Gandhi - South African Rights
Thesis: Gandhi decided to dedicate his life to help Indian people gain their independence.
Around 1891 Gandhi moved his family to South Africa to start his new job at an Indian law firm. He soon realized how horrible it was for Indian men and women who lived there and became appalled by what he saw. As his one year contract with the law firm was ending he began to go towards a higher calling and started teaching the ways of "Satyagraha", meaning "truth and firmness".
Starting in 1906 Gandhi began to lead people into the start of passive resistance. Fast forward to 1913 and thousands of Indians are now living in South Africa being treated like they aren't human beings. Finally under a lot of pressure South Africa wants to make a deal with Gandhi and General Jan Christian Smuts. They made deals over Indian marriage and poll taxes on Indian people.
During WWI Gandhi supported the British in the war until 1919 when he began a group of passive resistance followers to go against Parliament's passage of Rowlatt Act. The Rowlatt Act was an act allowing the government to hold a person in jail for up to two years without a trial if they were suspected of terrorism living in Raj. Most of the people suspected of terrorism were only Indians and Gandhi found that unjust. However, he backed off when violence broke out when British soldiers led a massacre into a meeting at Armistar with about 400 Indian people inside. After backing off because of violence he soon got back into sight of government figures in 1920 and became the most visible person in the movement for Indian Independence.
First Act of Civil Disobedience
Who: Gandhi and some of his followersWhen: June 7th, 1893
Where: South Africa
Why: As a young man he was thrown off a train from first class because of racial discrimination. At that moment he realized that he had to do something about rights of people especially Indian people, because at the time had no right to vote. Gandhi had a one year law contract in South Africa and when his contract was up he decided to stay there. He created the Natal Indian Congress to draw attention internationally on Indian problems in South Africa. With the movement he started to create is first mass of civil disobedience. In 1919 he protested against Britain's mandatory military draft of Indians. By 1920 he was leader of the Indian movement of Independence. He went to jail many times under British authorities but was always released early because of his massive following.
INC (Indian National Congress)
2. Even when he was in jail his sense of satyagraha had rubbed off onto his followers and they continued to follow his ways to get closer to Indian Independence. In 1942 Gandhi was put into jail for organizing a protest and for the two years he was gone his gigantic following pursued his vision even when he was gone.
3. At an old age where he should've been happily retired and home with his family he came out of retirement to help the Indian population. After 5 years of retirement, Gandhi worked many years to get to August 15, 1947 when Indian Independence became official.
Connections to today are relatively easy to make. Gandhi was such a huge influence that he not only is in history books everywhere but he also directly and indirectly influenced many people. Being he was such a great believer in nonviolence, it encouraged people everywhere to use the practice of Satyagraha. Even though it was very indirect, people today use those methods because of Gandhi. He was one of the most well known and influential humanitarians of the world.
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