*** Cameroon history : Independence (1960-61)

Cameroon History: Independence (1960-61)

Camaroon independence
Figure 1.--This photo was taken during the celebrations for the independence of French Cameroon (1960). At the time of independence, Cameroon had one of the largest schools systems in Africa. Many school groups joined the independence day parade. The population of largely Christian southern part British Cameroon would subsequsntly vote to join French Cameroon to form a united Republic of Cameroun.

Througout Africa after World War II interest in political activity and the idea of inpendence grew among the colonial peoples. Allied leaders spoke of democracy and freedom throughout the War. This could not but affect the colonial peoples ruled by the Europeans. And some Africans now had European educations. With the outbreak of the Cold war, Communist thought also entered political ferment. The French and British were not at first receptive. Political parties begin to emerge in both the French and British sectors of Cameroon. Most of the parties demand independence. Some wanted the British and French colonies to be united. Some in British Cameroon wanted to join (English-speaking) Nigeria which was also moving toward indeoendence. One of the most imporant new parties was the Union des Populations Camerounaises (UPC). The UPC organized a revolt in the major towns of French Cameroon (1955). French authorities supressed the revolt. Several hundred lives were lost and considerable destruction occured in the towns where the revolt broke out. The French banned the UPC (1956). The party continued to operate underground as a covert freedom movement. Demand for independence grew. By this time, the independence movement throughout Africa was too strong for Britain and France to resist. The French granted self-government (1958). Ahmadou Ahidjo formed the l'Union Camerounaise (1958). He becomes prime minister of the new Assemblée Legislative du Cameroun. He worked closely within self-rule French system, but advocateed independence and reunification of the two colonies. France granted independence. Ahidjo proclaimed independence of the Republic of Cameroon in the former French Cameroon (January 1960). He was inaugurated president and as his priority effort began working on the unification of the British and French colonies. The British oversaw a referendum in their Cameroon colony with the support of the United Nations (October 1961). The Northern part of British Cameroon voted to join Nigeria with its Muslim majority. The Christian south voted to join the largely Christian French speaking Cameroun. The British respected the will of people expressed in the the referendum although there was some disagreement over the results. It is at this time that the modern configuration of the county appeared. As a result of the boundary and territorial shifts, Camerron achieved independence as a mixed Anglophone, Francophone nation, a rare development in Africa. This dichotomy affected post-indepemdence development. Frequent disorders occur in the new united country. They were supressed with assistance of the French military (1961-63).


Navigate the Childen in History Website:
[About Us]
[Introduction] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Climatology] [Clothing] [Disease and Health] [Economics] [Freedom] [Geography] [History] [Human Nature] [Law]
[Nationalism] [Presidents] [Religion] [Royalty] [Science] [Social Class]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Children in History Home]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing national pages:
[Return to the Main Cameroon history page]
[Return to the Main decolonization pge]
[Return to the Main African country history page]
[Return to the Main African page]
[Angola] [Cameroon] [Cape Verde Islands] [Democratic Republic of the Congo] [Ethiopia] [Gabon] [Lessotho]
[Madagascar] [Mali] [Nigeria] [Somalia] [South Africa] [Uganda]

Created: 1:15 AM 5/24/2012
Last updated: 3:05 AM 12/31/2015