The ANC Youth League

and it's affect on the struggle against Apartheid

What is the ANC Youth League?

The African National Congress Youth League is a branch of the African National Congress created in 1944, and is credited with changing the ANC's approach to mass protest. The ANCYL pushed more passive resistance against Apartheid laws such as boycotts and protests; this resistance became officially known as the Defiance Campaign in 1952. The Defiance Campaign supported civil disobedience, and it's goal was to break laws like curfews and the Pass Laws. Many members of the ANC Youth League also went on to be influential members and leaders of the ANC, including Anton Lembede, Oliver Tambo, and Nelson Mandela.

The ANCYL and Apartheid

Although the Defiance Campaign was viewed as ultimately unsuccessful, it brought together many smaller anti-apartheid groups, and during the movement country-wide ANC membership skyrocketed. The Youth League's support of the ANC helped to get more people involved in the anti-apartheid movement and pushed new kinds of civil protest that ultimately ended Apartheid in South Africa. The ANCYL also helped unite South Africa's youth population and allowed them to get more involved in the country's affairs and political goals, as it continues to do today.

Works Cited

Primary Source: ANC Youth League Constitution

"ANC Youth League." ANC Youth League. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

Other Citations

"Modern History." HSC Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

"The O’Malley Archives." African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.