Is the Declaration a departure from the history of colonialism and nationalism

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Your long essay will place a document into the context of our class. Included you will find “The Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14
December 1960. This is the question that you will need to answer.

Using the text of the Declaration, you will answer the following question:
Is the Declaration a departure from the history of colonialism and nationalism we have been discussing this semester, or does it have a historical precedent?

In order to fully answer this question, here are some things to think about:

  •  How does it fit or not fit into the history we have been discussing?
  •  What is the argument against colonies?
  •  How does this compare to previous arguments for and against colonies?
  •  In what ways is it like the history we have been discussing?
    You will compare the Declaration to TWO of these ideas/events/situations focusing on colonialism and nationalism.
  •  Humanism
  •  The Raj in India, and independence
  •  The European colonization of Africa
  •  The European colonization of SE Asia
  •  The Japanese colonization in SE Asia
  •  European Colonization of Central and South America
  •  The Nazi desire to colonize Europe

General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), December 14, 1960

The General Assembly,

Mindful of the determination proclaimed by the peoples of the world in the Charter of the United Nations to reaffirm
faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women
and of nations large and small and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Conscious of the need for the creation of conditions of stability and well-being and peaceful and friendly relations
based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples, and of universal respect for,
and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or
religion,

Recognizing the passionate yearning for freedom in all dependent peoples and the decisive role of such peoples in the
attainment of their independence,

Aware of the increasing conflicts resulting from the denial of or impediments in the way of freedom of such peoples,
which constitute a serious threat to world peace,

Considering the important role of the United Nations in assisting the movement for independence in Trust and Non-
Self-Governing Territories,

Recognizing that the peoples of the world ardently desire the end of colonialism in all its manifestations,

Convinced that the continued existence of colonialism prevents the development of international economic co-
operation, impedes the social, cultural and economic development of dependent peoples and militates against the
United Nations ideal of universal peace,

Affirming that peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to
any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and
international law,

Believing that the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and that, in order to avoid serious crises, an end
must be put to colonialism and all practices of segregation and discrimination associated therewith,

Welcoming the emergence in recent years of a large number of dependent territories into freedom and independence,
and recognizing the increasingly powerful trends towards freedom in such territories which have not yet attained
independence,

Convinced that all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the
integrity of their national territory,

Solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and
manifestations;

And to this end

Declares that:

  1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental
    human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world
    peace and co-operation.
  2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status
    and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
  3. Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying
    independence.
  4. All armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to
    enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence, and the integrity of their
    national territory shall be respected.
  5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not
    yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or
    reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or
    colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.
  6. Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is
    incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
  7. All States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal
    Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal
    affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.
    947th plenary meeting,
    14 December 1960

United Nations, General Assembly, Official Records, Fifteenth Session, Supplement No. 16, pp. 66-67.

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