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Harold Macmillan – “Wind of Change” in Africa (1960)

Fevereiro 6, 2013

Harold Macmillan’s “wind of change” speech became a historical landmark. It was the first sign that the British government accepted that the days of Empire were over, and it dramatically speeded up the process of African independence.

It also marked the beginning of South Africa’s long spell out in the cold. Although Nationalist Party politicians reacted with outrage to the speech, and became even more entrenched, the speech brought international opposition to the apartheid system out into the open.

“… In the twentieth century, and especially since the end of the war, the processes which gave birth to the nation states of Europe have been repeated all over the world. We have seen the awakening of national consciousness in peoples who have for centuries lived in dependence upon some other power. Fifteen years ago this movement spread through Asia. Many countries there, of different races and civilisations, pressed their claim to an independent national life.

Today the same thing is happening in Africa, and the most striking of all the impressions I have formed since I left London a month ago is of the strength of this African national consciousness. In different places it takes different forms, but it is happening everywhere. 
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…” (Discurso completo AQUI)

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