NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 26 National Liberation Movements, Decolonisation and Development 1945–Present

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NIOS Class 12 History Chapter 26 National Liberation Movements, Decolonisation and Development 1945–Present

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National Liberation Movements, Decolonisation and Development 1945–Present

Chapter: 26




Q.1. Name some countries that became independent or semi independent between 1867 and 1914.

Ans: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada. 

Q. 2. How did the 2nd World War radicalize people in colonized countries? 

Ans: Mobilisation of colonised peoples in ‘imperial’ armies and participation in war industries motivated colonised people to demand full citizenship rights and national freedom.

Q. 3. Name some countries that gained national independence after 1945 through armed struggle.

Ans: Algeria, Malaya, Angola, Mozambique, and Vietnam. 


 Q.1. Match each in the left column with the corresponding meaning or term in the right column.

Idi Amin  founded 1945
Sukarno includes India
Non-AlignedAfrican dictator Movement
United Nations Indonesia Organisation


Idi Amin  African dictator
Sukarno Indonesia
Non-Alignedincludes India Movement 
United Nations Founded 1945 Organisation


Q. 1. How did the post-1945 ‘Superpowers’ express interest in anti-colonial struggles?

Ans: The USSR assisted a number of national freedom struggles after 1945. The USA opposed some national freedom struggles and encouraged others. The superpowers chose to support or oppose national freedom struggles depending on how it might impact their opponent.

Q. 2. Name some of the ‘Little Dragons’ of Asia during the period c. 1953-1980. 

Ans: South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. 

Q.3. Which continents remained poorly developed after 1945?

Ans: Africa and Latin America.


Q. 1. Name two countries identified by the C.C.P. as enemies of China since the 1930s.

Ans: Japan and the USA.

Q. 2. What evidence is there that the Chinese communist leadership has modified its conceptions of socialism and development since 1980 ?

Ans: During the 1980s the C.C.P. controlled a small part of national industry than in the previous three decades and also invited and received massive foreign investment.

Q.3. Did the P.R. C. assist or discourage the Vietnamese freedom struggle?

Ans: P.R.C. did not assist the Vietnamese against the USA though according to socialist ideals they should have done so.


Q.1. Match the terms in the left column with the corresponding terms in the right column.

W.W. Rostowmanages ‘balance-of- payment’ problems
Prebisch Venezuelan national populist
Fidel Castro modernisation theory
Chavez dependency theory


W.W. RostowModernisation theory 
I.M.F.Manages balance-of- payment’ problems 
Prebisch Dependency theory
Fidel Castro Cuba
Chavez Venezuelan national populist


Q. 1. How did the ‘old’ modern revolutions (of the USA and France) and the Russian Revolution of 1917 influence national liberation movements of the century?

Ans: (i) Leaders of national liberation struggles of the twentieth century were inspired by earlier examples of national liberation and development which had introduced the modern idea of citizenship-that all members of a nation should enjoy equal rights and responsibilities.

The United States of America 

(ii) The American War of Independence was followed by the emergence of stable, democratic governing institutions in the new United States of America, and the gradual extension of rights of full citizenship to all members of the American nation.

(iii) Also, the American military remained small and did not often interfere with the working of civil institutions. This was very attractive to people in colonies in Asia and Africa where the military was regularly used to control the population.

(iv) There were other reasons why people under colonial rule admired the American model of national freedom and development. Americans developed the world’s largest economy between 1865 and 1950, based on capitalist agriculture, heavy industry and mass consumer spending.

(v) Many people around the world believed that the U.S.A. was sincerely committed to self- governance through democracy on a global scale, and that it would act as a force against colonialsim, perhaps by directly assisting colonial subjects in their national liberation struggles.


(vi) The French Revolution in 1789 did not begin as a struggle against a foreign power, but the revolutionaries launched a campaign to spread universal principles’ of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity to other parts of Europe.

(vii) The French Revolution inspired people in Europe and in the French colonies to revolt against French domination – in the name of these principles. Not all of these national revolutionaries believed deeply in democracy or equality, but most believed that the people needed to be mobilised to fight against foreign domination.

Russia (USSR)

(viii) The Rusian (Bolshevik) Revolution of 1917-1921 had a huge global impact. The Bolsheviks argued that different ‘nationalities’ all over the world have a right to independence and to decide their own future.

(ix) The Russian Revolution also presented an alternative model of rapid social and economic development different from that of the capitalist western states. Many Soviet citizens in 1941 enjoyed a higher material standard of living than had their grandparents.

(x) The Soviet leaders gave moral and material support to people of many politically – and economically –dominated countries and colonies.

(xi) According to Marxism, small peasants and proletarians around the world shared the same interests and needed to co-operate to defeat the bourgeoisie and the imperialists.

(xii) Some colonial nationalists visited or studied in the U.S.S.R. in order to learn to organise national freedom struggles. These included the Vietnamese nationalist Ho Chi Minh, the Chinese nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek (1887-1975), and Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian National Congress leader who believed in democratic socialism and thought that aspects of the Soviet command economy might be imitated by India.

Q. 2. Identify some leaders of anti-colonial struggles who had lived and worked in the countries of their colonial masters.

Ans: (i) Ho Chi Minh (1894-1969) lived in France between 1918 and 1930, where he helped establish the French Communist Party, before he returned to French Indochina to fight for Vietnamese independence.

(ii) Leopold Sedar Senghor (1906-2001) was a university professor and poet in France before returning to his native West Africa to lead the Democratic Bloc of Senegal: he became the first President of Senegal (1960-1980).

Q. 3. Which anti-colonial/national liberation struggles started from, or grew out of, the Second World War?

Ans: (i) The anti-colonial/national liberation struggles in Indochina where Ho Chi Minh formed a nationalist people’s front (Viet Minh) to throw out Japanese and later French.

(ii) In India there were mass movements against the British all over the country, under the leadership of country. In India the Quit India Movement was launched in 1942. 

(iii) Morocco and Tunisia in North Africa separated peacefully from France during the 1950s. 

(iv) Liberation struggles in Malaysia, Algeria, French West Africa, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (or Burma).

Q. 4. Why is it fair to say that the Chinese revolution of the twentieth century has been the ‘greatest’ in history? 

Ans: (i) Since 1945, China has experienced

probably the greatest revolution in history, transforming itself from a peasant majority society dominated by native elites (and by the British, French, Americans who controlled much of the country’s trade) into a socialist state called the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) 

(ii) Mao believed that Chinese nationalists were unwilling to bring about social and economic changes that would emancipate the Chinese masses, and that they were too corrupt to resist the foreigners.

(iii) The Chinese communists, therefore, not only forced the Japanese, French and British out. of most of the national territory by 1949, but also drove their opponents, the Goumindang, Chinese nationalists, to the island of Formosa- present-day Taiwan-across a narrow strait from mainland China.

(iv) Hong Kong was a British Crown colony until 1997. Their ultimate goal remained to reunify Taiwan with the Chinese mainland, which became a separate state.

(v) Since the 1980s, however, the C.C.P. leadership has promoted free enterprise in manufacturing and commercial activitities. By 1993, less than ten percent of P.R.C. industrial production was under central planning.

(vi) The P.R.C. since the 1980s has welcomed hundreds of billions of (U.S.A.) dollars in foreign investment from countries that are China’s ideological opponents. Some economists estimate that the P.R.C. will have the world’s largest economy by 2020, as China did before 1800, but economic liberalisation and relaxing of some government controls have also reversed the trend of 1949-1980, when the goal of the C.C.P. was to make Chinese more equal in every possible way.

(vii) While the P.R.C. condemned Western aggression and the development of nuclear weapons, it became one of the nuclear-weapon states by the early 1960s.

(viii) Chinese leaders justified their military buildup by pointing to the fact that American leaders had considered dropping nuclear bombs on the P.R.C. during the Korean War (1950-1953).

(ix) The P.R.C.-U.S.S.R. relations worsened during the 1950s as Mao believed Marxism- Leninism needed to be adjusted to Chinese conditions and he and some other leaders feared Soviet domination.

(x) During the 1960s and ’70s, the Soviets gave military assistance to the Vietnamese communists in their struggle against the U.S.A., but the P.R.C. refused to support the Vietnamese communist movement. In this same period the P.R.C. was assisting pro-communist people’s struggles in Africa. Chinese development assistance was extended to many Third World countries.

Q. 5. Describe some major (differing) strategies of national development.

Ans: (i) W.W. Rostow, an American economist believed that former colonies could follow the paths taken by early industrial states like Britain and by expanding their agricultural production and following free-trade policies, could accumulate the capital to develop industry, and thus move into economic modernity. This concept of development is known as ‘modernisation theory’.

(ii) While countries like Argentina and later Brazil tried to follow this model and did develop some industry, many other Latin American, African and Asian countries showed signs of ‘development crisis’ between the 1960s and 1980s: stalled industrialisation, and increasing poverty.

(iii) Foreign companies in Latin America after 1960 took out far more money (as profits) than they had invested there. Loans from private banks and bodies like the I.M.F. did not improve the situation: during the 1980s, Latin American states had to make loan repayments totaling more than $200 billion (U.S.A. dollars).

(iv) In the early 1990s, more than sixty percent of Latin American households did not earn enough to cover basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

(v) In Africa, the economic situation was still worse: some African states like Zaire and Burundi experienced negative growth during the 1980s.

(vi) Economists and political scientists in Latin America crticised the arguments made by economists like Rostow and the development policies promoted by some Western leaders. This critique is sometimes called ‘dependency theory’ or ‘underdevelopment theory’.

(vii) Raul Prebisch and other ‘dependency. theorists’ claimed that centuries of Spanish and Portuguese rule, followed by decades of economic domination by Britain, the U.S.A. and other states, had left most Latin Americans unable to exercise their freedom, especially with regard to material circumstances like employment and use of economic resources.

(viii) Walter Rodney in Africa in the 1970s observed that colonies could not easily pull out of the ‘dependency patterns’ created during the centuries of colonialism. They claimed that agriculture would remain backward until large landowners ceased exploiting the poorer peasants and labourers: large estates (like the zamindari in India) should be broken up and land redistributed to peasantry.

(ix) Many successful political leaders in the “Third World’, based on experience of Soviet Union and China, have followed economic development strategies based on state ownership or control of enterprises and resources.

(x) They have also tried to prevent mass outflows of profits to foreign investors and states, and to lift up the poor through free education, more affordable health care, and so forth. For example, in Cuba Fidel Castro (b. 1927) led a nationalist revolution during the late 1950s, and has been following such policies that favour the interests of the Cuban people.

(xi) The Castro revolution has been popular among some Latin Americans who resent continuing foreign influence and dictatorships of their countries propped up by the U.S.A. Majority of the Cubans enjoy a better standard of living than people in richer countries.

(xii) Other Latin American leaders after 1960 followed the Cuban example in some respects. Salvador Allende tried to ‘nationalise’ the Chilean mineral resources controlled by foreign corporations. However, he was deposed and killed in 1973 by internal enemies with assistance from the U.S.A. and replaced by a dictator (General Pinochet) until 1990.

(xiii) Hugo Chavez (b. 1954–), an army officer elected President of Venezuela in 1998, has used revenues from state-owned oil companies to lift Venezuelans out of poverty. Government spending on social programs was increased dramatically during the first years of his presidency, and he has been able to resist the US quite effectively.

(xiv) The rule of Castro in Cuba and the rise of Chavez in Venezuela show the strength in the parts of the developing world of nationalist and pro-people patterns of development.

Q. 6. What international institutions have been invented to supposedly equalise global trade and development?

Ans: (i) After 1945 new global institutions like the U.N.O., the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) and the World Bank were established in order to manage conflicts over wealth production and access to trade.

(ii) The I.M.F. organises loans to states that do not earn enough from their exports to ‘balance’ their expenditure on imports.

(iii) The World Bank loans money to states, often as supplement to development assistance, to pay for irrigation and hydroelectric systems, and infrastructure improvements that are supposed to increase productivity and economic security.

Multiple Choice Questions

Tick (✓) the correct answer. 

Q.1. The period of Cold War

(a) 1945-1990

(b) 1952-1989

(c) 1962-1989 

(d) 1959-1979

Ans: (a) 1945-1990

Q. 2. The period of Second World War was:

(a) 1939-1945 

(b) 1914-1917

(c) 1937-1947

(d) 1918-1931

Ans: (a) 1939-1945 

Q.3. Leaders of national liberation struggles were inspired by the idea of:

(a) federalism.

(b) capitalism. 

(c) socialism. 

(d) citizenship.

Ans: (d) citizenship.

Q. 4. The French revolution in 1789 was launched to spread universal principles of:

(a) Liberty. 

(b) Equality.

(c) Fraternity.

(d) All of the above.

Ans: (d) All of the above. 

Q.5. Who tried to spread communist ideas in French Indochina during the 1930s?

(a) Chiang Kai-Shek.

(b) Ho Chiminh.

(c) Jawaharlal Nehru. 

(d) Tsang-Shue.

Ans: (b) Ho Chiminh.

Q. 6. Chiang Kai-Shek was a national leader of:

(a) Burma.

(b) Vietnam.

(c) China. 

(d) Taiwan.

Ans: (c) China.

Q. 7. The Vietnamese had forced the biggest imperialist power of the world to retreat in:

(a) 1970

(b) 1972

(c) 1975

(d) 1979

Ans: (c) 1975

Q. 8. The United Nations Organisation was formed in:

(a) 1942

(b) 1945

(c) 1947

(d) 1949

Ans: (b) 1945

Q. 9. The Organisation for African Unity (OAV) was founded in:

(a) 1963

(b) 1964

(c) 1965 

(d) 1966

Ans: (a) 1963

Q. 10. Sukarno the following principle of national liberation,

(a) faith in God.

(b) humanitarianism and social justice.

(c) national independence and democracy.

(d) all of the above.

Ans: (d) all of the above.

Q. 11. Who was the first president of Senegal?

(a) Leopold Sedar Senghor.

(b) Ho Chi Minh.

(c) Chiang Kai-Shek.

(d) George Woodrob.

Ans: (a) Leopold Sedar Senghor.

Q. 12. Japanese were expelled from Korea in: 

(a) 1940

(b) 1942

(c) 1945

(d) 1948

Ans: (c) 1945

Q. 13. Which country was called the ‘Big dragons’ of Asia?

(a) Japan.

(b) China.

(c) India.

(d) both (a) and (b)

Ans: (d) both (a) and (b)

Q. 14. Little Dragon’ of Asia was: 

(a) Taiwan and South Korea.

(b) Hong Kong.

(c) Singapore.

(d) All of the above.

Ans: (d) All of the above.

Q. 15. Which of the following countries is not a member of the permanent security council of the U.N.O.? 

(a) U.S.S.R. (now Russia).

(b) U.S.A.

(c) China.

(d) India.

Ans: (d) India.

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