Why Did Nationalist Movements Fail to Achieve Much Before World War Two?

2782 Words Aug 12th, 2009 12 Pages
Nationalist movements have been present since the start of colonial rule and the eminent failure of these nationalist movements before the onset of World War Two have not gone un-noticed by historians. ‘nationalism is linked with the idea of progress, a progress which man himself can induce or control.’ The firm control that the pre-WWII
Western colonial powers imposed on the territories that they governed ensure that the local people would not demand for the sovereignty of their state. However a select few revolutionaries formed nationalist movements in order to regain the independence of their states. Unfortunately, many of these nationalist movements failed to achieve much before the start of World War Two and it is in this
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He was able to mobilize up to 3,000 peasant followers because of his ability to use religion to appeal to these people. He was perceived to be a man of extraordinary powers, owing to his great accumulation of merit. Similar rebellions, led by ‘holy men’ like Phaya (known as phi bun) broke out in the northeast. By 1901, the number of phi bun movements rose to well over 100. By 1902, many of these movements were able to take up arms against the state. However, these armed rebellions were quickly suppressed by government forces. The rebellions were traditionally anti-monarchy and were spontaneous and reactive, employing religious symbols and reacting against the monarchical government. The peasant rebellions in Thailand did not achieve anything as they were quickly suppressed, showing the intolerance of the colonial powers towards any traditional anti-colonial nationalist movements.

The radical anti-colonial nationalist movements, using violence, strikes and demonstrations were more successful compared to their traditional counterparts, as its actions were much more prominent and it rallied under the idea of the creation of a nation-state. However, the success of the radical anti-colonial movement was limited as repression and suppression of any anti-colonial movements by the pre-war colonial rulers in the respective countries was very swift. An example of a case study would be
Indochina and the respective radical