HIS 340R - Porterfield 1 Prompt 2: The World Wars' Effects...

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Porterfield 1 Prompt 2: The World Wars' Effects on European Imperialism in Asia The First and Second World Wars represent two of the most violent conflicts in human history, and exhibit an unprecedented involvement in regional politics by the global community. With territories across Asia under the control of European powers, nations which otherwise might not have played any role in these conflicts found themselves to be inextricably linked to their European masters. As of result of both wars, Asian colonies' own histories changed course along with those of European nations. In the case of British India, involvement in World War I acted as a catalyst for its nationalist movement's development, ultimately culminating in a successful bid for independence with World War II, while in French Vietnam, an already present nationalist sentiment was intensified by World War I, laying the foundation for an independence movement promoted by Allied regional interests against Japan during World War II. Before World War I, Indians had already developed some degree of nationalist sentiment as a result of the British Raj's continued restriction against Indians from entering into administrative civil service positions, along with a multitude of other expressions of Britain's institutional racism against them. In spite of this, when, following the outbreak of the war, Britain declared the entirety of its imperial holdings to be at war with Germany, India responded with overwhelming affirmation and deployed over one million soldiers to aid the British cause, partially in hopes of earning British support for the greater political involvement they sought. The great sacrifices of lives and resources made by India were hardly repaid by the British. Following the war's end, the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms, culminating in Government of India Act of 1919, allowed for a degree of expanded participation privileges in governance for Indians, establishing a diarchal government in which certain powers were delegated to Indian
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Porterfield 2 provincial administrators, but retaining such critical areas of authority as finance and the military for the management of the British viceroy. The Indian National Congress was unimpressed by this half-hearted attempt at appeasing their bids for greater autonomy. In the same year, nonviolent Indian protestors at Amritsar were massacred on British orders. Such factors as these left Indians feeling shocked, jilted, and unrewarded for their dedication to the war effort, and set the tone for the years until World War II. While reform had brought them marginally greater political power, it was still clear that the Raj had no intent to sacrifice a substantial amount of control. In reaction, Congress adopted a stance seeking Indian
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This note was uploaded on 06/15/2011 for the course HIS 340R taught by Professor Minault during the Fall '10 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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HIS 340R - Porterfield 1 Prompt 2: The World Wars' Effects...

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