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Unit 8

8.7 Global Resistance in the 20th Century

4 min readmay 17, 2021

Katie Moore


AP World History 🌍

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Before we get into the actual resistance, let’s cover a couple of places in the world that gave rise to resistance. 

Spain-- Francisco Franco🇪🇸

Okay, so this guy was a pretty ruthless dictator from 1936-1975, killing thousands of political opponents (especially Catalans and Basques) and oppressing many more by utilizing a secret police network. Though the idea of a secret police network is admittedly pretty cool, it repressed thousands, making Catholicism the only safe religion to practice.

Uganda-- Idi Amin🇺🇬

Similar to Franco, Idi Amin was a violent dictator from 1971-1979. He extensively expanded the Ugandan military during his rule and used it for whatever whim possessed him at the moment, such as persecuting the Acholi and Lango tribes. When he fell from power Uganda was left with dissolving a military dictatorship. 

Chile-- Augusto Pinochet🇨🇱

This is our last dictator, ruling from 1974-1990. Remember how we were talking earlier about land reform in Chile? Well, Pinochet attempted to reverse any vestiges of these leftist policies. In the process, he killed thousands of political opponents and committed countless human rights crimes. 

Military-industrial conflict and weapons trading

This is definitely a bit more general than the last three examples, but just as important. As conflicts increased around the world, countries responded in kind, increasing their arms storage and trading to get them. However, instead of making the world more peaceful, it became more violent as the mass trading of weapons increased and nations, in turn, became more warlike.

Shining Path

This (along with our next subjects, the Palestinian Liberation Front and Al-Qaeda) is an example of resistance to power structures rather than a part of the power structure itself, but both are similar in that they utilized violence to achieve their goals.
The Shining Path was an intensely violent communist organization in Peru, ready to use whatever means possible to achieve their goals-- and they did. They bombed urban areas, and as for the rural ones-- they intimidated those into complying with their rule. It has declined ever since 1992.

Palestinian Liberation Front

This violent Arab nationalist organization is a prime example of aggressive resistance to power structures. Specifically speaking, they utilize violence against Israel. 

Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda is a terrorist military organization founded by Osama bin Laden composed of Islamic extremists and Salafist Jihadists. It should be noted that Al-Qaeda does not represent the interests of the totality of the muslim faith, and should not be viewed as such. Al-Qaeda was originally founded to fight off the Soviet Union, which supported the communist Afghan government. They rallied to fight off the invaders and entered a holy war (or jihad). Al-Qaeda saw the United States as a target because of its support of “bad” governments like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. This led to the declaration of holy war on the United States, and eventually the planning of the 9/11 attacks and destruction of American embassies. 
Despite being typically referred to in the context of terrorist or military acts/attacks, the term Jihad actually refers to the struggle that a muslim experiences, which can be either internal or external. There are three main types of Jihad, consisting of internal struggles, rejection of Satan, and the preservation of the muslim faith. Jihad itself does not encourage terrorism in any way, and simply put is a term that is often misconstrued based on the context of warfare that it is typically presented in, despite that not being the main definition of it. Average every day muslims can experience Jihad, in the form of internal and religious struggles.sies.

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi☮️

As you’ve probably realized, we’ve now moved into peaceful resistance to power structures. Gandhi is the absolute epitome of that. 
Gandhi was one of the most prominent leaders of the nationalist movement in India, heading the Indian National Congress. Most importantly, he led the nonviolent protests so famous today that he gained Indian independence. His most famous example of this was the Salt March, a walk of almost 240 miles to the coast where there was salt to protest the repressive salt tax. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. ☮

If Gandhi’s nonviolent protests are the most famous, MLK’s are definitely a strong second place. Inspired by Gandhi’s ideas, King campaigned against the deep-rooted segregation in the U.S. in the 1950s and 60s with nonviolent protests such as sit-ins and boycotts. Similar to Gandhi, nonviolence emphasized the anger and rage of racist whites and police, drawing nationwide attention to the cause.

Nelson Mandela☮️💥

Mandela also began with nonviolent protests against apartheid (a particularly cruel racial segregation) in South Africa with the African National Congress. This political group was famed for their peaceful protests, but when Mandela didn’t see as much progress as he would’ve liked, he joined a more violent branch of the ANC. Though he was put in jail for many years, he eventually emerged on top, becoming South Africa’s first black president in 1994.
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Source: Freemanpedia

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Review Game

Match each term to its category
CATEGORIES:
  • Peaceful resistance against established power structures
  • Violent resistance against established power structures
  • Power structures that utilized violence and incited resistance
TERMS:
  • Pinochet in Chile 
  • MLK in America
  • Al-Qaeda
  • Franco in Spain 
  • Military-industrial complex and weapons trading 
  • Mandela in South Africa 
  • Palestinian Liberation Front 
  • Amin in Uganda 
  • Gandhi in India
  • Shining Path in Peru

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Answers

Peaceful resistance
Violent resistance
Power that utilized violence and incited resistance
MLK in America
Al-Qaeda
Pinochet in Chile
Mandela in South Africa
Palestinian Liberation Front
Franco in Spain
Gandhi in India
Shining Path in Peru
Amin in Uganda
Military-Industrial Complex + Weapon Trading

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