How Did Nationalism Lead To Independence In South Africa,kenya,and Nigeria?


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Joseph Russell answered
Africa is a continent made up of many different people with varying cultures and languages.  It is a region that is bathed in local tradition and villages separated by hundreds of miles.  Many of the traditional cultures are tribal and for thousands of years lived in relative isolation.  The Europeans colonized Africa and small tribes found themselves unable to retain their independence or freedom.  Colonization forced many tribal societies to band together to oppose a common enemy.  The development of nationalism was the only way to survive.  However, nationalism in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria does not have the same meaning as it does for industrialized, European nations.

Nationalism in African countries developed out of necessity, rather than a desire for solidarity.  Within the nationalism movements of these countries remains a strong cultural tie to tribal ways and tribal heritage.  They knew that the only way to gain back their freedom and independence was to band together as a nation.  The difficulties lied in how to accomplish this without giving up their culture and traditions.  Many conflicts developed as various groups tried to assert their views and ideas.  Nationalism in these countries was filled with conflict, but it was necessary in order to regain their independence.

Nationalism called for tribal unity and a chance to rise against European colonization.  Kenya was officially made a colony of Great Britain in 1920.  Nigeria had been a British colony since 1914, but the British influence had been there since 1885.  South Africa had a much longer history of colonization by the French, Dutch, and Germans long before Great Britain made it officially a colony in 1910.  Nationalism in these countries involved developing a sense of pride among all non-white occupants in those countries.  This pride grew into a drive for independence and the end of an unjust system of colonial rule.

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