Starting in the 1950s former colonies gained their independence. These nations were primarily in Africa and Asia where colonial powers had cemented their power for decades. But after World War Two, Africans and Asians wanted independence.
India, Pakistan, and Burma were among the first nations to become independent. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Cambodia, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan soon followed. Some independence movements were violent and some were negotiated.
In Africa the majority of new nations gained their independence in the late 1950s and the 1960s. These nations included Rwanda, Sudan, Kenya, the Congo, Mali, Algeria, and the Ivory Coast. In many of these nations, however, democracy and improvement did not follow quickly enough, or at all. Such is the case of Swaziland.
Swaziland, located in southern Africa, gained independence in 1968, but after the 1973 elections democracy evaporated. King Sobhuza II suspended the constitution and ruled by decree until he died in 1982, having ruled for over 60 years. In April 1986 Mswati III was crowned king, but in the 1990s, amidst student and economic unrest, a new constitution was written. The first election under the new constitution was in 2008.
Swaziland’s path is reflective of the path many former colonies took as they became independent nations. However, many former colonies still have harsh authoritarian regimes with limited democracy, terrible human rights records, and an almost mute free press and opposition.
Amidst the turbulence in Europe and the United States, global affairs during this era was also dealing with an ever growing number of new nations who immediately were thrust into the climate of the day. Some have prospered, but many are still lagging behind.
Nevertheless, now citizens in Africa and Asia are in control of their fate and their destiny.