Topic: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
1. The anti-colonial struggles in West Africa were led by the new elite of Western-educated Africans. Examine.(250 words)
Reference: Mastering World History by Norman Lowe
Why the question:
The question is from the static portions of GS paper I , part World History.
Key Demand of the question:
The question expects us to explain that freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans. It expects us to bring out the role played by leaders in African National movement and the impact of their struggles.
Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.
Structure of the answer:
Give a brief introduction to the anti-colonial upsurge in western Africa – Anti-colonial upsurge in West Africa was a part of the larger rush of decolonization after the massive wanton destruction of the World War II.
Highlight that just as Indian freedom movement, in the 20th century, found a leader in M. K. Gandhi, a western-educated lawyer, freedom struggles in several West African countries were also led by such western-educated Africans
Discuss the role of leaders such as
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, educated in London and US, led Gold Coast to freedom in 1957, and rechristened the country Ghana.
Nnamdi Azikiwe, educated in US, led Nigeria to a successful anti-colonial struggle, leading to its independence in 1960.
Amilcar Cabral, educated in Portugal, led Guinea-Bissau to freedom from Portugal. He was assassinated before the official independence declaration of the country, but served as an inspiration for other revolutionary leaders elsewhere, such as Fidel Castro.
Tovalou Houenou, defended the equality of race, opposed Eurocentricism and founded the Negritude movement, the writings of which gave a fillip to anti-colonial struggles in West Africa.
Leopold Sedar Senghol and Felix Houphouet- Boigny were western educated individuals who respectively led Senegal and Ivory Coast to independence.
Explain the nature of movement led by them – Some of these struggles were peaceful and constitutional while some had the blueprint of non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Some struggles were outright violent revolutions.
Nations of West Africa, however, have seldom witnessed stability and peace after independence. The countries have been marred by civil wars, brutal dictatorships and military coups.