In World War I, one of President Wilsonís Fourteen
Points was the principle of self-determination of the people.
This regulation brought about the independence of some countries
like Poland. This principle filled the Asians with nationalistic
and patriotic feelings. They then fought for the independence of
their countries, more so, after World War II.
The Second World War weakened Western imperialism
and inaugurated an era of decolonization. After World War
II it became impossible for the European powers to cling to their
empires. This process is known as "decolonization". It
was a triumph of nationalism from the point of view of the Afro-Asian
Japanís initial victories in South East Asia exploded
the myth of Western supremacy. A dwarf Asiatic nation like Japan
managed to disrupt the Western domination over indo-China, Burma,
Malaya, Indonesia and the Philippines all in the name of "Asia
for the Asians". This Japanese wartime slogan produced
a tremendous impact on the Asian colonies which soon began to burn
with the fire of revolution.
During World War II, the "natives" of
Asia, came into contact with Western culture and technology.
Most Asian intellectuals realized the vast gulf of differences between
their own people and the Westerners. They resolved to lead the kind
of life led by the Western men, for which national independence
was an essential pre-requisite.
The Labor Party in Britain became a strong
enemy of imperialism and was anxious to pursue the course of decolonization.
Similar movements began to occur in France and other European countries.
This quickened the process of decolonization.
The Soviet propaganda was another factor.
The persistent and militant demands of the subject people for national
independence were fully backed and used by the Soviet Union to create
trouble for its Western rivals in the "Cold War". The
Soviet propaganda and Soviet arms were responsible for the triumph
of communism in China, North Korea and North Vietnam.
After World War I, the United States sharply
reacted against imperialism, and championed the cause
of the natives and of the native government and the Asian
countries. The U. S. liberated the Philippines in 1946. In 1952,
Puerto Rico was transformed into a self-governing democratic "Common-Wealth".