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An altogether different set of leaders have the confidence of one part of the country and of another. The same books, newspapers, pamphlets, speeches, do not reach them. One section does not know what opinions, or what instigations, are circulating in another. The same incidents, the same acts, the same system of government, affect them in different ways; and each fears more injury to itself from the other nationalities and from the common arbiter, the state. Their mutual antipathies are generally much stronger than jealousy of the government…. Benedict Anderson has made a similar argument, though with a slightly different emphasis.

Whereas Mill addressed the role of a shared language in democratic deliberation, Anderson's concern is with its impact on the development of a common national identity, which, in turn, is a precondition for democratic politics. In the process, they gradually became aware of the hundreds of thousands, even millions of people in their particular language-field, and at the same time that only those hundred of thousands, or millions so belonged. These fellow-readers, to whom they were connected through print, formed, in their secular, particular, visible invisibility, the embryo of the nationally imagined community.

Second, there is administrative efficiency. Linguistic homogenization is part and parcel of the process of administrative consolidation and the growth of the modern apparatus of the state. Linguistic uniformity made it possible for states to communicate directly with citizens and for a growing civil service to communicate internally.

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Finally, let us turn to economic and social mobility. Ernest Gellner has offered an economic interpretation of linguistic homogenization. This homogenization also enhances economic opportunity and social mobility by broadening the range of employment options available to individuals. In the absence of mass literacy in a common language, opportunities and mobility would be stratified on the basis of language and geography.

These explanations and justifications for linguistic homogenization were framed principally against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Europe, where they had been integral to the consolidation of France and Germany, in particular. However, to political elites in most postcolonial contexts in the mid-twentieth century, the same arguments justified policies of linguistic homogenization.

The designation of a single official language for central government institutions—Hindi in India, Urdu in Pakistan, Sinhalese in Sri Lanka—was expressly defended on these grounds. In India, the fullest presentation of these arguments can be found in the Report of the Official Language Commission in the Kher Commission. The commission linked the problem of linguistic homogenization squarely to the demands of a modern state, noting: Language is the main or almost sole instrument of inter-communication in a civilised society; modern Governments concern themselves so intimately and so extensively with all aspects of social and even individual existence that inevitably in a modern community the question of the linguistic medium becomes an important matter of concern to the country's governmental organization.

In the conduct of legislative bodies, in the day-to-day dealings with citizens by administrative agencies, in the dispensation of justice, in the system of education, in industry, trade and commerce; practically in all fields in which it has to interest itself in modern times, the State encounters and has to tackle the problem of the linguistic medium.

First, the commission made the case against the retention of English in central institutions. Although the commission recognized that English had become the lingua franca among Indian elites, who otherwise spoke mutually unintelligible Indian languages, it posited that English could no longer retain this role because literacy in English was confined to a tiny segment of the population less than 1 percent. The retention of English would be fundamentally inconsistent with the democratic assumptions underlying India's postindependence Constitution.

Our Constitution has enfranchised the entire adult male and female population of the country, thus bringing into being the largest democratic electorate ever witnessed throughout history…. The Indian citizen of today has potentially a greater stake and through his elected representatives the final voice in the affairs of the Government of the country as sharply contrasted with the position under the foreign and non-democratic government of the past.

The British Government, since they [ sic ] did not draw their power from the people of the country or depend for its exercise on majorities in parliamentary legislatures, could afford to conduct the administration in a language that was not understood, and could never come to be understood, by the vast masses of the country. Today when every citizen is a potential beneficiary of our welfare State and has a vote to exercise, it is manifest that the business of Government can be carried on only in a language or languages which admit of the possibility of each citizen taking an intelligent interest in the affairs of the State and exercising his power of franchise with understanding.

Does it not constitute inherently a grave danger to the smooth and peaceful working of the democratic processes, which are in operation all over the country at all levels of its political life from village panchayat to the Parliament, that the functioning of all superior administrative personnel and of law courts and of everybody of importance and authority in public life, should be in a language outside the comprehension of practically the entire population affected?

So the Kher Commission then proceeded to make the case for Hindi as the sole official language of the central government. The principal—and indeed, the only—reason offered by the commission for Hindi was that it was the most widely spoken language in India, although it conceded that it was the mother tongue of a large minority 42 percent , not a majority. No claim was made as to Hindi's superiority.

The obvious difficulty this posed is that Hindi was completely unrelated to South Indian languages for example, Tamil , whose representatives had argued that there should be two official languages, one North Indian and one South Indian, for the central government.

The commission categorically rejected this argument, since the South Indian languages were themselves mutually unintelligible, so selecting one would raise the question of the others. The response to the democratic case for Hindi came in the dissents to the Kher Commission report. What is striking is that they do not raise arguments concerning the symbolic or cultural significance of other regional languages as reasons to reject Hindi's exclusive official-language status.

Rather, the critiques parallel the democratic justifications for linguistic homogenization, arguing that such a policy would have undemocratic consequences by redistributing political power. In particular, linguistic exclusiveness would immediately consolidate political power in the hands of a Hindi-speaking elite and withdraw it from non-Hindi speakers. Thus, if Hindi speakers sought official-language status for Hindi at the center, they should not feel distressed or sorry or angry if the example … is sought to be scrupulously followed and emulated by the people of the non-Hindi States.

There, naturally by the same arguments—and particularly the argument that we must meet the masses of the people, our new masters, through their own mother-tongues—the various regional languages will be used as the most natural thing as official languages of their respective states, and in all possible contexts. Underlying political competition over official-language status is economic competition over public sector employment, which fuels political mobilization on the basis of language. Speakers of other languages are at a distinct disadvantage.

But to what kind of advantage or disadvantage does Taylor refer? In this particular essay, he did not say. However, in Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition , he argued that the significance of official-language policies is primarily, even exclusively, cultural. His principal example was Canada, where official-language policy lies at the very heart of Quebec nationalism.

Yet official-language policies confer a much broader set of advantages and disadvantages. The democratic objection to linguistic homogenization focused on the impact of official-language policies on opportunities for political participation, for example, by restricting access to public office, be it membership in legislatures or public sector employment.

However, public sector employment is also valuable for economic reasons. Indeed, across South Asia, underlying political competition regarding official-language status has been economic competition for white-collar public sector employment. Economic competition, not radical cultural difference, has been the principal force fueling political mobilization over official-language policies as applied to public sector employment. Why has economic competition for white-collar jobs been such an important driver of official-language policy? There is a cluster of mutually reinforcing reasons.

As Myron Weiner explained, 63 demand for these kinds of employment opportunities has increased dramatically in twentieth-century South Asia because of increased social mobility, which, in turn, was a function of increasing participation in education, especially secondary education. The growing proportion of youth completing advanced studies was made possible by a deliberate public policy decision to expand the availability of public education in the vernacular. Once they arrived, they found that access to those opportunities was in short supply.

It was this demographic—unemployed, newly educated youth, literate in the vernacular, and concentrated in urban areas—that fueled demand for access to white-collar employment opportunities. Although there was demand for both public and private sector employment, desire for the former was particularly acute. In the developing societies of South Asia, the state sector has accounted for a larger share of GDP than in economically advanced democracies. This has increased the economic value of public sector employment for white-collar workers relative to private sector options, which offered less stability and were not as remunerative.

Finally, in newly established democracies, public sector employment was a source of prestige and status. What is the link to official-language policy? The choice of an official internal working language of public administration creates unequal access to white-collar public sector employment. It is one way although not the only way in which an ethnic division of labor can be created and sustained. Consequently, as economic competition for these employment opportunities emerged, it was translated into a political demand for policies to redistribute those opportunities from one linguistic group to another by modifying the existing language policy.

Examples abound from across South Asia. In fact, on closer examination, South Asia presents three categories of policy status quo against which economically motivated linguistic mobilization occurred in the arena of public sector employment. In the first category, the status quo was the colonial language for example, English in Sri Lanka. In the second, it was a vernacular Urdu in Pakistan.

In the third, it was a combination—that is, public administration was conducted in a complex combination of the colonial language and the vernacular in many provinces in British India, for example. The ability of a linguistic group to translate economic demands into political action is a function of the underlying distribution of political power, which is often dramatically transformed as a result of democratization as a result, say, of decolonization.

Indeed, Sri Lanka's postcolonial constitution is entirely silent on the issue of official languages, leaving the matter to statute.

Under British colonial rule, the language of public administration had been English, and the assumption was that this would continue after independence. This was supported by the Tamil and Sinhalese elites who led the move for independence and who were both English speaking. However, the colonial experience laid the foundation for future linguistic conflict, because the degree of participation by the Tamil minority in the colonial administration was much higher.

Whether this was a deliberate product of a colonial divide-and-rule strategy or the rational response of Tamils from the northeast to the relatively poor prospects for agriculture on that part of the island, relative to the Sinhala-speaking areas which were better suited for farming, is a matter of some dispute. In the postindependence period, the dominance by Tamils in white-collar public sector employment—and the professions, more generally—continued.

This changed dramatically in the s and s, when Sinhalese nationalist parties took power and mobilized the Sinhalese majority around a project of linguistic nation building. One pillar of this project was the Official Language Act , which declared Sinhala to be the sole official language.

Sinhala became the official internal working language of government, of written communication between the government and the public, and of the all-important civil service examination, which had the effect of restricting access to state employment to Sinhala speakers. Later, the Language of the Courts Act expanded the official-language policy to make Sinhala the sole working language of the courts in Perhaps the most fateful decision taken under the rubric of the Sinhala-only policy was with respect to university admissions, which, at first, consisted of differential admission standards for Tamil and Sinhalese students, followed by a system of district quotas, both of which had the effect of dramatically reducing Tamil participation in higher education.

The Official Language Act was superseded by section 7 of the Constitution, which constitutionally entrenched Sinhala as Sri Lanka's sole official language. Both sets of policies operated to redistribute economic opportunities away from Tamils to Sinhalese. What accounted for the dramatic shift in language policy? The answer lies in the emergence, after independence, of increased competition for white-collar employment. This was itself a product of important changes in primary and secondary education that began in the late s and continued through the s and s.

Prior to independence, formal education had been available only to the privileged few. The period immediately preceding and following independence witnessed a dramatic increase in access to education. Education was provided in the vernacular, which created increased demand for access to higher education and for white-collar public sector employment. The new entrants into the labor pool were predominantly Sinhalese, which created the political incentives for Sinhalese political parties to compete with each other on modifying the rules governing access to universities and government employment.

Describing the latter, Stanley Tambiah explains its mass political appeal: The rice farmer, the harbour worker, the peon, the bus driver, all want their children to be pen-pushers. Such an aspiration can therefore serve as the clarion call for political mobilization and action on a mass scale, even though the prizes are few. Indeed, precisely because they are few and reflect the scarcity of a zero-sum game.

An additional example of competition for public sector employment discussed below leads to a further observation regarding political mobilization on the basis of religion. Religious conflict is an ongoing fact of political life in South Asia. In recent years, it has led to mass violence, as occurred tragically during the Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat in Indeed, as Kanchan Chandra has observed, Hindu-Muslim violence is sufficiently frequent in India that it has generated a growing literature which lies at the intersection of South Asian studies and the study of ethnic violence. Nevertheless, we should not, therefore, conclude that every political claim voiced in the name of religion is an accurate reflection of the underlying pattern of political mobilization.

Indeed, first in British India and, later, in Sri Lanka, conflicts that—from a superficial perspective—appear to be religious in nature were and are, in fact, about language. The difference between rhetorical justification and political sociology is critical for constitutional design, because the options for dealing with religious and linguistic differences are very different. Perhaps the classic example of this kind of elite-led nationalist mobilization is the rise of Muslim nationalism in preindependence South Asia.

As Paul Brass sets out in his authoritative account, leaders of this movement in Pakistan often invoked radical religious and cultural differences between Hindus and Muslims as justification for the partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the All-India Muslim League and the founder of Pakistan, declared in a speech that Islam and Hinduism … are not [merely] religions in the strict sense of the word, but are in fact different and distinct social orders … [t]hey neither inter-marry, nor inter-dine together and, indeed, they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions….

They have different epics, their heroes are different…. Very often, the Hero of one is a foe of the other and likewise their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to a growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up from the government of such a state.

However, scholars have long questioned Jinnah's claim. For many years, scholars have argued that partition was a product of the differential impact of religious institutions and new opportunities for economic mobility. On this argument, both Muslims and Hindus were economically backward under British rule but responded differently to new opportunities for education and British employment. The mass political mobilization of Muslims occurred as a response to their economic disadvantage and took the form of demands for guaranteed representation in education, administration, and politics.

The opposition of Hindus to these demands led Muslims to demand the partition of the subcontinent, which culminated in the creation of Pakistan and India. However, a closer examination of the historical record led Brass to conclude that although religious and cultural differences existed in the preindependence period, the principal basis of nationalist mobilization was language, and while the drive for Pakistan was fueled by Muslim masses in response to their economic disadvantage it was led by a largely secular, urban, Muslim elite intent on preserving its dominant status.

Prior to British rule, the language of public administration for the Mughal Empire had been Persian, but the lingua franca of Muslim elites was Urdu, which was written in Persian or Arabic script. This offered an immediate advantage in public sector employment to Urdu speakers, who were disproportionately from the Muslim elite. The response from educated, urban Hindus was a movement to replace Urdu with Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, as the language of public administration.

The basis for this movement was that Hindi was much more widely spoken than Urdu. Paul Brass explains the economic considerations that underlay this political conflict: Educated Hindus wanted to secure official recognition for Devanagari so that the cultural aspirations and employment opportunities for Hindus might be better served thereby. Educated Muslims wanted to preserve the official dominance of Urdu because Indo-Persian culture, which they favoured, and their employment opportunities would also be enhanced thereby.

Though the Hindi appeal was couched in terms of the interests of the broad masses of the majority … the two movements were led primarily by educated members of the two communities…. Indeed, this battle over language occurred during a period when the gap between the languages of urban elites and those of rural masses was growing.

In sum, the drive for the creation of Pakistan was based on the failure of Urdu-speaking elites to preserve the dominance of Urdu in British India. As a consequence, they shifted their objectives to the creation of a state—Pakistan—in which Urdu would be the official language. A notable feature of the movement for Pakistan was that the main opposition from within the Muslim community came from Muslim clerics, whose principal objective was the preservation of the system of religious personal law within India.

Indeed, the fact that Islam was not the basis of elite mobilization is illustrated by the eventual secession of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The first grievance articulated by East Pakistani elites was the choice of Urdu as sole official language of central institutions.

Urdu was spoken by only a handful of people in East Pakistan. The creation of Bangladesh illustrates both the importance of Urdu to the movement for Pakistan and the relative unimportance of a shared religious identity Islam to this particular nationalist movement. Now that we understand the political sociology of political mobilization on the basis of language, how should constitutional design respond? In particular, does the South Asian constitutional experience offer any lessons learned, models to be followed, and, equally importantly, dangers to be avoided?

Liberal neutrality is a nonoption with respect to language. The last point—that it is important to filter political rhetoric and, in suitable cases, to distinguish political mobilization on the basis of language from that based on religion—prompts an important question about constitutional design. Are the constitutional strategies we use to respond to political mobilization on the basis of religion available in the case of language?

The answer to that question depends on whether there is a conceptual difference between religious and linguistic divisions. If there is none, then, ultimately, the value of distinguishing religious from linguistic political mobilization is important as a matter of political sociology but immaterial as a question of constitutional design. Conversely, if there is a conceptual distinction between the two, then there may be important implications for constitutional design.

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Liberal political theory's strategy for preventing various social divisions from translating into political divisions is the principle of neutrality. As a principle of constitutional design, neutrality emerged in Europe from the religious wars of the seventeenth century. European states were wracked by religious conflict over which religion should be the official state religion and, in particular, whether the religion of the ruler should be the official religion of the state and its subjects.

The solution for achieving political peace was to reverse the shared assumptions of the warring parties and adopt the principle of neutrality. Neutrality, in fact, combines two interrelated principles, nonendorsement and noninterference. Nonendorsement is synonymous with the notion of antiestablishment in American constitutional doctrine, or the separation of church and state, and holds that there is no official state religion.

Noninterference is doctrinally elaborated in American constitutional law under the rubric of free exercise, and it requires that the state neither interfere with nor support the religious identities of its citizens. Overall, as a constitutional strategy for managing the threat posed by religious diversity to social peace, neutrality leaves religion a matter for the private sphere and creates an open cultural marketplace for religious identities and adherents, all of which occurs within a framework of human rights and the rule of law. The state is indifferent as to whether particular religious identities flourish or die out.

Religious identity is irrelevant to the rights and obligations of citizenship. But religion is no longer and, indeed, never was the only form of diversity that could likewise serve as a basis of political mobilization. In a divided society, political claims are refracted through the lens of ethnic identity, and political conflict becomes synonymous with conflict among ethnocultural groups.

So the liberal impulse is to extend and generalize the treatment of religion to other kinds of social divisions in order to diminish their capacity to structure conceptions of interest and political debate, and, indeed, to prevent them from engulfing political institutions. Thus, in the same way that the liberal state is neutral on matters of religious identity, it can be similarly neutral with regard to race and ethnicity. So the question for constitutional design is whether the strategy of neutrality or privatization can be extended to competing linguistic nationalisms.

Can the state be neutral on the question of language? The answer is no. The state need not choose an official or established religion, ethnicity, or race in order to discharge its functions. However, it must choose a language, or a limited set of languages, in which to operate. Those languages are official for that limited but important purpose. The reason is that communication is essential to the functioning of any state, liberal democratic or otherwise. Communication occurs between institutions and officeholders within a state—between legislatures and executives and courts, among parliamentarians, civil servants, and judges, and so on.

It also takes place between various state institutions and citizens, through the provision of public services, the administration of justice, and public education. To reason by analogy from religion or race and adopt a policy of laissez-faire in the case of language would be a recipe for chaos. To be sure, as I will argue below, there is latitude within some envelopes of state activity to be broad in the scope of official languages.

However, for most state functions, there are limits, because language functions as a coordinating device that permits collective deliberation and decision making. Fiscal and technological constraints render translation an impractical means for offsetting the loss in coordination resulting from linguistic divergence.

Disaggregate official-language status into its constituent components. Designating an official language, or a set of official languages, raises the question of what official-language status actually means. It is sometimes thought that once a language receives official status, it can and should be used across all areas of government activity on a footing of equality with other official languages, if any. However, for the purposes of constitutional design, it is useful to disaggregate the choice of official language into a number of distinct institutional contexts, in which the scope for linguistic choice and the consequences of those choices are rather different.

Alan Patten and Will Kymlicka provide a useful taxonomy of the distinct institutional contexts in which the choice of official language must be made. Thus, states must choose an official language for a legislatures, b courts, and c the executive. With respect to the last category, a further distinction can be drawn between the internal language of government and the language of public services.

In the realm of public services, debates over the language of public education have been particularly fraught in many societies and at all levels. With respect to primary and secondary education, the arguments are largely framed in terms of cultural survival. At the postsecondary level, the issue is the intimate connection between the availability of postsecondary education in a language and the language of the public sector and the economy. Indeed, it is possible to pursue the strategy of disaggregation even further than Patten and Kymlicka do.

For example, the Kher Commission drew a distinction between the deliberative dimensions of the legislative process and the formal legal texts that are debated during the legislative process and which are its products. The latter refers to bills, amendments, and statutes.

How official-language policy should be framed in any particular country will be a highly contextualized decision, depending on a number of factors, such as the number of candidate official languages, how developed the vocabularies of those languages are, fiscal constraints, the availability of translation, and so on. But the value of disaggregating the question of official-language status is that it highlights how the range of choice is quite different in different institutional contexts. South Asia furnishes a number of examples that illustrate these points.

The former concerns the internal language of government communication; the latter concerns the external language of government communication. In general, the pressure toward linguistic homogeneity is stronger for the former than the latter. From a practical standpoint, the state is limited in its ability to function internally in more than one language because civil servants must be able to communicate with each other. Translation for communication among monolingual civil servants in a multilingual administration is both time-consuming and costly. In the context of developing countries, these challenges are even greater.

A vivid illustration of the pressure toward the choice of a very limited set of languages for internal government communication in the face of considerable linguistic diversity can be found in the case of India. Recall article 1 , which provides that Hindi shall be the language of the central government, that there would be a phase-in period of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution in , and that, at the end of that period, Parliament could legislate to extend the use of English indefinitely.

As detailed below, this is precisely what Parliament did, through the Official Languages Act of Since the central government operates in two official languages, one way to interpret this constitutional compromise would be as an illustration of institutional multilingualism. However, another way to read this is as a convergence on only two languages, in the face of India's enormous linguistic diversity.

The convergence upon two main official languages at the national level has occurred, notwithstanding massive linguistic diversity that generated considerable political conflict and pressure against linguistic homogenization. The internal working language of government can be contrasted with the language of public services, which has understandably been a flashpoint of linguistic conflict in multilingual societies. The inability of citizens to communicate with public authorities may pose insurmountable barriers in accessing public services.

It took place on schedule in as Manuel Roxas took office as president. Although a small, poor country, Portugal had one of the oldest and largest of the empires. The British had long protected it, and by it regained possessions it had lost to the Japanese. Portugal was an authoritarian state, with no taste for democracy at home or in its colonies. There was a fierce determination to maintain possession and all costs, and aggressively defeat any insurgencies. However, Portugal was helpless when India seized Goa in In , nationalist forces began organizing in Portugal, and the revolts spread to Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.

Lisbon escalated its repressive measures, and setting up strategic hamlets. Deeply distrustful of the natives, Portugal sent another , European settlers into Angola by In , left-wing revolution inside Portugal destroyed the old system and encouraged pro-Soviet elements to attempt to seize control in the colonies. The result was a very long and extremely difficult multi-party Civil War in Angola, and lesser insurrections in Mozambique.

Belgium is a small, rich European country that had an empire forced upon it by international demand in in response to the malfeasance of its King Leopold in greatly mistreating the Congo. The colonies remained independent during the war, while Belgium itself was cruelly occupied by the Germans. There was no serious planning for independence, and exceedingly little training or education provided. The Belgian Congo was especially rich, and many Belgian businessmen lobbied hard to maintain control. Local revolts grew in power and finally, the Belgian king suddenly announced in that independence was on the agenda — and it was hurriedly arranged in , for country bitterly and deeply divided on social and economic grounds.

The Netherlands, a small rich country in Western Europe, had spent centuries building up its empire. By it consisted mostly of the Dutch East Indies now Indonesia. Its massive oil reserves provided about 14 percent of the Dutch national product and supported a large population of ethnic Dutch government officials and businessmen in Jakarta and other major cities. The Netherlands was overrun and almost starved to death by the Nazis during the war, and Japan sank the Dutch fleet in seizing the East Indies.

In the Netherlands could not regain these islands on its own; it did so by depending on British military help and American financial grants. By the time Dutch soldiers returned, an independent government under Sukarno , originally set up by the Japanese, was in power. The Dutch in the East Indies, and at home, were practically unanimous except for the Communists that Dutch power and prestige and wealth depended on an extremely expensive war to regain the islands.

Compromises were negotiated, were trusted by neither side. When the Indonesian Republic successfully suppressed a large-scale communist revolt, the United States realized that it needed the nationalist government as an ally in the Cold War. Dutch possession was an obstacle to American Cold War goals, so Washington forced the Dutch to grant full independence. A few years later, Sukarno seized all Dutch properties and expelled all ethnic Dutch—over ,—as well as several hundred thousand ethnic Indonesians who supported the Dutch cause. In the aftermath, the Netherlands prospered greatly in the s and s but nevertheless public opinion was bitterly hostile to the United States for betrayal.

Washington remained baffled why the Dutch were so inexplicably enamored of an obviously hopeless cause. When the United Nations was formed in , it established trust territories. These territories included the League of Nations mandate territories which had not achieved independence by , along with the former Italian Somaliland. By all but one of the trust territories had achieved independence, either as independent states or by merger with another independent state; the Northern Mariana Islands elected to become a commonwealth of the United States.

The emergence of this new political entity, in the frame of the Cold War , was complex and painful. Several tentatives were made to organize newly independent states in order to oppose a common front towards both the US's and the USSR's influence on them, with the consequences of the Sino-Soviet split already at works. The NIEO was opposed to the Bretton Woods system , which had benefited the leading states which had created it, and remained in force until after the United States' suspension of convertibility from dollars to gold.

The main tenets of the NIEO were:. The oil crisis which followed the Yom Kippur War October was triggered by the OPEC which decided an embargo against the US and Western countries, causing a fourfold increase in the price of oil, which lasted five months, starting on October 17, , and ending on March 18, At that time, OPEC nations — including many who had recently nationalised their oil industries — joined the call for a New International Economic Order to be initiated by coalitions of primary producers.

Concluding the First OPEC Summit in Algiers they called for stable and just commodity prices, an international food and agriculture program, technology transfer from North to South, and the democratization of the economic system. But industrialized countries quickly began to look for substitutes to OPEC petroleum, with the oil companies investing the majority of their research capital in the US and European countries or others, politically sure countries.

The OPEC lost more and more influence on the world prices of oil. The second oil crisis occurred in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Then, the Latin American debt crisis exploded in Mexico first, then Argentina and Brazil, which proved unable to pay back their debts, jeopardizing the existence of the international economic system.

The s were characterized by the prevalence of the Washington consensus on neoliberal policies, " structural adjustment " and " shock therapies " for the former Communist states. The decolonization of North Africa, and sub- Saharan Africa took place in the mid-to-late s, very suddenly, with little preparation. Libya became an independent kingdom in Eritrea was merged with Ethiopia in Italian Somaliland was governed by the UK, and by Italy after , until its independence in By European colonial rule in mainland Africa had ended.

However the black majorities in Rhodesia and South Africa were disenfranchised until in Rhodesia , which became Zimbabwe-Rhodesia that year and Zimbabwe the next, and until in South Africa. Most independent African countries exist within prior colonial borders. Eritrea merged with Ethiopia in , but became an independent country in Most African countries became independent as republics.

Morocco , Lesotho , and Swaziland remain monarchies under dynasties that predate colonial rule. Egypt and Libya gained independence as monarchies, but both countries' monarchs were later deposed, and they became republics. African countries cooperate in various multi-state associations. The African Union includes all 55 African states. There are several regional associations of states, including the East African Community , Southern African Development Community , and Economic Community of West African States , some of which have overlapping membership.

After the war, the Japanese colonial empire was dissolved, and national independence movements resisted the re-imposition of colonial control by European countries and the United States. The Republic of China regained control of Japanese-occupied territories in Manchuria and eastern China, as well as Taiwan. Only Hong Kong and Macau remained in outside control. The Philippines became independent of the US in The Netherlands recognized Indonesia 's independence in , after a four-year independence struggle.

In , former Portuguese Timor became independent as East Timor. The following list shows the colonial powers following the end of hostilities in , and their colonial or administrative possessions. The year of decolonization is given chronologically in parentheses. Italy had occupied the Dodecanese islands in , but Italian occupation ended after World War II, and the islands were integrated into Greece. British rule ended in Cyprus in , and Malta in , and both islands became independent republics.

Soviet control of its non-Russian member republics weakened rapidly as movements for democratization and self-government gained strength during and Historian Robert Daniels says, "A special dimension that the anti-Communist revolutions shared with some of their predecessors was decolonisation.

After independence, minority rights for Russian-speakers has been an issue; see Russians in the Baltic states. The decolonization of Oceania occurred after World War II when nations in Oceania achieved independence by transitioning from European colonial rule to full independence. Typical challenges of decolonization include state-building , nation-building , and economic development.

After independence, the new states needed to establish or strengthen the institutions of a sovereign state — governments, laws, a military, schools, administrative systems, and so on. Except for a few absolute monarchies, most post-colonial states are either republics or constitutional monarchies. These new states had to devise constitutions , electoral systems , and other institutions of representative democracy. Nation-building is the process of creating a sense of identification with, and loyalty to, the state. Elements of nation-building include creating and promoting symbols of the state like a flag and an anthem, monuments, official histories, national sports teams, codifying one or more indigenous official languages , and replacing colonial place-names with local ones.

Decolonization is not an easy matter in colonies where a large population of settlers lives, particularly if they have been there for several generations. This population, in general, was often repatriated, often losing considerable property. For instance, the decolonization of Algeria by France was particularly uneasy due to the large European population see also pied noir , which largely evacuated to France when Algeria became independent.

In Zimbabwe , former Rhodesia , president Robert Mugabe has, starting in the s, targeted white African farmers and forcibly seized their property. Other ethnic minorities that are also the product of colonialism may pose problems as well. As many Indians had considerable wealth Idi Amin expelled them for domestic political gain.

In some cases, decolonization is hardly possible or impossible because of the importance of the settler population or where the indigenous population is now in the minority; such is the case of the British population of the Cayman Islands or the European population of the United States of America. Newly independent states also had to develop independent economic institutions — a national currency, banks, companies, regulation, tax systems, etc. Many colonies were serving as resource colonies which produced raw materials and agricultural products, and as a captive market for goods manufactured in the colonizing country.

Many decolonized countries created programs to promote industrialization. Some nationalized industries and infrastructure, and some engaged in land reform to redistribute land to individual farmers or create collective farms. Some decolonized countries maintain strong economic ties with the former colonial power. The CFA franc is guaranteed by the French treasury.

Domestic economic growth — as now measured and much discussed — came to be seen as far more important than the erstwhile colonial trade The economic effect in the United States from the granting of independence to the Philippines was unnoticeable, partly due to the Bell Trade Act , which allowed American monopoly in the economy of the Philippines.

The departure of India and Pakistan made small economic difference in the United Kingdom. Dutch economists calculated that the economic effect from the loss of the great Dutch empire in Indonesia was compensated for by a couple of years or so of domestic post-war economic growth. The end of the colonial era is celebrated in the history books as a triumph of national aspiration in the former colonies and of benign good sense on the part of the colonial powers. Lurking beneath, as so often happens, was a strong current of economic interest — or in this case, disinterest.

In general, the release of the colonized caused little economic loss to the colonizers. Part of the reason for this was that major costs were eliminated while major benefits were obtained by alternate means. Decolonization allowed the colonizer to disclaim responsibility for the colonized.

The colonizer no longer had the burden of obligation, financial or otherwise, to their colony. However, the colonizer continued to be able to obtain cheap goods and labor as well as economic benefits see Suez Canal Crisis from the former colonies. Financial, political and military pressure could still be used to achieve goals desired by the colonizer. Thus decolonization allowed the goals of colonization to be largely achieved, but without its burdens.

Due to a common history and culture, former colonial powers created institutions which more loosely associated their former colonies. Membership is voluntary, and in some cases can be revoked if a member state loses some objective criteria usually a requirement for democratic governance. The organizations serve cultural, economic, and political purposes between the associated countries, although no such organization has become politically prominent as an entity in its own right.

A non-exhaustive list of assassinated leaders would include:. This list includes formerly non-self-governing territories, such as colonies, protectorates, condominia , and leased territories. Changes in status of autonomy leading up to and after independence are not listed, and some dates of independence may be disputed. For details, see each national history. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. American Revolution and American Revolutionary War.

Spanish American wars of independence. Eastern Question and Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire. Muhammad Ali's seizure of power. Greek War of Independence. National awakening of Romania. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

May Learn how and when to remove this template message. New Imperialism and Colonialism. American imperialism and Timeline of United States military operations. United Nations Trust Territories. Decolonization of the Americas. List of national independence days. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. The darker side of Western modernity: The United Nations and Decolonization. The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community.

The University of Chicago Press. Palmer, The age of the Democratic Revolution: Morris, The emerging nations and the American Revolution Archives Europeennes de Sociologie,. A Very Short Introduction. Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Canadian Journal of History. Archived from the original on The case of medieval and Ottoman Serbia". Explorations in Economic History. Po-chia Hsia, and Bonnie G. The Making of the West Peoples and Cultures.

Crowd events in Bombay city in Journal of South Asian Studies 8. The Making of India and Pakistan A Comparison of Schoolbooks on the 'History of Cyprus'. A Reappraisal of Filipino Views on Independence". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. The Louisiana Purchase and American Expansion: Torres, "Puerto Rico, the 51st state: Brands, Bound to Empire: The United States and the Philippines pp Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire Hargreaves, Decolonization in Africa The Globalization of World Politics: An introduction to international relations.

Revolutions and the Revolutionary Tradition: In the West — To be or not to be?. Systematic Political Geography 2nd Edition. United Nations General Assembly Resolution South—South cooperation and Third Worldism. Landlocked developing countries Least Developed Countries Heavily indebted poor countries. Emerging markets Newly industrialized country Transition economy. Colonization , decolonization , and neocolonialism. Americas Africa Asia Oceania. Antiquity — Imperialism Chartered companies Interventionism Colonialism chronology history empires settler colonialism wars Current: Wars of national liberation — Predecessors of sovereign states in Europe in South America Independence referendum Sovereign states formation dates.

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Organization of Ibero-American States. Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Commonwealth of Independent States. Thirteen colonies of British America declare their independence a year into a general insurrection. Recognized by Great Britain in at the Treaty of Paris. After initially revolting only to restore French control, Saint-Domingue declares its independence as Haiti.

West Florida today part of the United States. West Florida declares independence, but is almost immediately annexed by the United States as part of Orleans Territory under its claims from the Louisiana Purchase.


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Annexation recognized by Spain in Recognized by Spain in Much more worryingly, it unleashed an ethno-political dynamic, often brutally violent in nature, which tore at the already tenuous unity of the empire. It was here that local officials, nationalist politicians, warlords and "White" opponents stepped into the power vacuum provided by the collapse of the state to forge new local and regional regimes.

By the close of the civil war in the Bolsheviks had succeeded in quelling the vast majority of these challengers. Finland, the Baltic states and Poland had, however, broken free of Moscow; for these new nations the First World War and its aftermath represented a clear decolonising moment. For the peoples of Ukraine , the Caucasus and central Asia the reverse was true. Although having briefly tasted freedom from Russian control, by the early s the Bolsheviks had succeeded in re-colonising these borderland areas, the only difference being that imperial authority was now replaced by the centralised control of the party machine.

The concept of re-colonisation was also evident in the manner in which the German Empire viewed aspects of its war on the Eastern Front. For expansionist-minded sections of the German military, as well as right-wing radicals and state bureaucrats, this new colonial space offered a chance to build a buffer zone against future Russian aggression. Eastern Europe, in particular the unrealised opportunities provided by Ukraine to sustain the German war effort through its grain supplies, offered a chance to turn the tide of the conflict through imperial expansion.

German defeat on the Western Front ensured that such dreams of a continental empire, with all its ethnic complexities, were destroyed by the end of These would emerge, reinvigorated and based around a destructive ethno-political ideology, as central to the Nazi "imperial" project of the s and s. The idea of the First World War as a decolonising moment influenced the victorious colonial powers as well. For much of the interwar period, the spectre of imperial collapse, not least that instigated by the Bolshevik Revolution, would haunt colonial administrators in London, Paris and peripheral territories, as well as inspire many anti-colonial nationalists.

Kanya-Forstner has suggested, the First World War had little import as a decolonising moment for Britain and France, although it did suggest the inherent vulnerabilities of their imperial systems. This is the supposition this article will tackle: In order to grasp the shifts in the nature of colonial rule in the wake of the Great War, it is first necessary to consider how the colonial empires mobilised and adapted to fight the conflict. For France and Britain their colonial territories were a vast reservoir of vital raw materials which could fuel their industrial war efforts.

More importantly, their empires provided manpower on such a scale as to offset their quantitative disadvantages on European battlefields. During the Entente deployed over , soldiers from its colonies in Europe. France, in particular, was heavily reliant on the men it enlisted from its African possessions which contributed , Algerians, , West Africans, 60, Tunisians, 37, Moroccans and 34, Madagascans to the defence of the metropole. Adolphe Messimy had argued for an Algerian army of , men and Colonel Charles Mangin advocated for an even larger force noire with which to repel European opponents.

These schemes met with little success prior to The appalling losses endured by the French Army on the Western Front meant that colonial manpower would increasingly take on a greater share of the fighting. By the time Georges Clemenceau had become premier in November , French Africa had provided an additional , troops.

Recruiting in the colonial empire relied both on volunteers and conscription, with the balance shifting increasingly towards the latter as the war dragged on and tales of the horrors of the front line were disseminated by returning injured veterans. On reaching villages, recruiters in West Africa increasingly found that young men suitable for military service had fled into the bush or were malingering with self-inflicted wounds. However, uprisings in Western Volta in and Dahomey in were only partly attributable to the demand for wartime military manpower. Bringing the mobilisation methods of " total war " to the periphery of empire was often the final step that exacerbated longer-term problems of limited local legitimacy facing colonial administrations.

British imperial recruiters experienced many of the same obstacles when trying to extract manpower from colonies in Africa and South Asia. Indeed, colonial recruiting mechanisms themselves were often far from perfect, heightening the difficulties faced when trying to get recalcitrant colonial subjects to sign up for military service often far from home and in defence of a remote imperial regime. In November , a colonel carrying out a recruiting tour of local villages near Amritsar in northern India found himself to be one of forty-two competing regimental recruiting parties in the neighbourhood.

Despite such obstacles Britain was able to raise a considerable imperial army during the course of the First World War. In particular, India proved a fertile recruiting ground, providing nearly 1. British West African colonies raised 57, carriers, East Africa and Nyasaland provided , each and Uganda 19, The East African campaign was fought on the backs of African labour.

It was not only colonial soldiers who contributed to the French and British imperial war efforts. As important were the large numbers of civilian labourers recruited to work in French factories, maintain the lines of communication and run the array of support services that modern armies required to wage a " total war " on the Western Front. Nearly 50, Indochinese workers served alongside 35, Moroccans, 18, Tunisians and 76, Algerians.

Britain deployed , labourers from the colonial world to Europe, including over 31, black South Africans and 92, Chinese workers. This was a process highly disruptive to colonial economies, particularly those based on manpower-intensive agrarian production. The mobilisation of the British and French colonial empires during the First World War offers striking contrasts in attitudes to the use of colonial soldiers which would greatly shape post-war political agitation in colonial territories.

In the British case voluntarism remained the guiding principle. In India and Africa, by the later stages of the war, the nature of this voluntarism was open to question. Inducements from recruiting parties, pressure on local community elders and what amounted to press gangs all became common. In contrast, French recruitment made use of conscription, fundamentally altering the relationship between the imperial combatant and colonial state; this opened up a dangerous route to claims of citizenship derived from collective blood sacrifice in defence of the metropole.

The different uses to which these colonial armies were put is also striking. In the French case, West and North African troops were primarily recruited to defend France from German aggression, a task which required their deployment on European battlefields. For Britain, non-white colonial troops, with the exception of the Indian Corps on the Western Front in , were used for combat outside Europe, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. In a very basic sense, by November Britain possessed a clear strategic advantage in the Middle East.

Indian Army formations occupied much of the territory from Egypt to Mesopotamia. On the other hand, French ambitions, as evinced by the colonialist lobby and selected ministers rather than the government, to rule over a Greater Syrian colony were in many respects a fantasy that ignored very basic realities on the ground. Despite the wartime division of the Middle East between the two powers in the Sykes-Picot agreement of February , it was not until September that France was able to begin its expansion into Syria.

For France, the ability to continue to mobilise colonial subject populations was a key requirement of any post-war peace settlement. The war persuaded Clemenceau that the empire could provide a viable substitute for French manpower which was in increasingly short supply given the losses of the conflict and a declining birth rate. Nonetheless, Simon stuck to the demand and acquired British and American acceptance over the course of the winter of In the wake of the First World War the pressing question for Britain and France was less one of future mobilisations and more of how to demobilise their vast imperial armies.

Returning soldiers proved not just a logistical nightmare, particularly given the post-war shortage of merchant shipping, but were also a potential source of domestic unrest. Many of the veterans returning to the French colony of Guinea resented the local chiefs who had helped force them into military service and, during , were at the forefront of industrial disputes, assaulting chiefs and settler plantation managers, symbols of the unequal colonial system of economic and political rule.

In the case of Jamaica, returning soldiers from the British West Indies Regiment were frequently disappointed by the lack of job opportunities within the restrictive plantation economy. In Senegal, the problems facing returning soldiers were not just economic. The colony was in crisis due to outbreaks of bubonic plague in most major urban centres during which killed at least in Dakar and over in Rufisque. Attempts by the colonial authorities to contain the problem were sluggish.

Urban clearance and the isolation of infected individuals in quarantine hostels caused widespread local anger. In rural areas, vaccination schemes and the disposal of the dead ignored local customs, traditional medicine, religious practices and funeral rites. The colonial state appeared to be destroying indigenous society while at the same time professing to save it. For many colonial soldiers, however, demobilisation could not come fast enough. Large numbers of troops from both the British and French Empires were retained after the end of hostilities to serve in occupation roles. It was, above all, a pragmatic solution to the pressing needs of wartime states which were adapting to the necessities of the post-war peace.

It allowed the French and British Armies to demobilise their metropolitan soldiers first, assuaging demands at home and from the men themselves, while colonial troops were used as substitutes until the peace settlements were clarified. Wartime colonial mobilisation and the service of large numbers of colonial soldiers and labourers in Europe or in defence and expansion of empire impressed upon London and Paris the need for colonial reform.

In some respects, this was portrayed as a reward for the wartime service of these colonial peoples, demonstrating that imperial rule was a reciprocal and benevolent practice. More pertinently, it was a way to assuage the demands of politically awakened veterans who would now claim greater rights and freedoms. From early in the war, for example, the Indian government worried about potential political upheaval from any number of anti-colonial opponents, whether armed Sikh militants, Bengali terrorists, or, following the Ottoman entry into the war, an increasingly active pan-Islamic movement.

The viceroy, Frederic Chelmsford, Lord Chelmsford , was eager to pre-empt any potential challenges to the Raj and to respond to calls to reward Indian military service for the King-Emperor. In August the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms were announced, promising the gradual development of self-governing institutions and the progressive realisation of responsible government with the proviso that India remained an integral part of the empire. These reforms although rejected by the Indian National Congress, the principal nationalist organisation, which considered the measures to be too little, too slowly delivered nonetheless set the pattern for British attempts at containing political opposition throughout the interwar years.

In the French Empire similar promises of reform were made to colonial populations as a reward for their wartime service. In his supporters were swept to victory in local and mayoral elections in the four communes, marginalising the settler interests that had previously dominated. French imperial rule seemed, on the face of it, to be subject to moderating forces and to be responding to the wartime sacrifices of its colonial subjects.

The reality was somewhat different. Compared to the steps being taken in India, which tied the nationalist movement into a constitutional settlement rather than radical activism, the French reforms in West and North Africa made little difference to the nature of colonial rule and the daily experience of racial subjugation. Twenty chiefs chosen by the governor-general were inserted to represent people from outside the four communes, men who could be relied upon to support the administration against the demands of the elected members.

Elsewhere in French West Africa urban centres given the status of communes-mixtes where city councils were elected on limited franchises found that these bodies were merely advisory to their French mayors. Despite the wartime promises of French citizenship by there were only 2, African "citizens" outside the four communes. The mass of the population remained subjects, governed by summary administrative justice and collective fines and were often employed as forced labour.

Post Colonial State

The same story of restricted rights and limited reforms was evident in North Africa. Muslim voters in Algeria formed a separate electoral college and could only vote for their representatives. The settler community retained its political dominance despite its numerical inferiority. The fundamental iniquity of colonial rule remained: Muslim Algerians were still denied any representation in Paris.

Decolonization - Wikipedia

Again, the opportunities for gaining French citizenship appeared to be illusory as access to such status was conditional on Algerians revoking their Muslim identity. This served to deter all but 1, Algerians from seeking to become citizens between and The comparison of French West and North Africa with British India implied above is somewhat unfair, suggesting that the best traditions of the British Empire as a liberal reforming force were applied universally after the First World War. Such reforms were not applied more widely across the British Empire, with territories in Africa run with as little regard for the local population as those of the French.

Colonial reform was thus a chimerical notion for many subjects of the British and French Empires. Reform of the colonial system after the Great War was not solely a product of the "benevolence" of imperial rulers. It was, in some respects, forced upon Britain and France by the shifting nature of international relations, most notably the rise of Wilsonian ideals of internationalism embodied most prominently in the League of Nations.

One of the key areas of the peace settlements that pertained to the colonial world was the question of how to deal with the former German and Ottoman imperial territories. Wilson led the charge for a peace that was without annexations and which would see colonial claims dealt with in a transparent manner. This was a direct challenge to the great power division of the colonial world that had dominated for much of the nineteenth century. Britain and France were equally clear that the newly occupied colonies would not be returned to their defeated former colonial masters.

In presentations at the peace conference both argued that the insertion of some form of international regime as a colonial steward would be certain to fail. Three types of mandate were proposed based upon the supposed stage of development of the subject population. These mandates included the former German colonies of Togoland and Cameroon, both of which were partitioned between Britain and France; Rwanda and Burundi passed to Belgian control and the rest of German East Africa went to Britain as Tanganyika.

The final category of "C" mandates was reserved for remote territories about which the European colonial powers cared little, but which were of interest to Japan and the British Dominions, states beginning to forge their own, smaller imperial realms to ensure their regional dominance. The "C" mandates had a particularly ambiguous status and were perceived as being a long way from ever achieving self-government. Mandatory powers were allowed to administer them effectively as integral parts of their territory, a position which the South African representative at Versailles, Jan Smuts , declared as amounting to "annexation in all but name.

The establishment of the mandate system as a functioning element within the colonial division of the world, the enshrining of the principle of trusteeship in the League of Nations charter, and the role of the PMC as a check on the actions of the mandatory powers appeared to indicate a clear shift in international relations. Supporters of the League saw the mandates as a progression from discredited 19 th century forms of imperial rule, benevolent in intent and, crucially, intended to be of limited duration.

Yet as Susan Pedersen has argued, it is very difficult to generalise about the administration of the mandates, as there was a great deal of variation in the manner in which individual territories, even those supposedly of the same category, were administered. For example, in Tanganyika and Transjordan Britain introduced land reforms but Australia devoted few resources to New Guinea because it saw the territory merely as a buffer state.