To what extent did Britain’s changing economic status, post-WW2, lead to decolonisation?
Nationalism – Indian Independence
Nationalism – The Suez Crisis
Domestic Issues – Is the Empire a thing
of the past?
Political issues – Change in the World Balance of Power.
Political issues – Britain’s dependence upon the USA.
Economic Issues – Implications of World War Two.
Economic Issues – American Loans
Why did Britain decolonise its empire post World War 2?
Britain, a country that geographically covers a minute portion of the world, once controlled a quarter of the globes surface during her Empire’s peak size; quite simply she had overstretched both her resources and her military power.
In 1922 the British Empire dominated the entire world covering a quarter of the globes surface – some ‘14 million square miles of territory with over 400 million subject people’ . However the empire reached its peak post World War 1 in the 1930’s and since has steadily been declining so be it that by 1980, ‘all of the major colonies had gained independence’ .
The process of decolonisation developed through a contribution of a number of factors. Firstly, the rise of nationalism in many countries was one of the main contributing factors. Britain no longer had the power to suppress the growing nationalistic uprisings as they grew in both strength and support; many would say that Britain had little option but to grant independence to certain countries, such as India in 1947. The domestic issues also played an important role in the Empires decline. Support for the great empire was fading as many saw it as a thing of the past, preferring instead to concentrate on internal domestic and social issues such as the national...