Highlight the external factors that aided the nationalists in their struggle for political independence

Nationalist activities in West Africa
took a more militant posture after
second world war. It changed from its mild nature to radical and the demands
of-the nationalists changed from reform to independence as a result of these
external and internal affairs.


  • The Atlantic charter: – The publication at the end of the second
    world war of the Atlantic charter in 1914 when American joined the war raised the hope of the
    nationalist leaders. The charter declared the
    right of ail peoples to choose the form of government
    under which they will be governed. The charter was signed
    in newfound land in U.S.A. between
    the American President Roosevelt and the British prime minister Winston Churchill. 
  • The support of the British Labour Party:  The British Labour Party played an important role in the growth
    of nationalism in West Africa. The party condemned
    and criticized British colonial policies in Africa and
    called on Britain to extend to other people of the world the freedom which they
  • Pan-African Congress: – The activities of Pan African congress
    from 1945 contributed immensely in rekindling spirit of nationalism in West Africa. Many African
    intellectuals started taking greater part in the
    activities of the congress right
    from October 1945. 
  • USSR and U. S. A.:
    -The second world war established USSR and
    USA as the most powerful nations in the world. These two super powers that emerged after 1945
    condemned European colonialism and
    imperialism in all its forms. 
  • Loss of British Prestige:- The defeat of Britain suffered in the hands of Japan on non European power had psychological effects on the colonial
    territories. It made the West African people realize that
    Britain and other whites were not
    as powerful as they hitherto thought. 
  • Independence of India:- The independence of India in 1947 reshaped the inspiration of nationalism in
    West Africa. The Nationalist felt that if India that was a
    British”colony for many years could
    ward off the shackles of colonialism, why shouldn’t West African countries. 
  • Anti-colonial Posture of U.N.O:- The anti-colonial posture of the United Nations Organisation (U. N. O.) that replaced the league of Nations after 1945 was another factor
    that awakened the spirit of
    nationalism in West Africa. The organization
    carried out its aim of eradicating colonialism and imperialism vigorously by putting much pressure on colonial powers. 
  • The socialist and communist influence 
  • Activities of organizations formed by
    Africans in Britain e.g. the West African students union (WASU) 
  • Intellectual write-ups.

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