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Was decolonisation beneficial for the development of the former colonies - Essay Example

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Was decolonisation beneficial for the development of the former colonies
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Was decolonisation beneficial for the development of the former colonies

Freedom came at a heavy price and it did not deliver economic prosperity or improved the socio-economic conditions of the former colonies. “If colonialism distorted economies, freedom did not always deliver prosperity... The rights of nations to sovereignty begged the question of defining a nation. Most successor states were ethnically diverse, bounded by arbitrary frontiers. ...New education and training institutions could not immediately cope with the aspirations of burgeoning population. Few ex-colonies responded as planned, to strategies of agricultural intensification and economic diversification.”(Kuper 2005, p.136) Decolonization was not all about attaining sovereignty as a nation; as it posed new and bigger challenges in order to survive in post-colonial era. Colonialism had lasted for centuries and the traditional models of government and social life had been transformed greatly. Everything was under the influence of the colonial empires and decolonization could not reverse this fact. Everything needed to evolve naturally and to adjust to the changing world scenario. Where decolonization brought waves of joy for the peoples who had fought for it, it also brought inadequate political, social and economical infrastructures that were formerly being looked after by the colonialists. Although the new governments tried to motivate their peoples to work for their national interests, yet inadequate financial and technical resources kept the progress at a slow level. The public offices were formerly kept by the colonialists and with their departure, the responsibility fell into the hands of nascent bureaucracy and political administration. Thus, coping with the issues and demands of an aspirant society became overwhelming. Nonetheless, few colonies were in a better position to evolve naturally out of decolonization into independent and sovereign states that had adequate infrastructure to shift from colonization to decolonization in a smooth and planned manner. The newly formed governments had to tackle numerous issues at the same time. While they had gained freedom with their national spirit; yet it became difficult for them to define the term ‘nation’. The power game involved leaders from diverse ethnic groups and inner conflicts always tended to destabilize their political structures. “The Caribbean, southeast Asia, and the Middle East join Africa as regions marked by places of despair and desperation, of those ecologies where shattered dreams are found in cracked foundations and high hopes cannot be seen behind the huge piles of garbage. In such places, the sounds of strife and disorder have frequently been heard. Civil war, overthrow of governments, and ethnic conflicts has been common eruptions in much of Africa and Southeast Asia since the time that the regions were politically reconfigured into nation states.” (Betts 2004, p.103) This is a widespread opinion of critics that have witnessed decades of turmoil in former colonies. Failure to adjust to the new world order plunged them further into darkness. Their progress and development was impeded by the continual communal violence and insurgencies. Their national spirit could not unite them as a nation and in such cases decolonization was not at all beneficial for them. As a colony, at least they were enjoying some sort of peace, progress and economic development. Upon decolonization, their economic conditions worsened without any hope. The ... Read More
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