People Who Changed the World

Topics: South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 7 (1130 words) Published: July 27, 2014

People Who Changed the World
Darlene Roberts
Western Governors University

People Who Changed the World
Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest social and political peacemakers that ever lived. His accomplishments were world changing. Mandela was not always able to pursue his democratic dreams nonviolently but that was his desire. Unfortunately, the South African Government felt it necessary to punish nonviolent protestors to discourage their cause (Book, 2009). As a leader in the African National Congress, (ANC), Mandela had to stay strong to be a contender in the fight for democratic freedom (Book, 2009). Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in Umtata, Transkei, South Africa to the chief of Mvezo, and after his father’s death when he was only nine years old, he was raised by the powerful ruler of the Thembu Tribe, Jongintaba Dalindyebo (Book, 2009). His thoughts were organized and disciplined by his father and guardian, who groomed him to someday be chief. It was not by mere chance that Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa (Book, 2009). Mandela was wise for his years, he dreamed of democracy for his people. He was educated earning a BA degree in 1942 at University of South Africa. At the University of Witwatersrand he worked on his law degree. Mandela and colleague, Oliver Tambo started South Africa’s first Black law firm (Book, 2009). Mandela fought tirelessly for the liberation of South Africa. In 1948 Apartheid became the official law of the land in South Africa. Each nationality in South Africa had to live in a separate geographic location, interracial marriage was not allowed, and South Africans had to be registered according to their race (Book, 2009). Mandela arranged a campaign to alleviate the dishonest laws. Charges of treason led him to prison and confinement on several occasions (Book, 2009). The Rivonia Trial of 1964 became known all around the world. Mandela again charged with treason but, this time sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Appeals for clemency came to South Africa from abroad and the New York Times editorialized the trial charging the government as the guilty party (Book, 2009). However, for the next eighteen years Mandela was restricted to a maximum security prison on Robben Island off the coast of South Africa. Prison was a mere hindrance for Mandela. His conviction to bring about change grew stronger. He led political study groups and put together judicial appeals for other inmates while he himself was serving a life sentence (Book, 2009). The violence in South Africa was overwhelming and rampant throughout, killing many innocent women and children. In 1980, with strong suggestion from the ANC, a campaign was set in motion by the Johannesburg newspaper to free Mandela (Book, 2009). A petition was drafted which thousands of people willingly signed to demand Mandela’s freedom. Mandela was held in high regard, the brave representative of Black South African’ fight for freedom (Book, 2009). In 1982 Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison became Mandela’s next house of horror. The youth of black South Africans gained recognition and compassion from abroad and the government’s rising international criticism of its laws had to be addressed (Book, 2009). In 1985 President Botha’s attitude changed, Mandela was involved in secret government meetings. Meetings with the minister of justice, Kobie Coetsee were important and beneficial and led to a more promising future for Mandela and South Africa. February 11, 1990 Mandela was released from prison (Book, 2009). Months later Mandela set out on a world tour throughout North America and Europe. He was welcomed as a hero and world leader. In Great Britain he met with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In the US he had discussions with President George H. W. Bush (Book, 2009). In 1991 Apartheid was no more, South Africa became a truly democratic, nonracial government. In 1993, Mandela and F. W. Klerk were...

References: Martin Luther King, Jr. Biography (2011). The Biography Channel Website. Retrieved from
Nelson Mandela. (2009). In Biography Reference Book. Retrieved from https://lrps.wgu/provisions/8537171
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