Rise and Fall of Apartheid Term Paper

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What it did was provide voting rights as stated in the constitution but removed any clout the Black vote carried.

In addition to the law being passed that prohibited mixed marriage the government took it a step further to prevent the Blacks mixing their offspring with White blood to try and protect their children from oppression.

The government passed a law making it illegal for two people of mixed race to have sexual relations.

The laws were also changed to provide separate and different government structures for different races.

Blacks responded to Apartheid in many ways. One of the common practices that they took part in was to set up shack villages and squat in and around the White areas where they could get work and support their families while still living with them.

It was not long however, before the government took care of that as well when it provided itself with permission to destroy any shack village it found.

Another law that looked on the surface to be a positive step for the Black population actually worked in the opposite direction.

The law stated that any White employer who hired a Black employee had to provide and construct a proper house for that Black to live in as they were recognized as legal residents of the White area.

This caused many White employers to refuse to hire Black workers and it caused many currently employed Black workers to lose their positions.

It became universally illegal for Blacks to use the same public amenities that Whites used which further ingrained the division between the races.

Even given all of the rules and regulations Blacks continued to find ways to migrate to White areas. They would find Whites and gain sympathy and get positions offered to them and move there.

They would work hard and become valued and then promote the hiring of other Blacks.

To combat this effect the government then passed a law that made it illegal for Blacks to migrate to White areas for any reason.

It is easy for one to see how determined the government was to oppress the Black population at any cost in all areas of life.

To be sure the Black population would not be able to get ahead financially the government moved to pass laws allowing the discrimination against Blacks in the workforce including below poverty wages, the ability for Whites to cost Blacks their positions if they were wanted by Whites and other things that provided the ability to completely mistreat Blacks in the workplace.

Blacks employed as domestic help were allowed to live on the property of their employer but could not bring their families to live there nor could their families come to visit which meant Black workers not seeing family members for long periods of time.

If a Black was caught in a White area and did not have proper documentation on file he or she was immediately arrested provided a short trial and deported to his or her designated "home area." In addition the Black's employer was prosecuted for employing a Black without making sure the Black had the proper documentation to be in the White area each day to work.

The entire process gave pause to White employers about hiring Blacks to work for them. This meant that the only jobs really available to the Blacks in the White areas were the very menial positions that no White would take.

Even as history moved forward the plight of Blacks in South Africa continued to tighten. Black employers were not allowed to hire White workers as it would disrupt the balance of power that Whites held over Blacks.

Black police officers were not allowed to arrest White criminals regardless of the crime or charge.

The Black areas were not often provided with running water or electricity and for many years Blacks were prohibited from purchasing or consuming any alcohol.

The laws of Apartheid further destroyed the hope of Blacks. A White driver could not have a Black passenger of the opposite gender in the front seat of the vehicle lest it give the appearance that they were a couple.

Whites were required to pay a higher tax rate than Blacks had to pay, further deepening the imbalance of power Whites held over their Black counterparts.

South African Blacks were essentially stripped of any citizenship as they were classified and designated to reside in an "independent" home area.

Almost 90% of South African land was reserved for White areas with 10% being designated as the Black home areas. The areas designated as Black home area were generally substandard in every way.

As the 1960's through 1980's arrived the government took a new turn when it began to force Blacks to relocate to their designated home areas to live or face the threat of prison or death.

More than 3 million Blacks were forcibly removed from their residences and moved to their home area.

The Beginning of the End

There were uprisings along the way. In 1960 a group attempted to severe all ties with White government and in doing so tried to form its own Pan Africa Congress designed as a militant group.

A large group of PAC members converged on a White police station offering to be arrested for not having documentation (pass papers) on them. It was their attempt to demonstrate the stupidity of the law however, 200 policemen met them and opened fire into the crowd in what later was deemed a massacre.

The South African government immediately moved to ban PAC and make membership in the organization illegal.

Following the massacre a massive stay away from jobs was called as well as other peaceful but meaningful demonstrations were organized and carried out.

The Prime Minister answered the call by declaring a state of emergency and announcing that people could be detained without a trial. There were almost 20,000 demonstrators arrested and detained following that announcement.

Famed Apartheid opposer, Nelson Mandela had been arrested several times already and was eventually tried for treason. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. In the government's effort to squash the uprising of the Black population by putting Mandela and other leaders in prison for life, the exact opposite occurred and the uprising ramped up.

The End

The United Nations condemned the trial that imprisoned Mandela and the others which gave hope to South African Blacks that had lived under the Apartheid oppressive umbrella for so many years.

The government of South Africa answered the Black hope by escalating the enforcement of racial segregation laws.

Trade unions and other movements continued to grow in strength during the 1970's and fight against Apartheid.

When the government then ordered that all classes in Black colleges bet taught in Afrikaans, students protested by refusing to go to their classes and instead organized large scale rallies to protest Apartheid.

It turned extremely violent with police shooting into the crowds on university campuses. The first killed that day was a 15-year-old. The next shot was a 12-year-old boy named Hastings Ndlova. Those two killings set off an angry cry around the world as people began to protest the confines and harshness of Apartheid.

By that day's end there were more than 200 dead.

During the 1980's a growing minority of Whites joined the protest against Apartheid and sided with a group called the Progressive Party.

By the late 1980's many nations placed trade embargos and restrictions on South Africa as long as it insisted on maintaining its Apartheid laws.

By the late 1980's and early 1990's there was an international movement to shut out South Africa until it changed its Apartheid laws and dismantled its existence.

The pressure was systematically increased to the point that during the last few years of Apartheid the nation of South Africa was in a constant state of turmoil and crisis. Whether it was uprisings from within or pressure for international voices the nation constantly had issues and problems directly related to its insistence of its Apartheid regime.

By 1993 movement was underway to promote and achieve the peaceful dismantling of Apartheid, led by the Whites in South Africa who were against its existence, and backed by international forces that refused to lift their sanctions against South African trade and business until Apartheid was dismantled.

In 1994 Apartheid was officially over. Today, Blacks are considered equal and there are several affirmative action programs in place to try and reverse the damage that was done during the Apartheid reign.


Apartheid is evidence of what a government is capable of doing to violate human rights if it is given enough power to do so.

As the world moves forward it will continue to…

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