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The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
Richard W. Bulliet, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, David Northrup
History WIRED

Striving for Independence: Africa, India, and Latin America, 1900-1949


Africa: 1890
This map highlights the colonial presence in Africa.

Map of Colonial Africa

History of India: Partition
Click on "Map" in the left-hand corner to view this map of South Asia after the British retired from the area.

Latin America
This contemporary map highlights political entities.





Photographs of Former ANC Leaders
This collection includes images of early leaders of this South African organization.

Images anciennes d'Afrique
This site includes a collection of postcards of French West Africa from 1895 to 1930.  The text is in French, but the images are well worth the look.  Click on "Bamako," "Tombouctou," and "Bandiagara" to see them.

Aux Colonies
This is another French site that has images of posters, newspapers, and advertisements depicting France's colonial empire in Africa.

Stanley Portal Hyatt
Click on "Photos" in the left-hand frame to see photographs taken during this European adventurer's time in Africa.

Mahatma Gandhi Pictures
This site offers numerous images of Gandhi throughout his life.

Gandhi Virtual Ashram
This site features more pictures of Gandhi, primarily during his anticolonial activities.

Gandhi Virtual Ashram: Multimedia
Watch film clips of Gandhi that use Quicktime software.

Mahatma Gandhi Photo Gallery
This Indian government site presents numerous images of Gandhi's life.

Ghandi in Cartoons
This site offers numerous editorial cartoons from British and South American newspapers depicting Gandhi and his activities.  They provide a good source for analysis of Gandhi's impact on European opinion.

Jawaharlal Nehru
Along with a brief description, this site offers two images of India's first prime minister.

The Mexican Revolution
This comprehensive site provides links to images from the revolution, including portraits of leaders and scenes from battles.

Mexico Connect: Timeline Overview
Scroll down to the section on the Mexican Revolution.  The links provide portraits of leaders and other images from the revolutionary period.  Be sure to visit the "Nation in flux" and "Consolidation" links.

The Virtual Diego Rivera Web Museum
The section entitled "Gallery" provides numerous examples of this painter's work that highlight the changes that occurred in Mexico during the first half of the twentieth century.

Web Community: Frida Kahlo
This site presents examples of the works of another influential Mexican artist who painted during the first half of the twentieth century.

Activity One:

At first thought, analyzing the independence struggles in Africa, India, and Latin America during the first half of the twentieth century as a unit might not make much sense.  Each area observed many of its own traditions and had its own unique history.  Africa and India suffered through colonization, but Latin America had been independent for a century.  Nevertheless, as Chapter 32, Striving for Independence: Africa, India, and Latin America, 1900-1949, in Bulliet, et al., The Earth and Its Peoples (Second Edition) points out, they shared many common characteristics during this time.  In each region, broad-based movements emerged that expressed a growing sense of nationalism and a desire for greater social justice.

Read these writings or speeches by several of leaders of these diverse movements and then answer the questions that follow.  For India, see Mohandas K. Gandhi: Indian Home Rule, 1909, and Jawaharlal Nehru: Marxism, Capitalism, and India's Future. (Note: This is the first excerpt from this site.) For Latin America, see Francisco Madero: The Plan for San Louis Potosi, November 20, 1910 and Juan Domingo Perón: Justicialism. For Africa, see KWAME NKRUMAH: THE EARLY YEARS 1909 - 1947.  How does each leader express the increasing sense of nationalism and movement for social justice prevalent in his region?  Whom does each blame for the problems that he addresses?  Do these leaders agree on the solutions to their people's problems?

Why do you think that these leaders' ideas appealed to so many people during this period?  What early-twentieth-century circumstances and events in other parts of the world might have influenced the development of their radical ideas?  Do you think that these men had been exposed to Western ideas such as the ideology of the French and American Revolutions, Marxism, and nationalism?

Activity Two:

To explore the last question in Activity One further, go to African Christianity: A History of the Christian Church in Africa: Sub-Saharan Christianity.  Read the introduction to this site and the two sections that follow it, "Phase I" and "Phase II."  Be sure to visit any hyperlink at the end of each section.  Then describe the impact of Western Christian missionary activity on the development of nationalism and the yearning for greater social justice in Africa during the first half of the twentieth century.

Aside from providing spiritual guidance, what other functions did churches serve during this time?  Did Africans who converted to Christianity abandon their culture and traditions?  How did the church inadvertently cultivate a generation of leaders who would challenge European colonialism?  Did European missionaries themselves serve as leaders for social justice?  What do you consider the greatest legacy  of Western churches to the history of sub-Saharan Africa between 1900 and 1949?

Activity Three:

National liberation movements in these regions also gained inspiration and guidance from each other during this time period.  Two of twentieth-century world history's most influential and enduring institutions--the Indian National Congress and the African National Congress--were formed during this time period.  Read brief histories of each organization at The Indian National Congress and Mzabalazo: A History of the African National Congress Party  and then compare and contrast each organization's goals and strategies.  What were their goals?  Who initially joined their movements?  How did each organization to the broader public?  Were these groups influenced or inspired by foreign ideas such as Marxism or the Soviet Union's accomplishments?

Now read the following documents from the African National Congress Party's archives-- Tribute to Dr. William E. Burghart DuBois, Mahatma Gandhi: South Africa's Gift to India? and  Nehru and Africa --and answer the following questions. How did the liberation movements in South Africa and India, as well as the African American movement for social justice in the United States, influence one another during the first half of the century?  Why, despite their unique problems and situations, did these efforts look to each other for inspiration and guidance?  What developments of the previous century enabled this dialogue to occur?  In other words, why was Gandhi in South Africa?  Why were South Africans able to gain access to the works of W. E. B. DuBois?  Can the early twentieth century be characterized as a period of global struggle against the legacy of European imperialism that can be traced back to the sixteenth century, or do you believe that despite their similarities, most national liberation movements of the early twentieth century were essentially local in their goals and outlooks?  Explain your answer.

Activity Four:

In web Activity Two for Chapter 30, The Crisis of the Imperial Order, 1900-1929, you explored the impact that the devastation of World War I and the challenges of modern science to Victorian ideas about progress and reason had on Western art.  The revolts against imperialism that occurred during the first half of the twentieth century also affected artistic expression.

One of the more famous artists of this period was the Mexican nationalist Diego Rivera, who is introduced on page 820 of this chapter.  To learn more about Rivera, go to Diego Rivera Web Museum  and tour this exhibit by clicking on "Biography" on the top banner.  After familiarizing yourself with his life, view the images at "Gallery" and "Murals."  You can also read Rivera's own writing at "Magazine."  Analyze and describe how Rivera's art reflected the growing sense of nationalism and desire for social justice in Mexico.  Also explain how Rivera was influenced by the developments in Western art during the first half of the twentieth century.  Then choose one or two of his paintings that exemplify his political leanings and explain your choices.