World History AP with Mr. Duez - Learning Targets


CHAPTER 23 Independence & Development in the Global South 1914–Present


           •  To explore the breakup of imperial systems in the twentieth century

         •  To consider, through the examples of India and South Africa, how the process of decolonization worked

         •  To examine the challenges that faced developing nations in the second half of the twentieth century

         •  To investigate the potential clash of tradition with modernity in developing nations: case of Islam in Turkey & Iran


African National Congress: South African political party established in 1912 by elite Africans who sought to win full acceptance in colonial society; it only gradually became a popular movement that came to control the government in 1994.

Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal: Founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey (1881–1938); as military commander and leader of the Turkish national movement, he made Turkey into a secular state. (pron. moo-STAH-fah kem-AHL at-ah-TURK)

Black Consciousness: South African movement that sought to foster pride, unity, and political awareness among the country’s African majority and often resorted to violent protest against white minority rule.

Boers: Also known as Afrikaners, the sector of the white population of South Africa that was descended from early Dutch settlers. (pron. bores)

decolonization: Process in which many African and Asian states won their independence from Western colonial rule, in most cases by negotiated settlement with gradual political reforms and a program of investment rather than through military confrontation.

democracy in Africa: A subject of debate among scholars, the democracies established in the wake of decolonization in Africa proved to be fragile and often fell to military coups or were taken over by single-party authoritarian systems; Africa’s initial rejection of democracy has sometimes been taken as a sign that Africans were not ready for democratic politics or that traditional African culture did not support it.

economic development: A process of growth or increasing production and the distribution of the proceeds of that growth to raise living standards; nearly universal desire for economic development in the second half of the twentieth century reflected a central belief that poverty was no longer inevitable.

Gandhi, Mohandas K.: Usually referred to by his soubriquet “Mahatma” (Great Soul), Gandhi (1869–1948) was a political leader and the undoubted spiritual leader of the Indian drive for independence from Great Britain. (pron. moh-HAHN-dahs GAHN-dee)

Indian National Congress: Organization established in 1885 by Western-educated elite Indians in an effort to win a voice in the governance of India; over time, the INC became a major popular movement that won India’s independence from Britain.

Jinnah, Muhammad Ali: Leader of India’s All-India Muslim League and first president of the breakaway state of Pakistan (1876–1948). (pron. moo-HAHMad ah-LEE jee-NAH)

Khomeini, Ayatollah Ruholla: Important Shia ayattolah (advanced scholar of Islamic law and religion) who became the leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution and ruled Iran from 1979 until his death in 1989. (pron. A-hat-ol-LAH ROOH-ol-LAH ko- MAY-nee)

Mandela, Nelson: South African nationalist (b. 1918) and leader of the African National Congress who was imprisoned for twenty-seven years on charges of treason, sabotage, and conspiracy to overthrow the apartheid government of South Africa; he was elected president of South Africa in 1994, four years after he was finally released from prison. (pron. man-DEL-ah)

Muslim League: The All-India Muslim League, created in 1906, was a response to the Indian National Congress in India’s struggle for independence from Britain; the League’s leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, argued that regions of India with a Muslim majority should form a separate state called Pakistan.

Nehru, Jawaharlal: The first prime minister of independent India (1889–1964). (pron. jaw-WAH-harlal NAY-roo)

Pahlavi, Muhammad Reza: Born in 1919, Pahlavi was shah of Iran from 1941 until he was deposed and fled the country in 1979; he died in 1980. (pron. moo-HAHM-ad RAY-zah pah-LAV-ee)

satyagraha: Literally, “truth force”; Mahatma Gandhi’s political philosophy, which advocated confrontational but nonviolent political action. (pron. sah-TYAH-grah-hah)

Soweto: Impoverished black neighborhood outside Johannesburg, South Africa, and the site of a violent uprising in 1976 in which hundreds were killed; that rebellion began a series of violent protests and strikes that helped end apartheid. (pron. sow-WAY-toe)


1.   In what ways did the colonial experience and the struggle for independence shape the agenda of developing countries in the second half of the twentieth century?

2.   To what extent did the experience of the former colonies and developing countries in the twentieth century parallel that of the earlier “new nations” in the Americas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?

3.   How would you compare the historical experience of India and China in the twentieth century?

4.   From the viewpoint of the early twenty-first century, to what extent had the goals of nationalist or independence movements been achieved?


1.   What was distinctive about the end of Europe’s African and Asian empires compared to other cases of imperial disintegration?

2.   What international circumstances and social changes contributed to the end of colonial empires?

3.   What obstacles confronted the leaders of movements for independence?

4.   How did India’s nationalist movement change over time?

5.   What was the role of Gandhi in India’s struggle for independence?

6.   What conflicts and differences divided India’s nationalist movement?

7.   Why was African majority rule in South Africa delayed until 1994, whereas the overthrow of European colonialism had occurred much earlier in the rest of Africa and Asia?

8.   How did South Africa’s struggle against white domination change over time?

9.   Why was Africa’s experience with political democracy so different from that of India?

10.   What accounts for the ups and downs of political democracy in postcolonial Africa?

11.   What obstacles impeded the economic development of third-world countries?

12.   In what ways did thinking about the role of the state in the economic life of developing countries change? Why did it change?

13.   In what ways did cultural revolutions in Turkey and Iran reflect different understandings of the role of Islam in modern societies?