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Title: Colonial affairs in British politics, 1945-1959
Author: Goldsworthy, David
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1969
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In the years after 1959 Britain's disengagement from her colonial Empire was comprehensive and rapid. A newly re-elected Conservative government, well aware that many special interests would suffer in the process, set out nevertheless to press the policy of decolonisation speedily to its end. This new tempo of policy was a natural enough response to the experiences of the preceding years. The decade and a half since the war had encompassed both the rise of articulate and aggressive colonial nationalism and a steep decline in Britain's own power in the world. What Macmillan and Macleod recognised, in essence, was that a point had been reached beyond which the continuation of the old gradualist tempo of devolution would precipitate more colonial unrest than Britain could hope to contain. Thus the period from the end of the war to the general election of 1959 appears in retrospect as the penultimate phase of Britain's colonial experience, spanning those events and movements of ideas in terms of which the hurried conclusion of the early sixties may be understood. This work attempts to discuss the domestic politics of colonial policy in the period. It is motivated not by any general belief that the approach to decolonisation is best studied from the domestic point of view, but simply by the hope of illuminating an area of the picture which, by comparison with the events in the colonies themselves, has remained in shadow. The study deals with the activities of the major political parties and certain pressure groups within that area of British political activity having the Colonial Office and Parliament as its focal points. It is organised around two broad questions. Firstly, how were colonial problems and issues dealt with in British politics; that is, what kinds of attitudes and activities were stimulated among parties and groups by the existence, and the changing character, of this area of British responsibility? Secondly, how far did domestic political activity affect the course of governmental policy?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Decolonization ; History ; Colonies ; Administration ; Politics and government ; Great Britain