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Discuss South Africas apartheid policy of 1948. How was it initiated Provide historical information of the time from the passing of this policy until gaining independence in 1979 - Essay Example

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South Africa was the only state in which racism was legalized in the second half of the twentieth century. In South Africa time seemed to stand still. Almost until the end of the 20th century the law…
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Discuss South Africas apartheid policy of 1948. How was it initiated Provide historical information of the time from the passing of this policy until gaining independence in 1979
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Extract of sample "Discuss South Africas apartheid policy of 1948. How was it initiated Provide historical information of the time from the passing of this policy until gaining independence in 1979"

The history of apartheid is the black page in the history of South Africa. South Africa was the only in which racism was legalized in the second half of the twentieth century. In South Africa time seemed to stand still. Almost until the end of the 20th century the law divided the citizens of this country into the White, who possessed all the rights and Black, who had only one right – to work.
Restricting the rights of Black people had been practiced in South Africa since the arrival of the Europeans. According to Louw (2004), the word “apartheid” in the sense of “racial segregation” was first used in 1917 by Jan Smuts, who later became prime minister of Union of South Africa. In 1948 the National Party, which represented primarily the interests of Afrikaners, used the idea of ​​apartheid as their program and won the elections (Black South Africans already did not have the right to vote).
All South Africans were divided by race into White, Colored, Black and Indians (Asians). Different groups had different rights; of course most of them belonged to Whites. Government introduced separate education and health care, transport, social and recreational facilities, churches; mixed marriages were banned. Even shops and beaches were “for whites only” and “for others.”
Development of the policy of apartheid led to creation of Bantustans (Bantoestans in Afrikaans), the areas densely populated by indigenous Black South Africans; in fact those were reservations. The South African government created ten Bantustans in South Africa and ten in the South-West Africa (Namibia), which was under the control of South Africa. In fact, Bantustans were totally dependent on South Africa, their independence was not recognized by any country in the world.
South Africa’s black population was forcibly resettled in the Bantustans. South Africa’s policy openly declared that the ultimate goal of creating Bantustans would be a situation in which no man with black skin color could be a citizen of South Africa and, accordingly, would not have any rights in this country.
Due to condemnation and rejection of apartheid by the countries members of the British Commonwealth in 1961 South Africa left the Commonwealth and became an independent republic of South Africa. In 1994, after the end of apartheid South Africa’s Commonwealth membership was restored.
Apartheid caused a strong resistance in South Africa itself. A number of organizations, primarily the ANC (African National Congress), organized numerous protests. The loudest response in the world has caused by an uprising in Soweto. On June 16, 1976 secondary school students and students in Soweto, a suburb of Johannesburg, went out to the streets in the protest against the compulsory teaching in Afrikaans. The protest was peaceful, but police opened fire at demonstrators. The uprising broke out in the city. To suppress it the South African government brought the troops to Soweto. According to official data, 23 people were killed, but news agencies reported that more than five hundred people had died and thousands had been injured (Schwartzman & Taylor, 1999, p. 109).
By the early nineties, the ruling forces of South Africa understood that maintaining and continuation of the existing system of apartheid is no longer possible. Political prisoners were released, dissidents were pardoned. The government started a dialogue with the opposition. The result of it was holding general elections of the 1994, which were won by the African National Congress. The era of apartheid has ended.
The policy of apartheid in South Africa caused a sharp criticism of the international community. This is a rare case in which during the Cold War Soviet and Western views were virtually the same. Apartheid was officially condemned by the UN; international conventions recognized it as one of the crimes against humanity.
Works Cited
Louw, Eric P. (2004). The Rise, Fall, and Legacy of Apartheid. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Schwartzman, Kathleen C. and Taylor, Kristie A. (1999). “What Caused the Collapse of Apartheid?,” Journal of Political and Military Sociology 27, no. 1, p. 109. Read More
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