The decline of the Empire

Peaceful disengagement policy

The rise of independence and anti-colonial movements, as well as the fact that Britain no longer had the financial means to sustain its empire, pushed the country to adopt a peaceful disengagement policy from its colonies, though it included a condition that the colonies did not adopt a communist regime. Anti-colonial independence movements were triggered by the colonies’ dissatisfaction with the local colonial rule. In time, patriotic and nationalistic feelings grew alongside dissent against the imperial rule. When the colonies realised the weakness of the British Empire (mostly during the two world wars), they became all the more vocal in their demands for independence.

Britain’s approach was probably influenced by seeing the wars that took place between colonial powers like France and Portugal and their independence-seeking colonies.

France was at war with Algeria, Cameroon and with colonies in Indochi...

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