Public Opinion Reasons for decolonisation

Public Opinion Reasons for decolonisation

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1870 - start of our period Public Opinion

Propaganda - Jingoism (Major Patriotism) - Music halls, Comics, Literature, poems (Henty Kipling

But not all public backed imperialism

Middle Class main backers - economic links, " White man's burden" - linked to missionaary work

Liberals - divided with the leader Gladstone opposed while Rosebury & Chamberlain supported

Conservatives backed including leader Disreli

Working Class join army - don't necessarily back imperialism but looking for better life & security

Empire - cheap food stuffs

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1902 - Boer War

Change with boer war - poor publicity from concentration camps - reduces support for colonalism.

Still propaganda - esp, Schools

Pro-imperial candidates defeated in working class areas

Labour - Opposes

Liberal - Membership divided - Leader backed

Conservatives - Pro imperialism

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1918 - End of WW1

Changing attitudes to colonialism in India from British public esp. after Armristar Massacre.

Rise of nationalism - rise in Gandhi - is a sympathetic character - when he comes to Britain - greeted by the king and had tea with him, met primeminister, and was also greeted and welcome when he visited mill towns (even though his actions were damaging their business.

British public sympathetic along with leading class and politicians to indian independence but opposed by conservaties & Churchill

Gandhi met Ramsey McDonald

Africa - lack of interest from British public (lack of independence movement because of peace)

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1945 - End of WW2

Focus from British public on rebuilding UK after war - money on building the NHS

Want taxes to be spent on British public

Get out of India because of cost, desire to get troops home & not fight a civil war.

Labour in power - commited to decolonising India but churchill (Conservaties) was opposed.

Labour hoped to make money out of Africa to make it worthwhile staying but it failed.

Spend money at home and get troops out of africa

1st time - Conservaties (Macmillian argues the empire wasn't worth keeping due to the cost benefit analysis (1957)

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1956 - Suez Canal crisis

Public opinion sees British weakness - gradual change in backing decolonisation

1st time the conservatives back decolonisation as the result of the cost benefit analysis

Politically - european links are established - devgelopment of the commonwealth and the EEC

To make people feel theirs a link with ex colonies.

Political allaince to USA - through NATO

1975- Referendum on EEC - 70% vote yes

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