The struggle for Independence in Asia

A japanese soldier posts Ploclamation N.1 declaring Martial law, in english, french and vietnamese. september 1945. Imperial War Museum, London Osborne and Cotler, p. 171

American ‘anti-Imperialism’America could be irritating to its allies at times.  Something of the old Wilsonian Idealism lingered on in America when it came to the idea of “making the world safe for democracy.”  America had always been uneasy about its European allies’ empires in Asia and Africa (but never admitting that America had a ‘sphere of influence’ in Latin America that at times did not act that much differently than the European Afro-Asian empires). 

The end of the English Empire (1947-1948)

The English, having in mid 1945 voted from office the pro-Empire Churchill and installed the anti-imperial Labour Party leader Atlee, easily fell in line behind the American idea that Europe should get out of the imperialism business in Asia and Africa.  In 1947 England pulled out of its long-standing position in India (which then fell immediately into a horribly murderous civil war – which produced even the assassination of the spiritual leader of Indian independence, Gandhi).  And the following year (1948) England abandoned her responsibilities in Palestine, leaving that country to plunge into a terrible civil war between Arab Palestinians demanding recognition of their rights as a nation – and Jewish refugees from Europe flooding into Palestine to escape the legacy of what had been a very anti-Jewish Europe.


One thought on “The struggle for Independence in Asia

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  1. Civil war? This article is inaccurate as there’s been no civil war after Independence. Britian left India divided into Pakistan and India – as different states. How’s war between two sovereign states called a civil war?

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