Egypt & the Middle East<br />· Following World War I, several of Britain’s colonies began demanding self-rule, but these nationalist movements were difficult because of the vastness of the empire. <br />
Independence for Egypt<br />Though the Ottoman Empire ruled Egypt, British has controlled the country since 1882. <br />The Ottomans joined the Central Powers in 1914, and the British declared Egypt a protectorate (A state or country controlled by another.)<br />A nationalist movement developed in Egypt after World War I that was led by the Wafd Party (refer to flashcards.)<br />This party led a revolt against the British. <br />In 1922, the British finally declared Egypt as being independent. <br />The British continued to maintain administrative control over Sudan, wanted to oversee Egypt’s foreign policy, and also left military forces to defend Egypt & the Suez canal. <br />During the 1920s & 1930s, Egypt’s independence grew, and nationalists wanted complete freedom from Britain.<br />Following Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, Egypt & Britain forged the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, giving Egypt even more independence. <br />Britain & Egypt pledged to support each other if war broke out, and Britain sponsored Egypt’s membership in the League of Nations. <br />However, Egyptians were not totally satisfied, because British troops were still present throughout Egypt. <br />* As nationalist movements continued to arise, the British became unable to maintain their control on the empire. <br />
The Middle East<br />Middle Eastern Arabs helped Britain in World War I, & their feeling of betrayal led to Britain giving Transjordan and Iraq independence, though they maintained to keep the British military present. <br />The British, however, kept control over Palestine do to its advantageous location. <br />Problems began for Britain due to events in Palestine. <br />Zionism, a nationalist movement, began to build Palestine as a homeland for Jews. <br />In 1917, the British sought the support of the Jewish, and in turn the British secretary Arthur Balfour wrote to a Zionist leader (now known as the Balfour Declaration) representing their support for a Jewish homeland. <br />Another promise the British made was to allow the creation of an independent Arab state, including parts of Palestine, in an exchange for helping defeat the Ottomans.<br />Both groups, the Jews and Arabs, were seeking the follow through of such promises. <br />To control the Arab fears, British limited the number of Jews allowed in Palestine, which resulted in the Jews resenting this policy. <br />In 1937, the British declared that a Zionist homeland and Arab independence could not be established; therefore, they recommended dividing the land between the groups. World War II, however, put a hold on this.<br />
The Independence Movement in India<br />India, being Britain’s largest colony, was promised more self-government by the British in return for their troops & money during World War I. <br />The British, after World War I, were not certain of the issues. <br />Many believed that such self-government would lead to the destruction of the empire. <br />Other felts that if India was granted such a privilege, other parts should receive self-rule. <br />Some people in India also wanted to remain under the British control, whereas other Indian nationalists wanted complete independence. <br />This led the British to the complication of having to make a decision that would please all of the diverse views in India. <br />Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the nationalist movement in India, opposed violence and urged people to gain their independence by refusing to cooperate the government in a nonviolent way (a method called passive resistance.)<br />
The Independence Movement in India (Continued) <br />“I believe in the doctrine of non-violence as a weapon of the strongest. I believe that a man is the strongest soldier for daring to due unarmed with his breast before the enemy.” <br />- Mohandas Gandhi, from The Story of a Nation, by Gulam Ali Alanna. <br />The nationalists in India, through passive resistance, boycotted British goods & refused to pay taxes. <br />The British, in response to this, restricted civil liberties and with force broke up political gatherings, causing moderate Indians to turn against the British rule. <br />India was allowed to elect representatives in 1935, but Britain still controlled India’s defense, revenue, and foreign policy. They could also veto laws that the representatives proposed, and the quest for complete independence continued.<br />
The Commonwealth Expands <br />Though some parts of the British Empire has some self-government, they still sought more. <br />The dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa wanted complete self-control after World War I, and great Britain agreed and granted the four dominions autonomy in 1931. <br />These countries joined with Great Britain in the British Commonwealth of Nations, and became responsible for their own policies. <br />Other British colonies became independent as well over time, and also joined the Commonwealth. <br />Trade agreements among member nations helped the economies during depression that many countries faced after World War I; therefore, the Commonwealth benefited economically for the British and its former colonies. <br />
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