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The factors that promoted modern nationalism in British West Africa

The independence of countries in Asia
After the Second World War, some countries in Asia attained their independence. Such countries like India, Parkistan and Burma were granted independence by the British soon after the Second World War. This increased the agitation in British West Africa that they could be granted independence if they fought harder.

Rise of the Labour Party to power in Britain
In the 1945 general elections in Britain, the Labour Party won the majority seats in Parliament and therefore formed the government of the day. The Labour Party, in collaboration with the liberal minds in British felt there was the need to decolonize the overseas territories. This also increased the agitation for independence.

Change in African perception
In the Second World War, the British were defeated by the Japanese. This destroyed the invincibility surrounding the British in the eyes of the Africans. In the battles themselves, the African who were conscripted into the British army to help in the war efforts, realized on the battlefields that the British were human after all. This broke the aura around them and pushed agitation for independence.

Return of the ex-service men
The Africans who were conscripted into the British army to fight the battles alongside their British counterparts were promised a form of pension after they were discharged from active service. However, the resettlement package which was promised was not forthcoming. This forced the ex-service men to join in the nationalist activities.

The Press
After the Second World War, there was a proliferation of newspapers in West Africa. There were newspapers like the Evening Press, the Talking Drum, the West African Pilot and the Guardian, to mention but a few. The articles that were churned out in these newspapers aided, in no small way, to the agitation for independence.

Exclusion of Africans from the economy
It was realized that the people who had taken the commanding heights of the economy of West Africa were Europeans, Indians and Lebanese. This was to the detriment of the Africans. They were especially incensed by the fact that, even the retail trade, which should have been reserved for the Africans were also taken over by the Indians and the Lebanese especially.

1. Highlight six factors that promoted the activities of modern nationalism in British West Africa.

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