chapter  6
Pages 14

The pace of decolonisation accelerated in the 1960s and 1970s, but empires differed widely in their handling of this process. For those whose metropolitan homelands were inextricably linked with overseas territory, colonial independence movements struck at the heart of national identity. French, Dutch, and Portuguese governments fought prolonged, costly civil wars rather than make concessions to local nationalists in areas of their empires that were particularly prestigious. The American and British governments were more willing to see independence as an eventual outcome for their overseas territories, but often delayed it for reasons which included the notion that subject peoples were not yet ‘ready’ for modern nationhood.