Decolonization: Kenya and Algeria


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Analysis of the decolonization process in Sub-Saharan Africa, more specifically in Kenya and Algeria.

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  • Decolonization: Kenya and Algeria

    2. 2. CONTEXT COUNTRY ALGERIA KENYA COLONIZER France Britain WHO CRUA (Revolutionary Committee of Unity and Action) FLN (National Liberation Front) ALN (National Liberation Army) the French (paratroopers, citizens living in Algeria) Home guard (Kikuyu) Mau Mau leaders (Kikuyu) the British (living in White Highlands) WHAT War for independence from French colonizers Process for independence from British colonizers WHEN 1940s – 3 July 1962 1940s - 12 December 1963 WHERE Algeria , North West Africa • Rural vs. Urban setting Kenya, Midwest
    3. 3. TIMELINE- ALGERIA • 1830: Algeria occupied by France, “freed” Algerians from Ottoman Empire after over 300 years of rule • 1848: Algeria is recognized as an integral part of France • November: European settlers allowed to migrate permanently to Algeria • March 1937: foundation of the PPA (Algerian People’s Party) • October 1946: PPA replaced by MTLD (Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties) • 20 September 1947: institution of new Algerian constitution, allowed for Algerians to be recognized as French citizens if they left behind their traditional customs • 1954: foundation of CRUA
    4. 4. TIMELINE- ALGERIA • 1 November 1954: first guerilla attack, CRUA becomes FLN • Resistance fighters encouraged by French loss at Dien Bien Phu • February 1955: ALN targets Muslim collaborators • 18-24 April 1955: FLN attends Bandung Conference  1st step towards creation of Non-Aligned Movement • August 1955: FLN begins targeting French civilians; insight wrath of French pied-noir (vigilante committees) • 30 September 1956: beginning of the Battle of Algiers, FLN wishes to get international attention  plant bombs in civilian sites • 24 September 1957: end of the Battle of Algiers, French victory • 1 July 1957: John F. Kennedy supports Algerian independence in a speech • May 1958: De Gaulle is made governor-general of Algiers  France’s desperate attempt to contain the FLN
    5. 5. TIMELINE- ALGERIA • September 1959: De Gaulle realizes that Algeria is unattainable, declares that self-determination is necessary • March 1961: first round of negotiations between FLN and French government at Evian  no progress • March 1962: second round of negotiations at Evian, subsequent declaration of a ceasefire • By June: FLN and OAS (Organization of the Secret Army) conclude a truce • 1 July 1962: referendum is held to approve the Evian Agreements ( • Called for an Algérie algérienne, an Algerian Algeria • 6 million Algerians cast their votes  supported independence • 3 July 1962: declaration of Algerian independence
    6. 6. TIMELINE- KENYA • 1895: British create the East Africa Protectorate • Bound the region between the East coast of Africa and Uganda = territory of Kenya • 1901: completion of the railroad connecting Uganda to the Indian Ocean • Connected Lake Victoria to Mombasa • Extraction of goods (tea, coffee) from the land for trade • British government encouraged Brits to live in the colony to encourage further extension of the railroad • 1920: East African Protectorate becomes crown colony of Kenya  administer by UK • 1944: formation of the Kenyan African Union (KAU)  campaigned for independence • 1947: Jomo Kenyatta becomes KAU leader
    7. 7. TIMELINE- KENYA • August 1952: Mau Mau (Kikuyu guerilla fighters) meet secretly and begin violent campaigns against white settlers • 21 October 1952: Kenyan government declares state of emergency due to escalating Mau Mau violence and possible confrontation with the arriving British army • 18 November 1952: Kenyatta arrested, accused of “managing and being a member” of the Mau Mau • 18 January 1953: governor-general Sir Evelyn Baring imposes death sentence on all those who take the Mau Mau oath • 8 April 1953: Kenyatta charged with management of Mau Mau and sentenced to 4 years in jail • 1954: Mau Mau rebellion but down by the British military + Home Guard (Kikuyu’s loyal to the government)
    8. 8. TIMELINE- KENYA • 1959: Kenyatta released from jailed, placed under house arrest • 1960: end of state of emergency • British announce plans for majority African rule in government • Foundation of Kenyan African National Union (KANU) • 1961: Kenyatta freed, assumes presidency of KANU • 12 December 1963: independence of Kenya with Jomo Kenyatta as prime minister
    9. 9. RESISTANCE GROUPS- ALGERIA, FLN/ALN • Who: Algerian Muslims and Berbers • What: Algerian revolution for self-determination • FLN: political direction • ALN: military direction • When: November 1954 – present • 1954: CRUA becomes FLN + ALN • Currently an Algerian political party • Where: mostly urban Algeria, region of Algiers  conducted attacks against French civilians, government officials, French army, uncooperative French subjects • Goal: Algerian independence
    10. 10. RESISTANCE GROUPS- KENYA, MAU MAU • Who: Kikuyu nationalists • What: Militant African nationalist movement • When: August 1951 – March 1954 • 1951:holding of the first secret meeting, creation of the Mau Mau Oath  drive the white men out of Kenya • 1954: arrest of General China  last Mau Mau general • Where: rural Kenya conducted attacks against British government, Home Guard, Kenyans refusing to take the oath/demoralizing the Mau Mau cause • Goal: Kenyan independence
    11. 11. ASSIMILATION VS. SEGREGATION ALGERIA- Assimilation KENYA- Segregation • 1830s: informal legal segregation • Algerians = second-class citizens, “subjects” • French in Algeria = first-class citizens • 1920s: institution of process of assimilation • Monitored Islamic schools • Limited pilgrimages to Mecca • Labeled Arabic a foreign language • Nonetheless, could become citizens if: • Renounced their Arab past • Let go of Muslim traditions • Adopted French language • Followed French customs • Late 1800s: formal segregation • British were granted most of the available fertile land • Kenyans relocated to “reserves” + forced to work for British • Political + economic privileges based on race • Segregated public + housing facilities • Reserves: • Lacked adequate water supplies • Could not support all the livestock/people sent • Control of highlands (fertile grounds) • 1903: settlers claimed 2 k ha • 1938: settlers claimed 2 mi ha • 86% of claimed ground lay unused
    13. 13. URBAN VS. RURAL TACTICS ALGERIA- Battle of Algiers KENYA- Mau Mau Rebellion • Who: FLN/ALN vs. French Algerian authorities • Tactic: urban guerilla warfare • When:1956- 57 • Where: Algiers • Casbah + French neighborhoods • Why: FLN’s attempt at forcing the French out of Algeria • Wished to draw UN’s attention  gain international support • Leaders: • FLN: Ali la Pointe, Larbi Ben M’hidi, Saadi Yacef • French: Jacques Massu, Marcel Bigeard • Result: French victory, suppressed FLN’s terrorist attacks • Who: Mau Mau vs. Home Guard + British army • Tactic: conventional guerilla warfare • When: 1952- late 1950s • Where: Kenya, White Highlands, Anti-Mau Mau villages • Why: Kikuyu’s attempt at achieving independence by force • UK had let go of other colonies, Kenya should not be an exception • Leaders: • Mau Mau: Dedan Kimathi, Stanley Mathenge, Jomo Kenyatta • British: Evelyn Baring, George Erskine • Results: British victory, suppressed spread of Mau Mau ideology
    14. 14. ALGERIA KENYA
    16. 16. POST-COLONIALISM- ALGERIA • Inherited colonial governmental structure • 3rd world nation  developing country • Stagnated economically: used to be the greatest wheat exporter to Europe, currently produce little to no wheat • Literacy rates have dropped over 17% since 1962 • Discrimination between “Algerians” (20% of population) and Arabs (80%) • Religious minorities severely oppressed by Muslim government • However, economically, its GDP has been growing due to its oil and natural gas industry • Neocolonialism: 5/6 of its agricultural trade (37% of economy) is with France • Duty-free products circulate between the two nations since 1835 and continued after Algerian independence
    17. 17. POST-COLONIALISM- KENYA • Inherited colonial governmental structure • 3rd world country  developing nation • Constitution promises free health care and primary education, but this is yet to be achieved • Freedom of worship + political alignment • Neocolonialism: continued to hold close colonial ties with Britain • Trade partners, international policy allies (especially within the UN) • However, 60-70% of Kenyan industry is owned from abroad  consequence of fraudulent asset transfers by colonial Britain in the early 1960s • Is what caused the country to spiral into poverty, though it was risen above its Sub-Saharan neighbors • 2013: British government agreed to pay compensation for those tortured during this time period
    18. 18. OVERARCHING THEMES- EXPLANATIONS EXPLANATION ALGERIA KENYA NATIONALIST “Anti-colonial nationalism was the primary factor in inducing an imperial power to disengage from formal control of a colony” (Springhall 5) FLN/ALN guerilla tactics were catalysts for making the French realize that it was time they let go of the Algerian Colony. • Repudiated direct French rule Mau Mau people demonstrated to the British the general population’s discontent with how they were being treated and catalyzed their independence movement as Kenya was undeclared a “state of emergency” and officially decolonized. • Repudiated indirect British rule
    19. 19. OVERARCHING THEMES- EXPLANATIONS EXPLANATION ALGERIA KENYA INTERNATIONALIST “The breakup of colonial empires [was] merely an inevitable outcome of the great transformation in international politics (…) [as] the new superpowers were avowedly anti-colonial” (Springhall 9). 1945: end of World War II • Algerians compared Fascism to Imperialism  both should be terminated • UN Charter: concept of self- determination  FLN wished for Algéria algérienne 1954: French defeat at Dien Bien Phu • Algerians made use of their military fragility to too demand their independence 1945: end of World War II • Britain did not appear to follow the same footsteps as the Axis Powers, who wished to expand their empires  let go of Kenya, but continued to maintain close economic bonds
    20. 20. OVERARCHING THEMES- EXPLANATIONS EXPLANATION ALGERIA KENYA METROPOLITAN Decolonization was contingent upon, “a political choice taken by postwar European governments under the pressure of domestic (often economic) constraints and calculations of national interest” (Springhall 13). Assimilation: failed attempts to assimilate the Arab population (only 2.5 k /4.5 mi) • Created atmosphere of intense nationalism • France received a massive wave of Algerian immigrants after 1958  citizens pleaded that colony be made independent to prevent t=more waves Cold War strains: as the UK sided with US and capitalism, its people required that the government abided with its due policies = should let go of colonialism • Neocolonialism: still maintain close economic + industrial relationship with Kenya
    21. 21. OVERARCHING THEMES HISTORIAN ALGERIA KENYA A. G. HOPKINS “Decolonization is a process of globalization” The outbreak of the Cold War and the intensification of the process of decolonization gave the Algerians power to fight their colonizers as France had just law the First Indo-China War and Fascism was being compared to Imperialism. • Spring of revolution: uprisings in Tunisia and Morocco  subsequent Algeria In Kenya too the Cold War served as an intensifier for decolonization, though here what influenced most decolonization was the UK’s fear that its public image would be harmed if it kept its colonies. • Axis power were Imperialists • US was against colonialism GAYATRI SPIVAK “The subaltern has no voice” The Muslim subaltern began to have a voice after independence, though the Algerian minority (20% of population) remain repressed. • Minority = Berbers, Jews, Saharawi Kenyans began to develop a voice as they joined the international scenario as one of Africa’s most economically prominent nations.
    22. 22. HISTORIAN ALGERIA KENYA BENEDICT ANDERSON “Imagined communities” FLN attempted to divide Algerians from the French through nationalism. • Cultural divisions between Muslims vs. non-Muslims Mau Mau attempted to join all Kikuyu’s under their oath to overthrow colonialism. • Murdered all Kikuyus that refused to take the oath / spoke against independence MARTHA CRENSHAW “Unconventional warfare, urban terrorism” FLN/ALN employed guerilla tactics + urban terrorism • Booby traps, women bombers, suicide bombers, ambushes Mau Mau Kikuyus used first spears/fire, then fire arms to get their point across to the government • Guerilla tactics against Home Guard + British military FRANZ FANON “Nationalism is paradoxical to liberation” Theory proved wrong as nationalist movements were what drove the country towards independence. Theory proved wrong as nationalist movements were what drove the country towards independence. OVERARCHING THEMES
    24. 24. WALLERSTEIN’S WORLD SYSTEM THEORY Core Semi-Periphery Periphery
    25. 25. PREMISES • The processes of decolonization in Kenya and Algeria illustrate how nationalist movements adjusted their guerilla tactics to their target’s location and the status of colonizer peoples. • Although both terrorist and semi-conventional guerilla tactics were employed by the FLN/ALN and the Mau Mau, respectively, in neither Algeria nor Kenya did the revolutionary conflicts directly result in independence, but rather served as catalysts for the end of decolonization. • Despite how both Kenya and Algeria were settler colonies, while the British attempted to segregated the Kenyans from the English, the French attempted to assimilate them within the French culture. • There is a direct relation between colonizing countries are current developed nations and prior colonies as developing nations.