Decolonization and Independence in 20th Century Africa

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With the end of the Second World War in 1945, colonial troops who had fought in the conflict returned home and joined movements demanding independence from European empires. This process of decolonization saw increasing calls for self-government, national pride, and an end to colonialism. Over the next three decades, dozens of countries in Africa and Asia achieved independence through a variety of different strategies. This project focuses on the story of decolonization in four African countries: Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Algeria. Additionally, the project also showcases important historical and geographical skills—visual thinking, spatial thinking, and critical thinking—that both students and teachers will find useful in helping to analyze and work with primary sources, especially maps.