APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA

By: Michelle Fisher, Stephanie Carte, Isla McGlauflin

Overview

The people of South Africa suffered from the effects of the system of segregation known as Apartheid. The system promoted white rule and division of races. Laws were created to separate the races of South Africa. There were more rights given to the white people of South Africa and little rights given to the black South Africans.

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HISTORY

  • A long history impacted the people of South Africa during the Apartheid. The majority of South Africans were Protestants or Roman Catholics which effected the way they worshiped and what they believed in. There were many leaders who came into power including Nelson Mandela who became South Africa’s first black president. He led ANC after he was released from prison. While being a black president he fought for black rights. Others also spoke out about the Apartheid system. Stephen Biko influenced the black power movement in the US and worked on establishing the Apartheid. Other countries were on the blacks side trying to gain their rights. The independence of other African countries help encourage abolishing Apartheid. Many members of the freedom movement for the black won awards for their efforts. Some of these people include Nadine Gordimer who won the 1991 Nobel Prize for literature, John Maxwell Coetzee who wrote about the poor effects of the Apartheid won the 2003 Nobel Prize for literature. Another man was Desmond Tutu who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his non violent efforts in ending the Apartheid in 1984, and in 1993, the president of South Africa, F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize for the efforts and work that was given to ending the Apartheid. Many people wanted to end the Apartheid, but it was how they went about it who made a real difference.
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Social

The people of South Africa were affected by the Apartheid. The black people of South Africa were separated from the other races and treated unequally. They were given the lower end of everything, while the whites were better off. Blacks were forced to learn the Afrikaans language causing them to lose an important part of their culture. This angered many of the black people. Students began protesting, hoping that they could change things and make things better for the black community in south Africa. The students participated in non-violent protests to try to include African history in their schools. The students were fired upon by soldiers and thousands of students died which sparked riots and violence. The blacks were denied their basic rights and treated fair inferiority to the white people.

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Government

  • The Apartheid of South Africa had political effects on many people of this country. The white used their power to enforce laws to keep the separation between themselves and blacks. In 1948 the white nationalist party won most elections. The Population Registration Act in 1950 was the first of many acts passed having to do with apartheid. Because the situation was so unfair, there were many protests by the blacks that were censured by the government. International attention was drawn to South African apartheid and European and American government pressured South Africa.Frederik de Klerk became president after Botha. After being pressured from black African groups, he released Nelson Mandela, an African, from prison. The apartheid system was dismantled, media censorship was abolished, laws of separate accommodation were lifted. Mandela was then elected as president in the first free election. During Mandela’s term, Africans gained rights, and foreign sanctions were lifted by other countries.
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Economic

  • There were many economic effects in South Africa due to the Apartheid. Due to labor shortages during WWII it was encouraged to use black workers. When there were labor shortages, better jobs were saved for whites, and the jobs that were usually manned by whites, were taken by blacks. South Africans tried many economic ways to punish the government for apartheid. This segregation caused South Africa to be more isolated by the rest of the world economically. U.S. set up trading restrictions and embargoes against them which was good because it held back the whites, but it also affected the blacks. The South African economy was crippled by strikes from many disagreeing people.
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SOUTH AFRICA TODAY

There are many things still effecting the people of South Africa today after the Apartheid. In 1994 the Apartheid ended in South Africa due to South African voted and is still non existent in South Africa. Many things during the Apartheid scared the people and still linger in their thoughts today. The most common language for these people is isiZulu. Many thoughts still linger on the South African’s mind’s which hold them back.
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