Nationalism in India and Southwest Asia

Trace the nationalist movement in India that resulted in limited self-rule and describe the independence movements in Southwest Asia.

Most Indians had no interest in nationalism until World War I, which changed when millions of Indians enrolled the British Army. In return, the British government promised to eventually allow them to self-govern. In 1918 as Indian troops returned from the war in hopes of waching Britain's promise fullfilled, they saw themselves treated the same as always. This led to radical acts of violence towards the British rule, which led to the passing of the Rowlatt Acts in 1919. In protest to the Rowlatt Acts, thousands of Hindus & Muslims went to Amristar to pray and listen to political speeches, which alarmed the British whosaw this as a nationalist rebellation. Thinking that people were defying the public-meetings ban, the British commander at Amistar ordered his troops to fire against them, killing about 400 Indians and harming about 1,200. This was called the Amristar Massacre and it triggered anger all across India, setting off their demand for independence and setting the stage for M.K. Gandhi to rise as a leader for independence. Ghandi's movements, such as his boycotts, civil disobedience movements, and strikes [including the Salt March of 1930] made him gain the respect of the people. In 1935, Britain passed the Government of India Act, which didn't provide total independence to India but at least provided a self-government and limited democratic elections.

Greek soldiers had invaded Turkey in threats to conquer it, until in 1922 Mustafa Kemal led Turkish nationalist to fight the Greeks and the British. As a result of their achieved peace, the nationalist overthrew their last Ottoman sultan. The year after, Kemal became the president of the Republic of Turkey and made a series of reforms to change Turkish life, including granting women the right to vote.

when the British failed to punish the officers for the Amritsar massacre, it set the stage for Mohandas K. Gandhi to take the iniciative for the independence of India. Gandhi urged the Indian National Congress to follow a policy of noncooperation with the British Government. they performed boycotts, in which Indians refused to buy British goods, attend government schools, pay British taxes, or vote in elections. One of Gandhi's successful boycotts was when he made the Indians weave their own cloth instead of buying cloth already made by by the British. as a result, the sale of British cloth in India dropped rapidly.


Gandhi's weapon of civil disobedience took a toll on Britains economy. they struggled to keep trains running, factories operating, and overcrowded jails from bursting. thoughout this whole process British arrested thousands of Indians who had participated in strikes and demonstrations. in the 1930s, Gandhi planned a demonstration to defy the hated Salt Acts. according to the British law, Indians could only buy salt from the government. they also had to pay sales tax on salt. to show that they disagreed with this Act. the Indians started to make their own salt by collecting saltwater and letting it evaporate. this peaceful protest was called the Salt March.

Indian nationalism had been growing since the mid-1800s. Indians who attended British schoools learned the European views of nationalism and democracy, and they began to apply these ideas to their country. After World War I the Indians began to protest since the British had promised them they would eventually obtain a self-government but the British failed to fullfill the promise. After British troops killed 400 Indians in the Amritsar Massacre, an explosion of anger expanded through India. After the masscre the leader of he indepedent movement, Mohanas Ghandi, promoted the civil disobedience to Britain. The Indians began doing boycotts, strikes and demonstrations to fight fot their independence. As a result of civil disobedience, in 1935 the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act, which provided local self-government and limited democratic elections, but not a total independence.

The breakuo of the Ottomman Empire and the growing Western economic and plitical interest in Southwest Asia animated the rise of nationalism in this region. After World War I people started independent movements to eliminate imperial rulers. The Ottoman Empire was forced to give up all its territory except Turkey. When the Greeks tried to invade Turkey and the sultan was powerless, a commander named Mustafa Kemal led the Turks and overthrew the sultan. The Turks gained a new sense of national identity. In Persia, when Reva Shah Pahlavi took control he established schools, buil roads, and extended women's rights. He renamed the country to Iran. In 1932, Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud named his kingdom Saudi Arabia, he modernized the country only to religiously acceptable areas.

Liango Liu

After World War I, signs of nationalist activities began to rise in India, Turkey, and other Southwest Asian countries as the great empires in Europe started to weaken. In India, nationalism had been growing since the mid-1800s, but it was not until after World War I that a vast majority began to support nationalism in India, which marked as beginning for many nationalist events in India. In one circumstance, radical nationalists carried acts of violence against the British rule, which caused the Rowlatt Acts, and later the Amritsar Massacre. The Amritsar Massacre paved the way for Mohandas K. Gandhi to become the leader of India's independence movement. To fight for independence, he employed many nonviolent activities and civil disobedience. His activities included boycotts on British goods, strikes and demonstrations, and the Salt March, in which he participated in all of them. Even though in the end it didn't grant total independence to India but a limited self-rule, his actions would serve as model for other independent movements.

While India was struggling for independence, other Asian countries had their own movements as well. In Turkey, nationalist forces led by Mustafa Kemal and later known as Ataturk or "father of the Turks" successfully won against the Greek and British forces and overthrew the last Ottoman suiltan, and later formed the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa became Turkey's president and promoted reforms that gave a national identity to and modernized the nation. In Persia, a nationalist revolt led by a Persian army officer overthrew the last ruling shah. Persia's new leader Reza Shah Pahlavi, set out reforms to modernize the country and also changed Persia's name to Iran.

After WWI nationalism movement began to build up in India. That’s because they had a promised with the British that they would promised reforms that could eventually lead to self-government instead Britain didn’t fulfill that dream, in which led the Indians angry and start the movement of nationalism. Later on Indians radical nationalist carried out acts of violence to show their hatred to the British rule, but this brought nothing more than dead, because the British passed the Rowlatt Acts that allowed the government to jail protesters without trial. But t he Indians began to dislike this idea and started protest so after the Amritsar massacre over a million Indians changed from loyal British into nationalist of India.

On the Southwest Asia nations like Turkey become a Republic by a brilliant commander named Mustafa Kemal that successfully led Turkish nationalist in fighting back the Greeks and their British backers for independence. In Saudi Arabia they still keeps Islamic traditions because Ibn Saud a member of a powerful Arabian family began a campaign that unified all Arabia. Their tradition to keep loyalty was based on custom, religion and family ties.

Nationalism was prominent in almost every country. The people wanted change from their ancient ways, or from being controlled by foreigners. In India, a series of events led them to push for their independence from the British. Nationalism began gaining interest during World War 1. Many Indians enlisted in the army and greatly helped the allies, in return for their efforts, the British promised them change, but after the war all was the same. The Amritsar massacre that took place in the spring of 1919, in Amritsar, was the second event that caused the Indians to push for their independence. About 10,000 Indians protested the British and their enforced laws on the Indians. Unbeknownst to the Indians, public demonstrations were not permitted. The British viewed this as a national outburst to troops began firing at the crowd. Reports say that nearly 400 Indians died and 1,200 were wounded. This sparked national outrage across India and millions of Indians changed from loyal British subjects into nationalists. A leader emerged in Mohandas K. Ghandi. He believed in a religious, peaceful approach to political activity. Ghandi led boycotts of British cloth and salt. These peaceful protests eventually took an economic toll on the British. In 1935, the British granted limited self-rule to the Indians, nut not total independence. In Turkey, Mustafa Kemal transformed Turkey into a modern nation. He established that women have right to vote, and separated laws of Islam from the laws of the nation. He abolished religious courts and created a new legal system based on European law. He also launched government-funded programs to industrialize Turkey and stimulate economic growth.

By: Michelle Pelletier

The majority of Indians weren’t interesting in nationalism, until World War I. but the situation changed when they participated in the British army. Following this came the massacre of Amritsar, were thousands of Indians died. Over a million of Indians changed from loyal British to nationalists. Then Mohandas K. Gandhi came to power and introduce the civil disobedience were he stated that they will not follow the British and made boycotts, strikes and demonstrations. The break up of the Ottoman Empire and growing Western politics and economics caused an interest in Southwest Asia to nationalism. At the end of the WWI, the Ottoman Empire was forced to give all their territories except Turkey. Mustafa Kemal, led the nationalist movement against Greeks and British. he separated the laws of Islam from laws of the nation, he abolished religious courts and created new legal system based on European law, granted women the right to vote, and finally launched a government-founded programs to industrialize Turkey and improve the economy.

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