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Decolonization and Decline





If the British Empire was completely shaken by World War II (1939-1945) which upset it.

Hong Kong and Burma - conquered by Japan.

1941 – the Atlantic Charter - Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined with US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in issuing it. This document was not a treaty between the two powers. Nor was it a final and formal expression of peace aims. It was only an affirmation, as the document declared, “of certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they based their hopes for a better future for the world.” The points of the Atlantic Charter also affirmed the basic principles of international justice: no aggrandizement; no territorial changes without the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples concerned; the right of every people to choose their own form of government; and equal access to raw materials for all nations. The Charter – declared the right of self-determination for all countries. While Britain was quite successful overall at mobilizing its empire for the war, the promises it issued and the actions it took to elicit this mobilization ultimately hastened its end. Support for the principles of the Atlantic Charter and a pledge of cooperation to the utmost in giving effect to them, came from a meeting of ten governments in London shortly after Mr. Churchill returned from his ocean rendezvous. This declaration was signed on September 24 by the USSR and the nine governments of occupied Europe: Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia and by the representatives of General de Gaulle, of France.

The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organization conceived in similar circumstances during the first World War, and established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles "to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security." In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.



The Atlantic Charter The United Nations (abbreviated UN in English, and ONU in French and Spanish), is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.

There are 193 member states.

The Indian Independence Act 1947 was as an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new sovereign dominion states of India and Pakistan within the Commonwealth. Later they became independent: The Republic of India (1950), the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1856), The People’s Republic of Bangladesh (the eastern half, 1974 independence recognized by Pakistan).

1948 – Ceylon and Burma got independence. Only Burma did not remain a member of the Commonwealth.

Of Britain’s Asian possessions, only Hong Kong was still under British control after 1950, and it was returned to the People’s Republic of China in 1997.





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