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AP(R) World History Teaching Unit E2: Decolonization: Struggle for National Identities, 1900-2001

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Note: Please be advised that these teaching units were created prior to the course revisions implemented in the 2011-12 academic year. However, the units still address topics central to the revised course. [Electronic Document] This five-lesson unit focuses on choices of people living in colonies around the world as they sought to create or recreate nation-states in the twentieth century. The unit will illustrate how different forms of revolutionary ideas developed in five different locations: Algeria, Ghana, India, Ireland, and Korea. The objective of the unit is for students to learn about these transnational ideas and to evaluate their effectiveness in meeting the needs of the people they claim to represent; and how these ideas developed in particular situations in representative cases on three continents.

As the twentieth century opened, people lived under colonial rule on every continent, but especially in Africa and Asia. Elites in most colonies came to contest their subordination, and to find a way to decolonize. In the first lesson, students assess the options for decolonization. The next three lessons present three transnational expressions of independence: non-cooperation with the Western world and resurrecting local traditions, the creation of new nationalisms, and the incorporation of the international language of communism into their political rhetoric. Whichever form elites chose or populations adopted, they tried hard to make sure that it was consistent with their local traditions. The fifth lesson evaluates the consequences of decolonization in the five selected countries.

Student activities include exploring perspectives through documents, a debate on violence and nonviolence as bases for political strategy, group analysis of documents using a worksheet, writing and sharing essays, and library research to find current news.

Length of Document:
35 pages

File Size:
Approximately 250 kb