DECOLONIZATION OF SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST ASIA
By: Sid Rao, Jeffrey Henderson, and Michael Abide
The campaigns of civil disobedience led by Gandhi in India during the interwar years had exasperated Great Britain. India, a less-developed Nation, but one with a large population, intended to play a role on the world stage by making itself the primary advocate of neutralizing colonialism. However, at the end of the Second World War the British Government did not have the capability to face a new protracted conflict, and with the detriment Gandhi and his resistance was to the financial profitbalitity of Britain, they eventually decided to grant independence to the Indian subcontinent in August 1947, by separating the region into West Pakistan, East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), and lastly India- the “safe haven” for Hindus.
While Gandhi and Nehru, the main leaders of the Congress Party, advocated Indian unity, the Muslim League, directed by Ali Jinnah, called for the creation of an independent Muslim state. The violence between the two sides escalated and degenerated into a civil war. In February 1947, the British decided to evacuate the nation, and on 15 August 1947 it was partitioned into two independent states: India, with a Hindu majority, and Pakistan, with a Muslim majority. The Republic of India was proclaimed in January 1950, once the constitution had been drawn up, but it remained a member of the British Nation.
Quick Video Entailing History of Colonization in South East Asia
Ho Chi Minh, leader of communist movement in Vietnam, seized power after WW2 and proclaimed the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1946 France signed an agreement with Ho Chi Minh, recognizing Vietnam as a free nation and as a part of the French Union. This agreement lasted less than a year, when increasing tensions caused the French to go to war to restore authority in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh went undercover to fight the French, which was a start to a war that lasted almost a decade. To justify this drawn out war, French claimed that it was a war against communism. After that China and the Soviet Union began to help the Vietnamese defend against France. France soon realized that they could not retain a grip on Vietnam and put an end to the conflict in 1954. When the conflict ended, Vietnam was split into two parts, Ho Chi Minh's communist controlled northern Vietnam, and a national dictatorship in southern Vietnam.
South East Asia
Laos- After World War II, the French sought to restore their control over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Laos gained independence in varying stages in 1949 as part of the French Union, 1953 from a Royal Lao treaty with France, in 1954 as a byproduct of the Generva Agreements, in 1975 as the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Cambodia- In 1941 France placed Norodom Sihanouk on the in hopes of establishing a puppet monarch. Instead this new leader took advantage of the First Indochina War that the French were fighting in Vietnam and was able to lead his people to freedom in 1953.
After the heavy detriment that was World War 2, many of the major colonial powers (Britain, France, Russia, etc.) felt the major socioeconomic tremble and ended up losing their colonies due to the many uprisings, revolutions, and peace resistances.