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South Africa Dbq

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In 1651, Dutch settlers first arrived in South Africa looking for slaves and goods, at the time they were known as Afrikaners. The Berlin Conference controlled the European colonization and trade in Africa by dividing the country into sections. The African efforts to resist European imperialism failed because they were unable to withstand the advanced weapons and other technology possessed by the Europeans. In 1948, a new system of racial segregation called Apartheid was founded, which caused whites to be superior and non-whites to be looked at as inferior, even though whites made up less than ten percent of South Africa’s population. During Apartheid, the African National Congress was formed, in response to the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, and led by Nelson Mandela. The Afrikaners fiercely supported the Apartheid because they felt it was necessary for their self-preservation, some of the members of the ANC believed in violence to end the Apartheid because the excessive government violence towards them, and the United Nations condemned Apartheid because they felt it was oppressive. The Afrikaners felt that their two options when dealing with the native Africans were either equality or the separation of races, however, they thought equality meant death for the nation. In order to save the country, Afrikaners believed that that they had to separate the people because they thought it was beneficial towards everyone. In a statement by the National Party of South Africa it stated, “... the future of every race will be protected and safeguarded with full opportunities for development and self-maintenance in their own ideas, without clashing with the interests of the other” (Doc 1). The National Party explained at the beginning of Apartheid how it was best for the country and how everything would be separate, but they each would have opportunities. They made it seem like Apartheid was the best option and without Apartheid it would mean national suicide because of the clash of races. South African High Commissioner Dr. A.L. Geyer talked about how Apartheid is a policy of self-preservation and it will allow Bantus to develop as a separate people, when giving a speech at the Rotary Club of London (Doc 3). In Geyer’s speech he stated that Apartheid would save the country because it would allow whites to rule and he felt they were more mature. This showed how Geyer believed in white supremacy because he was white and that Apartheid would allow the whites not only to save the country, but also to run the country because they would be considered superior. When speaking to Parliament, P.W. Botha was quoted in saying how he felt that the Bantus could never live in the white areas, or else the country would perish (Doc 7). Botha was the leader of South Africa when he said this and it showed how he believed in white supremacy as well, because he was disgusted at the idea of integration. He felt that if the blacks were to get any opportunities in life, then it would kill the country because he looked at them as inferior. In an opinion poll regarding the South African Government’s handling of combating terrorism it showed how the whites felt they did (Doc 14). This document only asked the white’s opinion of handling terror and showed how the whites used violence against black rebellions. The Government referred to all blacks that were anti-Apartheid terrorists and the poll described how well the government dealt with them. The Afrikaners enforced the Apartheid because they thought if they did not then the country would not survive. In addition to how Afrikaners believed that Apartheid was necessary for their self-preservation, they also had no problem using violence against the Bantus. The ANC turned violent only because of the violence directed towards them by the South African government. In the chart created by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding the acts of severe ill treatment, it showed how the South African Police were the main cause of violence in South Africa (Doc13). The chart also showed how the ANC caused only one third of the amount of destruction and violence than the South African Police did. This displayed how the government of South Africa was most responsible for the crimes committed under Apartheid because of the amount of Bantus they killed or injured. In Nelson Mandela’s autobiography he wrote, “We are embarking on a new and more dangerous path, a path of organized violence, the results of which we did not and could not know” (Doc 5). Mandela explained in this quote how using violence was a new tactic for the ANC and they were just reacting to the violence towards them by the South African government. Mandela chose a path of violence because he understood that the peaceful approach was not working. In a leaflet issued by the command of the Spear of the Nation it talked about how the Bantus could no longer sit around and must take action by using force in order to achieve freedom (Doc 6). The leaflet showed the people that they had the option of submitting or fighting because the government was not reacting to their peaceful protests. The author of this document believed in fighting for freedom because he was tired of the government’s injustices. Many members of the ANC felt the need to resort to violence towards the South African government because they were unable to sit peacefully while the government committed violent acts to them. In spite of how the Afrikaners believed that Apartheid was necessary for the success of South Africa, the UN felt the opposite because they saw the harm it was doing to the Bantu people. The UN understood how Apartheid was oppressing the black people and took action to stop it because they did not want oppression to continue. In the UN Resolution on Race Conflict it stated how Apartheid’s polices were based on racial discriminations reprehensible and repugnant to dignity (Doc 4). The UN showed in this document how they disliked the idea of Apartheid because of how it was dehumanizing the Bantus. The UN felt that nobody should be treated the way blacks were treated under Apartheid and that what was being done to them in South Africa was wrong. The UN also took a photo inside a Bantu homeland to show the effects of Apartheid and it was depressing to see the conditions that they were forced to live in (Doc 10). The Bantus had to live in the worst conditions, while the whites were able to live in luxury and the UN took the picture to show the world how devastating Apartheid was. The photograph displayed how most of the population had to suffer because of the Apartheid. In the Disproportionate Treatment circa 1978, it compared the lifestyles of blacks and whites in South Africa and showed the dramatic differences in the way they each lived (Doc 9). The chart demonstrated how much land, money spent on education, income, doctors, and teachers each race were given. The chart was labeled “Disproportionate Treatment”, but it did not describe how unfair of a life blacks were automatically brought into, with no hope of advancing. The UN understood the negative effects that the Apartheid brought to the Bantus in South Africa which is why they tried to end it. Apartheid may have been looked at as beneficial by the Afrikaners because they it allowed them to be superior, however, it had a detrimental effect on the Bantu people because of the inequality that they were forced to go through. Afrikaners felt Apartheid was necessary for the self-preservation of South Africa, some of the members of the ANC believed in violence to end the Apartheid because the excessive government violence towards them, and the United Nations condemned Apartheid because they felt it was oppressive. After the Apartheid ended, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigated people whose human rights were violated under Apartheid and provided them with amnesty, from the perpetrator. This allowed people to accept what happened under Apartheid and move on to the future. It will take a long time to heal the wounds of Apartheid, however, the TRC will aid the process.

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