Apartheid Legislation in South Africa

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Nicolas Salamanca 10 A17/12/2012
Apartheid legislation in South Africa
National Party leaders argued that South Africa did not comprise a single nation, but was made up of four distinct racial groups: white, black, colored, and Indian. These groups were split further into thirteen nations or racial federations. White people encompassed the English and Afrikaans language groups; the black populace was divided into ten such groups. The state passed laws which paved the way for "grand apartheid", which was centered on separating races on a large scale, by compelling people to live in separate places defined by race (This strategy was in part adopted from "left-over" British rule that separated different racial groups after they took control of the Boer republics in the Anglo-Boer war. This created the so called black only "townships" or "locations" where blacks were relocated in their own towns). In addition, "petty apartheid" laws were passed. The principal apartheid laws were as follows: The first grand apartheid law was the Population Registration Act of 1950, which formalized racial classification and introduced an identity card for all persons over the age of eighteen, specifying their racial group. Official teams or Boards were established to come to an ultimate conclusion on those people whose race was unclear. This caused difficulty, especially for colored people, separating their families as members were allocated different races. The second pillar of grand apartheid was the Group Areas Act of 1950. Until then, most settlements had people of different races living side by side. This Act put an end to diverse areas and determined where one lived according to race. Each race was allotted its own area, which was used in later years as a basis of forced removal. Further legislation in 1951 allowed the government to demolish black shack land slums and forced white employers to pay for the construction of housing for those black workers who were...
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