History Theme 2: Independence and the Construction of New States

The first large-scale Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, took place on April 18-24, 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. The twenty-nine countries that participated at the Conference represented 1.5 billion people or approximately half the World’s population at the time.


Introductory Power Point and map showing decolonized states:

Decolonisation Intro

History Th 2 Chp 5Decolonization map


Decolonization of India

Independence Day in India marked the end of British rule in 1947 and the establishment of a free and independent Indian nation. It also denoted the the partition of the subcontinent into two countries, India and Pakistan, which occurred at midnight on August 14–15, 1947.

Partition meant that millions of people found themselves on the ‘wrong’ side of the borders. Ten million became refugees in what was the largest population movement in history. Muslims travelled to Pakistan; Sikhs and Hindus to India. Up to a million of these refugees were killed in a series of horrific massacres in the border regions.

Some of the worst atrocities took place in the Punjab. Despite the efforts of the 55,000-strong Punjab Boundary Force, over 200,000 people were murdered.

Link to a useful site about Partition: https://www.nam.ac.uk/explore/independence-and-partition-1947

Indian Independence Exercises

  1. What was the situation regarding independence in India before WW2?
  2. When did India become independent?
  3. What methods did Gandhi use in his campaign against the British colonial powers?
  4. How was the territory divided following partition?
  5. What were the human consequences of this partition?

History Th 2 Chp 5

Algerian Independence

The Algerian War of Independence, (1954–62) was fought for Algerian independence from France. The movement for independence began during World War I (1914–18) and gained momentum after French promises of greater self-rule in Algeria went unfulfilled after World War II (1939–45).

In 1954 the National Liberation Front (FLN) began a guerrilla war against France and sought diplomatic recognition at the UN to establish a sovereign Algerian state. The most serious fighting took place in and around Algiers, where FLN fighters launched a series of violent urban attacks that came to be known as the Battle of Algiers (1956–57).

French forces (which increased to 500,000 troops) managed to regain control but only through brutal measures, and the ferocity of the fighting sapped the political will of the French to continue the conflict.

In 1959 Charles de Gaulle declared that the Algerians had the right to determine their own future. Despite terrorist acts by French Algerians opposed to independence and an attempted coup in France by elements of the French army, an agreement was signed in 1962, and Algeria became independent

Algerian War Of Independence


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