France and Great Britain really practiced liberal democratic ideals, and that came after hundreds of years of struggle and fighting.
• Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia all had fascist dictators, which many African leaders admired