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November 6 - The Cold War in Africa

November 6 - The Cold War in Africa - History of the Cold...

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History of the Cold War November 6, 2007 The Cold War in Africa Little US or Russian attention to Africa before or after the Cold War o Africa not a major market for US corporations o Africa not a primary target for Communist International, 1919-1943 o State Department reduced number of diplomats in Africa after Cold War ended o US and other countries reluctant to intervene in Africa since 1991 How did Africa become a Cold War battleground? o Decolonization led to competition for political influence and ideological validation of different approaches to modernization o Competition most intense when decolonization most dramatic: 1957-63; 1974-78 Wider implications o Was the major fault line in the Cold War “not between socialist and capitalist states but between developed and underdeveloped countries?” as Gleijeses argues? o In the 1960s and 1970s was the Cold War more of a North-South than an East-West conflict? World War II and decolonization o Atlantic Charter – 1941 Atlantic Charter guaranteed self-determination Churchill: applied only to Axis-occupied countries British didn’t want their own colonies to have self-determination FDR: applied to all humanity Believed the French hadn’t been good colonizers o French and Belgians didn’t fulfill their obligation to uplift the undeveloped nations of the world Colonial view in Wilson era (Haiti) Contradictory because FDR had been involved in the US intervention in Haiti However, he believed colonialism was no longer relevant or prudent after WWII Criticized “mid-Victorian” views of Churchill o 250,000 African soldiers fought for Allies and for “freedom” o UN Charter, 1945: trusteeships US support for European Empires after 1945 o Rising fear decolonization would lead to spread of communism o Fear rapid decolonization would weaken European economic recovery and resistance to communism Therefore, US reversed earlier position and came to support European economic ties to their former colonial possessions o Korean War in 1950 led to more emphasis on anti-communism over concerns about colonialism (ex. Vietnam, Apartheid in S. Africa)
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