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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cold War in Guinea: The Rassemblement Democratique Africain and the Struggle Over Communism, 1950-1958
Author:Schmidt, Elizabeth
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Guinea
Subjects:Rassemblement Démocratique Africain
cold war
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
Abstract:When the Cold War broke out in Western Europe at the end of the Second World War, France was a key battleground. Its Cold War choices played out in the empire as well as in the métropole. After communist party ministers were ousted from the tripartite government in 1947, repression against communists and their associates intensified, both in the Republic and overseas. In French sub-Saharan Africa, the primary victims of this repression were members of the Rassemblement démocratique africain (RDA), an interterritorial alliance of political parties with affiliates in most of the 14 territories of French West and Equatorial Africa, and in the United Nations trusts of Togo and Cameroon. When, under duress, RDA parliamentarians severed their ties with the Parti communiste français (PCF) in 1950, grassroots activists in Guinea opposed the break. Their voices muted throughout most of the decade, leftist militants regained preeminence in 1958, when trade unionists, students, the party's women's and youth wings, and other grassroots actors pushed the Guinean RDA to reject a constitution that would have relegated the country to junior partnership in the French Community, and to proclaim Guinea's independence instead. Guinea's vote for independence, and its break with the interterritorial RDA in this regard, were the culmination of a decade-long struggle between grassroots activists on the political left and the party's territorial and interterritorial leadership for control of the political agenda. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]