Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Paul Root
Dr. Bob Riley
Dr. Ben E. Elrod
World War II brought about a realignment of the power structure among the nations of the world. The primary conflict of interest developed between Russian and the Western nations, with the United States predominant among them.
Through the leverage afforded by the East-West conflict, African nations were able to exert enough force to dislodge the colonial powers which had ruled them for nearly a century.
Early efforts to unite the African people were carried out in the United States and other Western nations, with American Negroes leading the drive. Among these men were W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey.
The United States conducted its foreign policy, with regard to Africa, through the European capitols which controlled the African areas of interest. This policy continued until 1957, when it became evident that the African states would indeed achieve independence. In that year, the African Bureau was created in the Department of State.
Economic policy was central in all the policy considerations in the post-war period. Europe had to be rebuilt and made strong, in order to resist the push of Russian in the East. But, in giving aid to Europe, the United States stood to gain a large export trade in every segment of the economy. The rising capabilities of the rest of the world created markets for the production of goods in the United States.
Raw materials were of vital importance. In Africa the United States sought to protect the precious store of fissionable material, which included the major portion of the American supply.
East Africa was important because of its supplies of industrial diamonds, exotic metals, and its strategic communications potential if war should come with Russia.
The United States contributed to African progress toward independence in many ways, including the revolutionary tradition of the country, the expressed idealism of its citizenry, educational work, and religious enterprises.
The revolutionary tradition of the United States gave incentive to the Africans, who felt that there was a kinship between them because of the common revolt against Britain. American leaders tended to encourage such an identification through their numerous idealistic statements advocating self-determination and other aspirations.
Educational contributions were made through the American universities which gave scholarships to Africans who could qualify and raise money for travel and though the efforts of many sacrificing people who worked within the East African countries. These latter were chiefly missionaries, although there were others, who were supported by agencies in the United States.
Misisons aided the progress of East Africa by preaching the essential idealism of the Christian Gospel. The Africans culd not be satisfied with their statues of subjugation after they had heard the tenents of the Christian Church.
United Stated policies and involvements have been dually motivated. ON the one hand, they have been moved by a genuine idealism, which is inherent in the American system. On the other hand, the foreign policy had been directed toward the preservation of the status quo. in world politics and economy since that status gives the United States an advantage in international politics and trade.
Allison, Clarence A., "The United States and African Nationalism in British East Africa Since 1945" (1967). OBU Graduate Theses. 5.