After WWI, President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points included a clause about self-determination. Non-European countries hoped it was an opportunity for more autonomy and even sovereignty. That hope, however, was soon crushed when it became apparent that European powers were not going to give up their conquered lands so easily.
As a result, the process of decolonization occurred over the course of the century with varying degrees of cooperation, interference, or resistance from European imperialist states.
War, Instability, and More War
The independence of colonized nations would be delayed until the end of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the economies of entire nations were ruined by WWII that Europe could not deal with its colonies overseas. Indigenous nationalistic movements only found a way to prosper during the midst of Cold War tensions, economic decline, and internal instability.
Below are some of the colonies that finally gained independence from the imperial powers!
India - 1947
Philippines - 1946
Vietnam - 1945
Cambodia and Laos - 1953
Democratic Republic of the Congo - 1960
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