This was an imperialist fighting which mainly involved European powers and other parts of the world such as Japan in Asia and African colonies like Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia in northern Africa. The war started September 1939 and ended in 1945. Groups which fought the war was the Axis forces which included Germany, Italy, Japan and Austria and The Allied/ Democratic forces included Britain, France, China, Russia, and America. The Axis powers were finally defeated and surrendered in 1945.
Causes of the Second World War
Effects of Second World War on African colonies
- Harsh terms and humiliation of Versailles Treaty of 1919 on Germany, This country suffered because of the treaty, she lost her colony and was compelled to pay for war reparation to the winners of the war so she started the war so as to bring back her colonies and punish the powers as the revenge for the humiliation in the treaty signed.
- Failure of League of Nations in defending the world peace, the organization was not able to solve the international conflicts peacefully so this gave room for fighting in 1939.
- The presence of Fascism and Nazism in Italy and Germany, these were the ideologies that became strong in 1930’s both of these ideologies believed in the use of force against their enemies. They combined to fight the enemy nations.
- Fall in the production of raw materials, during the war the colonies under British and French were at war against the Axis powers. Many Africans were recruited as soldiers to fight abroad in various areas like Burma against the Japanese so there was the shortage of labor in the peasants’ areas, settlers’ farms and plantation.
- Shortage of imported manufactured goods from Europe, colonies could not import clothes, soft drinks, and cigarettes from Europe. Many industries were destroyed in Britain, France, and Italy.
- The war brought hardship in the lives of Africans, they were suffering from hunger because they could not engage in the production of food. They were always worried of being attacked by enemies. In Egypt Algeria and Tunisia the people suffered most because there was actual fighting in such colonies.
- Colonial government did not have income, they continued to pay lower salaries to the Africans who were still employed in government sectors.
- African ex-soldiers got much experience that it was possible to fight and defeat the white men so when they came back they started to lead their fellow Africans to struggle for independence in Africa.
- Former mandate Territory such as Tanganyika, Rwanda, and Burundi under League of Nations changed their status into Trusteeship territories that had to be under UNO’s preparation for their own independence.