It is important to understand the reasons for the Colonial Development and Welfare Act of 1940’s new approach by colonial policy-makers, the imperial crisis, the Depression, and the rise of the Axis powers. The policies of appeasement which each pursued formed the final futile attempt to maintain France’s false European hegemony and Britain’s artificial imperial position. The failure of such policies in Europe is well known, in Africa, German colonies, and British West African territory. However, the Depression and the passing of the Colonial Development Act of 1929 also increased the pressure to frame colonial policy in the light of the overall requirements of the British state. When the Colonial Secretary, Malcolm MacDonald, began to press for increased metropolitan finance for the colonies, he did so not simply to prevent unrest and improve conditions in the dependencies but also to gain international approval for the maintenance of the British Empire in the face of the Axis challenge.
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