Nationalism in Africa and Asia

Claudia Flores, Marilyn Clark

What is defined as Nationalism?

It is known as a patriotic feel or principle, but it also means to advocate or make a move towards independence.

What Nationalism did for Africa and Asia

Countries like Africa and Asia were colonized by European power. After World War One, many countries in Africa and Asia wanted that independence from the European rule.

Nationalism - A Road towards Independence


After World War One peace settlements, Germany didn’t govern a lot of the African colonies, and most of the colonize were British or French. Also, Africans were aware of the actions of the European rule and wanted independence. Kenya and Libya had big movements towards nationalism and independence.

The Young Kikuyu Association, lead by Harry Thuku protested against the British rule in Kenya because of higher taxes. Thuku and the followers were arrested for protesting against the rule.

Libya took different action in the movement. A guerrilla warfare lead by Omar Mukhtar against the Italians. Then, with this action, the Italian rule made concentration camps in order to end the revolt.

Leaders in the African nationalism

Du Bois impact on Pan Africanism

Du Bois, Garvey and Pan Africanism

Mohandas Gandhi's impact on India

Like the Africa countries, India also wanted to seek independence from British rule. Mohandas Gandhi was a huge leader in the movement that lead protests and had a "Great Soul", which became his nickname "Mahatma".

Gandhi refused to obey law, which was an act of civil disobedience and he did this in order to protest against the British law. With Gandhi's protests, he got arrested and sent to prison.

In 1935, Britain passed the Government of India Act, which made am impact in the role of Indians in the governing process. The act change the lives of Indians by giving two house parliament, and five million indians were given the equal right to vote.

After Gandhi's release, he went around to inform Indians on the independence. He preached great wisdom that helped make the movement towards independence. Instead of violent protests, he believed that peaceful protests should be demonstrated.

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Salt March

At one point, the British rule began to increase tax on salt, which prohibited Indians to do salt manufacturing. Gandhi took matters into his own hands and he picked up the salt as a way to protest. Many of his followers did this same act, which later turned into an arrest for Gandhi and his followers. This event in Gandhi's nonviolent protests was called the Salt March.
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First Interview of Mohandas Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi First Television Interview (30 April 1931)

A Militarist Japan

A Zaibatsu economy

In the twentieth century, Japan had an economic system called zaibatsu, which comprised of a corporation of manufacturing processes within a single enterprise. This type of economy was often helped by the government. The four biggest Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, and Yasuda, which controlled a lot of economy in the country.

Japan's challenges

As a country, Japan had a hard time coming up with raw material and sources and they wanted to gain more land by taking over the territories like Korea, Manchuria and Formosa. Also, the US wanted Japan out of the trading endeavors.

Militarism in Japan

In the first two decades of the twentieth century, Japan turned to more of a democratic government, but military forces took control of over the political system. A Military Draft Law in Japan passed in 1938, which put Japan into more expansion, unions were disband and education, and culture was more westernized.

Japanese Expansion 1910-1933

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Nationalism in other Asian countries

Russian Communism

The change in Marxism began after the Russian Revolution in 1917. The leaders behind the change were Lenin and Bolsheviks. Lenin took up the new revolution strategies towards the aim at societies outside the western world. The spread of the word of Karl Marx was guided towards the Communist International or Comintern.


The Comintern was formed in 1919, and it was an organization of Communist parties around Asia. This group had its main goals set on advancements in world revolution. Agents in the Moscow headquarters were trained in order to go back to their own country and form a Marxist party. By the end of the 1920s, the Comintern had an impact on Asia because almost every country in the Asian continent had its own communist party.
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Other Asian Communist Groups

Local Communist were able to team up with other nationalist parties who had the struggle against Western imperialism. The strongest communist party group was China. But, with most of the colonize in Asia, communist parties weren’t popular and didn’t have a good base of support in the 1930s.

Ho Chi Minh

He was a revolutionary from Moscow, established a Vietnamese communist party in French Indochina in the 1920’s.
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Essential Questions

  1. How would you compare the US to Asia and Africa during the Roaring 20’s?

  2. Was Ho Chi Minh a cruel leader or did he have the good of the people in mind?

  3. What is nationalism in your words?