Decolonization - Congo

Why was process of decolonization peaceful in some countries and violent in others? (Before Independence) Brief historical background of colonization? (Historical Context) * What ignited calls for independence from colonial rule in __________ (your country)? A: Elections were held in rural areas(small cities) for reform and democratization of local government. 1958 was a year of vigorous political discussion at issues of society in Belgian Congo. The whole turning point of their advocacy for independence was during January 4-6 in 1959. In January 4, a riot broke out in Leopoldville due to the fact that an Abako meeting had been banned.

This abrupt disorder for two days as European shops were broken and burned with over 40 people killed. The administration had political concession meaning that Belgium handed over independence to Congo. On January 13, the administration released a statement that they would slowly change into independence. The nationalist urged the colonial government to have an early date for independence. From this statement, issues about the independence of Congo sprang quickly. Political parties made huge promises that were illogical in order to gain favor of the people.

Some parties requested for a faster date while others thought of holding the situation slowly. The government slowly began to lose control of rural areas. The government feared of catastrophe, decided to decolonize as quick as possible. The Congolese leaders aimed for a five-year transition to independence but the Belgians enforced that the date of independence would be of 30 June 1960. According to The Making of Modern Africa, The first national elections held in May was looked as a disaster. After the end of World War 2, the Congo was able to participate in political issues. What methods did the “nationalists” use to achieve independence? To what extent were these methods effective? How did the colonial nation respond to the effort of the nationalists? A: Patrice Lumumba launched THE FIRST NATIONWIDE POLITICAL PARTY, the Congo National Movement in 1958. They caused outrages in order to erupt instability to the country. Huge riots were caused by the hunger for independence by the people of Congo. The Belgian authorities prohibited a political/cultural party named ‘ABAKO’ which was slowly gaining power in the lower part of Congo.

This led to riots for a span of three days and the Belgian government announced that they would put more Congolese into the government (for moderate nationalists) at a small scale in hopes of satisfying the demands. (Made a promise of eventual independence to extreme nationalists). But suddenly there was a surge of political activity. The nationalist’s demand soon grew as fifty political parties were registered competing and Belgian Congo was beyond control of the Belgian administration. * When did _________ (your country) achieve independence? Who ended up in power? Transition) A: The Republic of Congo achieved independence on June 30, 1960. From January 18-27, 1960, an event known as the ‘The Roundtable Conference’ was held in Brussels. Different Congolese parties attended the meeting to discuss the transition into independence. There were two pivotal leaders, Joseph Kasa-Vubu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister. To what extent were problems facing newly independent countries a legacy of colonial rule? * What was the condition of the country upon independence? (Identify problems) A: Coming from colonial rule, the Congolese had minimal knowledge to manage a huge country.

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Tribal leaders had more power than the government, which led them to have an unstable state. After the departure of the Belgium administration, there were barely any bureaucrats left in the country. The first Congolese graduate ever was only in 1956. The country was at a very unstable state with the power mostly to individual tribes separated from other tribes as well. (No unity) * Were the problems a result of the colonial rulers? (Was it the fault of the colonial power? ) A: The Belgians considered Congo as a child meaning that both countries acted as a ‘parent and child’ relationship.

This is called paternalism. The Belgians mainly supervised Congo and the Congo had no part in legislation. The Congolese only collected tax from the citizens. How could a child start working if he/she hasn’t had any education. This was the kind of situation in between Belgium and Congo. What ways did the Cold War complicate the process of decolonization and/or post-independence? * Did ideology or the US/USSR conflict play a role in the process to achieve independence OR create problems for countries after they achieved independence? (If so, how significant? A: The Congo Crisis was a period of disorder from 1960 – 1966. The Katanga province threatened to leave Congo because the Belgians were interested in business and there were over 6000 Belgian troops with most of the European population under the leadership of Moise Tshombe. The province was declared as the State of Katanga in July 11 1960. Patrice Lumumba went to Soviet Union for troops to enforce the Katanga province. Feeling afraid, President Kasa-Vubu requested help from the United States that turns this into a proxy war as well. The US saw this attempt to spread their ideology in sub-Saharan Africa.

The U. S. therefore wanted to change the leader in The Republic of Congo. It’s kind of odd how Patrice Lumumba, the prime minister and President Kasa-Vubu who were both in the same parties already had arguments as soon as Congo gained their independence. Source Evaluation: http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/59224/Belgian-Congo First and foremost, this website is trustworthy due to their long history of releasing books with accurate facts. This huge company consists of about 100 editors and 4,4000 contributors who are professors, being an expert at their respective subjects.

It is also regarded as one of the most academic encyclopedias of the English language. It has also received numerous awards meaning its value is high. This is a secondary source, which obtained sources from contributors and re-word. The purpose of this article is simply to inform everyone without any intent to persuade or convince a person as the audience is not targeted as well. The limitations in this article is unclear, coming from a website from an anonymous author without his nationality is hard to determine whether this article I biased or not.

But this website is trustworthy enough not to input biased opinions. A historian would use this comfortably because Britannica is one of the most popular websites used by millions of people. “Belgian Congo (historical Region, Africa). ” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n. d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/59224/Belgian-Congo>. Source List: “Africa: Belgian Colonies – HISTORY OF BELGIAN COLONIZATION, THE ADMINISTRATION OF CONGO BY THE BELGIANS (1908-1960). ” Africa: Belgian Colonies. N. p. n. d. Web. 02 Nov. 2012. <http://encyclopedia. jrank. org/articles/pages/5918/Africa-Belgian-Colonies. html>. “Belgian Congo (historical Region, Africa). ” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n. d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/59224/Belgian-Congo>. “Belgian Congo. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Feb. 2012. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Belgian_Congo>. “Congo Crisis. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Congo_Crisis>. “Decolonization of Africa. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Oct. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Decolonization_of_Africa>. “Encyclop? dia Britannica. ” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2012. Web. 02 Nov. 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Encyclop? dia_Britannica>. As a class, we will be holding a seminar to discuss the questions above. In order to discuss these questions, you need to know how the process of decolonization worked in specific countries.

As a group, choose one of the countries from the following list and begin research into the independence, decolonization, and colonial legacy of that country – you can also suggest another country if you have a specific interest: Algeria, Angola-Mozambique, Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam. If you’re unsure where to start your research, consider some of these things: colonial history (who, what, when, why), the process of independence, problems faced by the new nation, type of government, reaction of the population to independence and the new nation.

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