Example Of Historical Research On Four Third World Countries Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Politics, Development, Colonialism, Middle East, Rule, Colony, Colonization, Syria

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2021/03/23

The name Third World Countries started at the onset of the Cold War, and it was used to refer to countries that had no affiliations with the East or the West (NATO). The East refers to nations that promoted and adopted the communist ideas and economic policies. However, the end of the cold in the early 1990s after the separation of the Soviet Union led to the use of the name in a different context. Today, the name refers to countries that have not optimized their potential in terms of their political development and maturity. These are developing countries found in the larger parts of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Oceania.
Third world countries have several characteristics in common. The lack of an affiliation with the West or the East results from the need to derive the greatest benefits from both sides of the divide (Blackburn 5). Political development in third world countries has been riddled with numerous challenges, which are majorly pre-colonial and post-colonial in context. Moreover, a majority of these nations was under colonial rule, and they managed to gain their independence at different times. The events that occurred during the colonial period helped to shape the level of economic development in these countries.
It explains the reasons some of them are in a better political status that others. The history research will focus on four third world countries in terms of the political hindrances to sound development. These countries are Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Senegal. The nature of pre-colonial and post-colonial political events has a significant effect on the development of a country given that they affect the allocation of resources and policy formulation by the government. Prolonged periods of political instability and excess political rigidity work together to hinder the good governance development in the third world countries.

Paraguay: Political, Social, and Economic Factors influencing Development

Paraguay is among the least developed nations of South America. Paraguay is further behind in its political development compared to its neighbors in the same region. Paraguay’s history bases on the development of various cultures of its indigenous people. The development and maintenance of these cultures span over ten thousand years, which implies that a majority of the people is rooted in its culture and heritage. The Spanish colonized Paraguay at the beginning of the 16 the century. Most of the colonialists were young men although some women also accompanied them to the region (Williams, Kraus, and Knowles 23). Due to the conquest of the region by the Spanish, several intermarriages took place between the two societies.
The colonial history of Paraguay was characterized by periods of great calm. However, there were periods of turbulent and violent political events. The violence emanated from the resistance of some of the natives. They opposed the coming of the Spanish colonialists. It is important to note that the nature of Paraguay’s economy was not important to the corn of Spain at that time. The distance between Paraguay and Spain made the Spanish Crown uninterested in the affairs of Paraguay leading to extreme isolation. In fact, Paraguay liberated itself from the Spanish rule in 1811.
The nature of Spain’s colonial rule is to blame for the poor political development in Paraguay. Spain did not focus on the development of appropriate administrative structures in the country. For this reason, it left the communities to rely on the dictatorial leaders could take over the nations because of their wealth and military status. Instead, the Spanish focused on deriving the maximum benefits from the colonial lands (Williams, Kraus, and Knowles 12). As such, the local communities did not benefit from the presence of the colonialists.
After its independence, dictatorial governments succeeded the political arena. They began with the utopian regime led by Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia and continued to the suicidal and brutal rule of Francisco Solano Lopez. He used most of the countries resources to wedge war against the military forces of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina between 1865 and 1870. The misappropriation of priorities and national resources by the leaders of the nations pushed the country into further political misery. Due to the war, there was a massive loss of lives in Paraguay, which implied that the country lost significant human resources required for sound political processes such as democratic elections. The instability also discouraged the relationship between Paraguay and other countries, which led to further isolation and negligible intervention by the other nations in the area.
Paraguay is also marked by political rigidity such that it cannot has been hard for the government to transform its economy. They nation still relies on the agricultural framework left behind by the Spanish colonialists. Moreover, there is political rigidity in the sense that dictatorial government have continued to assert their rule over the people instead of the transformation to the laissez-faire systems such as democracy.
The political events in Paraguay shaped the development of the nation’s demographics and its overall development. Paraguay also has a small population averaging 6 million residents. Such a workforce is small given the requirements that Paraguay has to meet in order to fit the description of a developed nation (Ganson 45). Currently, agriculture accounts for nearly 40 percent of all the active employment. The political upheavals facilitate high rates of unemployment triggering civil unrest. The implication is that the country has underutilized its labor in other various sectors, which may be a result of other secondary factors. Such factors include a low level of political enlightenment and they add up to the political rigidities hindering development in Paraguay.

Sri Lanka: Political, Social, and Economic Factors influencing Development

Sri Lanka’s challenges of political development begin with its political history. Sri Lanka had unique colonial rule system, as it tasted the occupation and dominance of various political powers. The Portuguese were the first group of Europeans to set foot in Sri Lanka in the modern times. In 1505, Francisco De Almeida arrived in the region and compelled many of the residents to adopt Christianity. By 1517, the Portuguese had extended their rule to the coastal region of Sri Lanka, forcing the Sinhalese to relocate their capital city to Kandy where they were safer from the attacks by the foreigners (Blackburn 34).
The Dutch was the second group to impose their rule over the people in Sri Lanka. In 1638, they attacked the Portuguese though the conflict ended in an agreement. Both parties in the conflict later disrespected the agreement. In 1656, the Colombo rule of the Portuguese fell, leaving the Dutch to take Charge of Sri Lanka except the region of Kandy. The revolution marked the beginning of civil unrest in the region as the Protestant Dutch prosecuted the Catholic Portuguese (Blackburn 15). The legacy left by the Dutch rule is the Burgher people, a mix of the Dutch and the Sri Lankan people.
Robert Knox, a British sea captain, landed on the island of Sri Lanka, and the Dutch rulers captured him. He escaped two decades later and wrote an account of the stay he had on the island and, which made Britain shift its focus to the island of Sri Lanka. In the midst of the Napoleonic war, Britain feared that Sri Lanka may fall under the rule of the French given that it already a hold of Netherlands.
The British moved to occupy the coastal region of Sri Lanka called Ceylon, and they did not encounter any resistance from the local communities. The signing of the Treaty of Amiens ceded a section of the island from the Dutch and granted it to the British. It had officially become crown land recognized by the Queen of England (Dewasiri 10). In the end, the application of the Wastelands Ordinance enabled the British to acquire the full control of the island of Sri Lanka after the failure of the Uva Rebellion in the defense of the land.
The takeover by the British influence many other factors in the country. For instance, a majority of the people favored the production of coffee, rubber, and tea. As such, Sri Lanka’ s political history influenced the growth of agriculture after it got its political independence in 1947. The struggle for independence in the country had far-reaching implications in terms of the unity and cohesion of the country.
Political rigidity created a clear distinction between the Marxists and the opponents of their ideas, which sparked the beginning of ethnic division in the country (Dewasiri 50). For instance, the Ceylon National Congress formed because of its independence suffered significant influence along ethnic lines. The British also favored the Burgher people because of their European decent. For this reason, ethnic division have slowed down the economic development in Sri Lanka because of the inability to distribute resources equitably. An agricultural economy also has low returns.

Senegal: Political, Social, and Economic Factors influencing Development

Then French took control of Senegal after the scramble and partitioning of Africa. The colonial rule had an enduring and profound effect on the economic and political development of Senegal. It also affected the development of Senegal’s peers. The colonial policy used by the French insisted on the assimilation of the other cultures into the French culture and practices.
The French believed that they were superior that any other culture in the world. Their aim was to impose their rule and traditions over their colonial territories in order to create small annex nations of France. The conquest of Senegal by France began in 1659 after the establishment of St Louis and the capture of Goree Island by the French ("GoingSubSaharan: Impact of the Colonial Legacy in Senegal" 6). They overthrew the Dutch although the full campaign came in the 19th century.
The French utilized an indirect approach to rule its colony. They set up cantons under the leadership of well-educated French nobles serving as the chiefs of the areas. The rulers of the Cantons were selected based on their loyalty, as they replaced the local leaders. These French chiefs have a right to a free reign and control of their areas as long as they carried out their duties according to the instructions issued by the headquarters.
It is also important to point out that France granted a special status to four cities in Senegal. These are Dakar, Goree, Rufisque, and Saint Louis. These cities were considered municipalities of the French. France considered the local people in these four communes as its citizens and not mere subjects of colonial rule. They could elect their representatives to participate in governance at Paris. There was a close connection between the political parties in Senegal and those in Paris.
In this context, it is clear that the French had an intimate relationship with its colonial subject, Senegal. The nature of its rule permitted a close interaction between the French soldiers and leaders and the local people. For this reason, the Senegalese acquired important knowledge regarding governance and politics. Leopold Senghor became the first president after the acquisition of political independence, and he is a god example of the benefits derived from the French by the Senegalese ("GoingSubSaharan: Impact of the Colonial Legacy in Senegal" 7). Senegal got its political independence in 1960 although agreements signed with the French allowing their monetary support enabled the French to continue their cultural dominance.
France’s rule in Senegal had influenced the manner in which the Senegalese government allocate its national resources and even planned its budget. France continued to finance projects, and major investments in Senegal following the Cooperative Agreements signed in 1973 and 1977. After its political independence, the Senegalese government changed its priorities by allocating nearly 47 percent of the government’s budget to the payment of salaries to the civil servants.
For this reason, the first government of Senegal was able to improve the living standards of the people. The civil service accounted for more than fifty percent of the total employment in the country. As such, a large section of the population had the ability to consume goods and services in the market, which encouraged further investment by the government and the private sector.
Senegal’s political rigidity can be witnessed through the over-reliance on the continued support from the French. As much as it facilitated the development of important infrastructure and the growth of manufacturing industries, it showed the country’s inability to reform its economic system ("GoingSubSaharan: Impact of the Colonial Legacy in Senegal" 7). Today, Senegal can boast of a politically mature society in spite of the civil unrest during the initial years after independence. However, there is a pressing need to address other political challenges facing the nation. Today, corruption cripples the distribution of income in the nation leading to high levels of poverty in some regions, especially those with the minority native tribes. In addition, the abuse of office by some of the political leaders has triggered civil unrest The inability pot deal with corruption even among the leaders explains Senegal’s political rigidity affecting it for many decades.

Syria: Political, Social, and Economic Factors influencing Development

Syria derived its name from the Neo-Assyrian Empire and the historic developments cover both Syria and the current Syrian Arab Republic. Similar to many developing nations, Syria did not escape the interests of the colonial powers. Syria is in the Middle East, a region that emerged following the decision of the Allies during World War 1.
France and Britain were actively involved in the transformation of the quiet provinces previously ruled by the Ottoman Empire into explosive nations in Europe. Syria was allocated to France according to the borderlines drawn in the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, alongside most of the other countries on the Eastern Front ("Troubles in Syria: Spawned by French Divide and Rule | Middle East Policy Council. Britain took charge of Iraq and the Gulf region.
After World War 1, the forces of the French defeated the Ottoman Empire. It ended the Ottoman rule that had dominated the region for nearly 400 years and prevented an interference of the dominantly Arabic world by the Europeans. Following the war, the Allies powers set foot in the region and divided it according to the provincial borders marked and used by the Ottoman Empire.
Soon, the populations from France and Britain began to settle in the Middle East. A boundary divided Syria and into the Northern and the Southern regions. Britain controlled the Southern part referred to as Palestine while France took charge of the Northern part comprising of Syria and Lebanon. Further divisions partitioned Syria into five parts including cities such as Damascus, Hama, Aleppo, and Homs.
Evidently, the French and the British applied the divide and rule policy by fragmenting the Syrian societies into smaller partitions that were easy to govern. These divisions later affected the region in terms of its unity and political stability. The problem begins with the religious diversity in the region. The Muslim and Christian factions have been involved in a supremacy battle as each of the factions seeks to dominate the other and propel its ideologies. The religious conflicts often takes the form of violent attacks and radical teaching where either of the groups advocate the use of violence against each other.
Political strife, conflict, and upheaval have prevented the sound political development of Syria. Syria became politically independent in 1946, and the politics of the nation were characterized by the by upheavals. In a period of ten years (1946 and 1956), Syria came up with four constitutions and had twenty different cabinets ("Troubles in Syria: Spawned by French Divide and Rule | Middle East Policy Council 9). Over the years, there has been a conflicting with Iraq and Palestine over the control of the Gulf region. The series of wars and civil unrests discourage political cohesion and development. In addition, Syria spends numerous resources engaging in war rather than development.


Political development and maturity in developing countries is relative to many factors. These factors rely on the events of the pre-colonial and post-colonial. They work together to facilitate or challenge the growth of the economies of these nations. As much as the world may blame the developing nations for poor governance and political administration, it is important to point that other factors such as colonization also play a role in the current state of third world politics.
Starting with Paraguay, Spain failed to make a positive contribution to the politics of the country and encouraged the development of dictatorial governments ruling the people through violent means. The case is similar to that of Sri Lanka, which was ruled by various colonial powers at different times. They encouraged the division of people along ethnic lines while exploiting the resources available for development. On the contrary, the French associated with the people in Senegal and regarded the elites as citizens of France.
In fact, France continued to contribute to Senegal’s political endeavors by funding some of the major projects and influencing the structure of the government. Senegal’s reliance on this help was a show of political rigidity and inability to detach from the French. Lastly, the nature of colonial rule in Syria encouraged the division of people along religious lines through the fragmentation of the region. It made it difficult for the locals to share and allocate resources effectively. In fact, the fragmentation accounts for most of the political conflicts marring the area. Third world countries must address all the challenges of post-colonial political strife and rigidity to realize sound economic growth.

Works Cited

Blackburn, A. M. Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and modernity in Sri Lanka. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010. Print.
Dewasiri, N. R. The adaptable peasant: Agrarian society in western Sri Lanka under Dutch rule, 1740-1800. Leiden: Brill, 2008. Print.
Ganson, B. A. The Guaraní under Spanish rule in the Río de la Plata. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003. Print.
"GoingSubSaharan: Impact of the Colonial Legacy in Senegal." N.p., Web. <http://goingsubsaharan.blogspot.com/2011/12/impact-of-colonial-legacy-in-senegal.html>.
"The Troubles in Syria: Spawned by French Divide and Rule | Middle East Policy Council." N.p., Web. <http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/troubles-syria-spawned-french-divide-and-rule>.
Williams, J. F., D. Kraus, and H. Knowles. "Flights from modernity: German and australian utopian colonies in paraguay 1886‐1896." Journal of Australian Studies (2001): n. pag. Web. <10.1080/14443050109387687>.

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