Nelson Mandela’s Childhood Defined His Identity

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When a child is born, he knows little about the world that he will spend the rest of his life in. Through experiences as a young child – such as experiences with parents, culture, family values, etc. – it is possible for one’s childhood environment to shape many aspects of his life. Indeed, one could argue that a childhood environment can greatly influence how one will spend the rest of one’s life. The life of Nelson Mandela is an interesting example of this ideology. In his case, the connection between childhood and life is special and goes even further than the first instinctive connections that often come to mind. When one examines the interesting details the childhood of Nelson Mandela, one is compelled to conclude that Nelson’s Mandela childhood environment fashioned his politics. In order to understand fully how the childhood environment of Nelson Mandela fashioned his politics, one must look at the identity of Mandela and the time and context in which he lived. Who was he and what types of political actions did he do? Nelson Mandela was an indigenous South African political leader. He lived in the time when South Africa was colonized by Europeans. The British, who wanted to secure the maritime route to India and acquire South Africa, began to challenge Dutch settlers in the nineteenth century. At the end of the century, the British fought a bloody campaign, known as the Boer War in 1899 against the Dutch settlers. The war ended in a British victory and the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902. In effect, the treaty established a joint British-Afrikaans condominium over South Africa and bargained away the political rights of the native people. Moreover, in their desire to r... ... middle of paper ... ...ridan. Mandela, Tambo, and the African National Congress : the struggle against apartheid. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Mandela, Nelson, Nelson Mandela : the struggle is my life : his speeches and writings brought together with historical documents and accounts of Mandela in prison by fellow-prisoners. London: International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa, 1990 Meredith, Martin. Nelson Mandela: a biography: London: Hamish Hamilton, 1997 Sampson, Anthony. Mandela: the authorised biography. London: HarperCollins, 1999. Schneider, Martin. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a celebration Sandton, South Africa: Martin Schneider, 1997. “The Release of Nelson Mandela: reading the signs of our times” Braamfontein : Institute for Contextual Theology, [1990] Wesley, Richard. “Mandela and De Klerk”. United States : Showtime Networks, c1997

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