Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946-1958
In September 1958, Guinea claimed its independence, rejecting a constitution that would have relegated it to junior partnership in the French Community. In all the French empire, Guinea was the only territory to vote “No.” Orchestrating the “No” vote was the Guinean branch of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), an alliance of political parties with affiliates in French West and Equatorial Africa and the United Nations trusts of Togo and Cameroon. Although Guinea's stance vis-à-vis the 1958 constitution has been recognized as unique, until now the historical roots of this phenomenon have not been adequately explained.
Clearly written and free of jargon, Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea argues that Guinea's vote for independence was the culmination of a decade-long struggle between local militants and political leaders for control of the political agenda. Since 1950, when RDA representatives in the French parliament severed their ties to the French Communist Party, conservative elements had dominated the RDA. In Guinea, local cadres had opposed the break. Victimized by the administration and sidelined by their own leaders, they quietly rebuilt the party from the base. Leftist militants, their voices muted throughout most of the decade, gained preeminence in 1958, when trade unionists, students, the party's women's and youth wings, and other grassroots actors pushed the Guinean RDA to endorse a “No” vote. Thus, Guinea's rejection of the proposed constitution in favor of immediate independence was not an isolated aberration. Rather, it was the outcome of years of political mobilization by activists who, despite Cold War repression, ultimately pushed the Guinean RDA to the left.
The significance of this highly original book, based on previously unexamined archival records and oral interviews with grassroots activists, extends far beyond its primary subject. In illuminating the Guinean case, Elizabeth Schmidt helps us understand the dynamics of decolonization and its legacy for postindependence nation-building in many parts of the developing world.
Examining Guinean history from the bottom up, Schmidt considers local politics within the larger context of the Cold War, making her book suitable for courses in African history and politics, diplomatic history, and Cold War history.
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3ème Trimestre Activité Ahmed Sékou Touré April Bamako Barry Diawadou Bocar Biro Barry Camara CAOM Carnets Secrets Carton Chafer Chaffard communist Conakry Congrès de Bamako constitution CRDA d’Arboussier Dakar Décolonisation Démocratique de Guinée Diallo electoral Empire in French End of Empire ethnic ﬁrst Foccart Fourth Republic France French Colonial Myth French Soudan French West Africa French-Speaking West Africa Futa Jallon Gaulle Gouverneur à Haut governor grassroots Guinea Guinean RDA Guinée Française Haut Commissaire Hodgkin Houphouët Houphouët-Boigny independence inﬂuence Ivory Coast Kankan Kipré loi-cadre Mamadou Mamou militants Minister Morgenthau Mortimer Myth and Constitution-Making N’Zérékoré ofﬁcial Paris Parti Démocratique Parties in French-Speaking party’s Political Parties Rapport Politique Annuel RDA leaders RDA’s referendum Renseignements A/S République de Guinée Réunion Revues Trimestrielles Rioux Sept September Services de Police SFIO Suret-Canale Sûreté Télégramme Arrivée Territorial Assembly Thompson and Adloff trade union Trimestrielles des Événements University Press vote
Page 280 - The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and, whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it.
Page ii - PAUL NUGENT Eurafricans in Western Africa Commerce, Social Status, Gender, and Religious Observance from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century GEORGE E. BROOKS Lineages of State Fragility Rural Civil Society in Guinea-Bissau JOSHUA B. FORREST Fighting the Slave Trade West African Strategies SYLVIANE A.