This map is part of a series of 14 animated maps showing the history of Decolonization after 1945.
Despite the proclamation of assimilation in 1930, a large white colonial population dominated the Africans living in Portugal’s territories.
In 1953, a revolt against the plantation owners on the islands of Sao Tomé and Principe degenerated into a massacre.
During the 1960s, guerrilla resistance groups began operations in Angola, and later in Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. Despite the presence of the Portuguese army and support from NATO, the Salazar government was unable to crush these insurrections.
In April 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon brought down the Salazar regime and opened up the possibility of liberating Portugal’s colonies.
Guinea Bissau was recognized as an independent state in September 1974, followed by Mozambique in June 1975. That same summer, it was the turn of the islands of Cap Verde and of Sao Tomé and Principe.
Independence for Angola came in November 1975.