Post-Second World War was a period of liberation Movement in Asia and Africa. In Africa too, like Asia, also collapsed the colonial empires of different European countries. In fact, it was not possible for the European powers any longer to continue their hold over the colonies in Africa.

Collapse of imperialism in Asia in the post-Second World War period was due to various factors. The Second World War weakened the imperialist countries to continue any longer their hold upon their colonies in Asia.

What is all the more important was that the Superpowers that emerged after the end of the Second World War, namely, the USA and USSR- were opposed to imperialism?

Besides, the colonial countries of Asia also started a vigorous struggle for their independence which created tremendous pressure upon the colonial powers. It was in this background that the liberation movement in Asian countries may by described shortly.


Liberation Movement in Asia:

The first Asian country to become independent was India. The August Movement of 1942 was the last mass movement that shook the very foundation of the British rule in India. The British thereafter thought sincerely in terms of the Transfer of Power to the Indian hands.

Of course the sporadic upsurge in the years between 1945 and 1947 compelled the British to think that it would no longer be possible for them to rule over India any longer. India achieved her independence on 15 August 1947.

In Burma, present Myanmar, the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League had been formed in 1944 to serve the dual purpose of resisting the Japanese aggression and also getting freedom. Ultimately, in 1948 Burma became an independent country. After the end of the Second World War Indonesia under the leadership of Sukarno proclaimed her independence.


Holland was compelled to recognize the independence of Indonesia in 1949. Sri Lanka (Ceylon) became independent of foreign rule in 1948. Similarly, Philippines became free from the Japanese occupation in 1946 and Malaya, present Malaysia, became an independent nation in 1957.

After the victory of the Chinese Communist Party over the Kuomintang the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 on the China mainland. In Formosa (Taiwan) Chiang Kai-Shek removed his nationalist government that maintained its separate existence for quite some tome. Korea, during its freedom movement came to be divided into two parts-North and south along 38th Parallel.

The two Koreas were engaged in fight for quite some time as Korea came within the purview of the Cold War. Korea has remained divided till now. Like Korea, Vietnam too came to be divided into two parts-north Vietnam and South Vietnam. But as it fell within the sphere of the Cold War the two Vietnams continued to fight for some time.

South Vietnam had the support of the USA- But due to the able leadership of Ho Chi Minh South Vietnam could not get any success over north. However, by early 1975 all the American troops withdrew from South Vietnam. North and South Vietnam were formally united as one country in 1976.