The Change in British Policies and Attitude Toward Africa Between 1938 and 1948

The Change in British Policies and Attitude Toward Africa Between 1938 and 1948

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The Change in British Policies and Attitude Toward Africa Between 1938 and 1948

The conclusion of the Second World War heralded a new phrase in World
History. The devastation of War saw many European states crumble
economically; a climate of increased American economic dominance is
apparent, and the end of British economic prominence is marked by the
1944 Bretton Woods conference/agreement. Everywhere attitudes were
changing. American disdain for imperialism and the flagging success
of previous administrative methods of indirect rule caused a
re-evolution of policy and attitudes toward Empire and particularly in
Africa. In a key speech in July Malcolm Macdonald, Secretary of State
for the colonies, asserts that the main purpose of the British Empire
is “ the gradual spread of freedom amongst all his Majesty’s subjects,
in whatever part of the earth they live”[1]. From then onwards the
Colonial Office policies in Africa took a new direction, as Africans
were seen less as being determinedly barbarous and tribal, and more
with potential for being cultivated into a mind-set where political
independence can be possible. Speaking in June 1939, Macdonald
proclaims that local populations were everywhere “producing more and
more of their own doctors and nurses, their own school teachers and
agricultural officers, their own civil servants and lawyers, their own
leaders in every walk of life”[2]. In this environment change was
eminent and as seen with the rapid decolonisation of Africa in the
late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Britain sought to administer any such
change before it began to happen from under her.

Following the appointment of ...

... middle of paper ...


[1] R Pearce, The Colonial Office and Planned Decolonisation in
Africa, Africa Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 330 (Jan 1984), P 79

[2] J. Flint, Planned Decolonization and Its Failure in British
Africa, African Affairs, Vol. 82, No. 328 (Jul 1983), P 395

[3] J Flint, P 394

[4] J Flint, P 393

[5] J Flint, P 394

[6] J Flint, P 395

[7] J Flint, P 395

[8] According to Flint, marks a new direction in colonial policy, with
‘self-government’ becoming a paramount concern

[9] R Pearce, P 79

[10] R Pearce, P 80

[11] R Pearce, P 80

[12] R Pearce, P 84

[13] Founder of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon’s.

[14] T Falola & A. D. Roberts, West Africa, Oxford History of British
Empire, 20th Century, P 524

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