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South African Aparthied Essay, Research Paper

Throughout history imperialism has ravaged the under-dog, the smaller easily supressed territories.

The greater more dominant nation would use and exploit the people and land for their own use,

without concern for the devastation it is causing to the land, and society of these territories. The

modern history of the Australian Aboriginals and the African natives in South Africa are

complementing examples of Europeon imperialism and its implications. Racism and feelings of

white superiority were the main factors pushing both Aparthied and Segregation policies. They are

not only similar in their cause and inception, but in their execution and in the inevitable detriment of

the supressed nonwhite races.

Discrimination against nonwhites was inherent in South African society from the earliest days.

Since the British settled in South Africa in 1795 there has been social, economic, and political

exclusion, being ruled by whites despite the fact that whites held about 10% of the population.

Segregation and inequality between whites and other races had existed as a matter of custom and

practice, but after 1948 these practices were made into firm-standing laws. These new laws marked

the start of apartheid as the country?s official policy as well as the start of the National Party?s reign

of power. The National Party stressed white supremacy and promoted separated development. .

This separated development entitled that the races be segregated, moving nonwhites out of urban

areas into the outskirts of city into so-called ?home lands? or bantustans with people of their own

race. This policy of seperate development can be compared to the policy of segregation which was

inacted upon Aboriginals in Australia. Under this policy Aboriginals were moved from their

traditional homelands and moved onto government owned reserves.

Aborignials and South Africans living in their segregated environments had few civil rights. In

South Africa the National Party implemented more laws; that determined what jobs nonwhites

could get, what type of education they could receive, who they could come into contact with, the

facilities they could use, what race they could marry, and the positions they could hold in politics;

none. The National Party, under the control of Hendrik Verwoerd, further alienated nonwhite

citizens by passing a law that made them citizens of their own bantustans, not citizens of South

Africa. The National Party rationalized, saying that this law gave blacks an opportunity to

participate in a political process within the bantustans. However, their real motives were get out of

paying welfare to millions of nonwhites without losing the benefits of an endless supply of cheap

labor. These conditions were almost mirrored on the government reserves the Aborignals resided in.

They were under the total control of the appointed manager of the reserve, and had to ask permission

to marry or leave the reserve. Aboriginals were not counted on the census and forbidden to vote in

elections. Any money they did earn was turned over to the manager. In short they were almost

slaves.

The entire ethnic population was in total disagreement with the South African government?s attempt

to eliminate their rights. While the start of apartheid was not a memorable moment in South

Africa?s history, it was a major factor in shaping the nation. Many political parties and

organizations today, were formed through the protest of apartheid from 1948 to 1990. These groups

played a key role in spreading disapproval of apartheid policies to the citizens and officials of South

Africa and ultimately lead to its removal.

From the induction of apartheid, there has been much resistance to the policy. One group that

adamantly opposed the introduction of apartheid was the South African Native Congress, which was

formed by a group of black citizens in 1912. They protested the land appropriation laws of that time

and were opposed to the British. Later renamed as the African National Congress, the organization

increased their following under the leadership of Nelson Mandela during the 1950?s when the

apartheid laws were being implemented. After decades of receiving no response to their pleas for

justice and equality, the group launched a non-violent campaign in 1952 in which apartheid laws

were deliberately broken. The African National Congress? goal was not to start a revolution, but to

try to change the existing system. In an attempt to do just that, the ANC brought together 3000

delegates and signed the Freedom Charter. This document stated that South Africa belongs to all its

citizens and that ?every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and stand as candidates for

all bodies which make law.? However, this document was not recognized by the national

government of that time. In 1960, with the increase in the ANC?s involvement in protests and a new

group called the Pan-Africanist Congress? protests, the South African government feared more

deaths so they banned all black African political organizations. Mandela?s arrest sparked anger

amongst all ethnic citizens and organizations and produced a volatile environment. In an effort to

ease tensions, a constitution was drafted in 1984, which allowed Asians and Coloreds (milado) to be

in parliament but it still excluded black Africans who made up 70% of the population. This, along

with all the other race inequalities and segregation brought the movement against apartheid to a

raging climax. Finally, with apartheid being criticized internationally, with nations putting

economic sanctions on them, and more riots by African organizations, the government?s apartheid

policies began to unravel. In a historic and memorable day in 1992, the new president, F. W. de

Klerk, announced an official end to apartheid and released Nelson Mandela from prison. This day

had been long awaited and much earned. The South African organizations had played a key role in

protesting, and eventually the downfall of the apartheid policies. These groups still exist today and

are influential in South Africa?s politics. With the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in

1994, South Africa had experienced a complete turnaround from racial inequality. The end of

apartheid was a major, if not the most important, event in this country?s troubled history. This event

symbolizes South Africa?s freedom from oppression and the beginning of new life for ethnic citizens.

South Africa?s history is incased with events that shaped the way the nation is today. Four of the

most important events in their history are the Boer war, South Africa?s independence, the induction

of apartheid policies, and the end of apartheid. These four incidents, but not just these four, molded

South Africa into the country it is today. The fight for independence as well as the fight to end

apartheid was fought for the purpose of gaining and keeping the rights that the ethnic citizens, and

South African people as a whole, deserved.


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