The Movement Of South Africa Essay

The Movement Of South Africa Essay

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In 1994, the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, after three decades of resistance, succeeded in ending an oppressive, unpopular regime in order to make way for South Africa’s first democratic government. The resistance movement to the apartheid system came from multiple sectors of society which joined together to create a coalition of organizations dedicated to the use of strategic nonviolence, peaceful protest, and civil disobedience. Twenty years after its beginning, the movement was faced with a near-constant interplay of passive resistance and armed insurrection that, unlike in some other campaigns, strengthened the protesters and underscored their goals. By April 27, 1994 South Africa became a democratic country resulting not only in a fundamental change in the political landscape but also in a new, constitutional legal order the likes of which the people had never seen. In order to fully understand how such a diversified collection of resisters came to topple a restrictive regime centuries in the making, it is necessary how political opportunity arose within the country and what role strategic resistance played in stripping the government of its power.
When Dutch colonists first began to colonize South Africa in 1652 they did not hesitate to cast aside the indigenous peoples and arrogate their supremacy over them. Attitudes towards race would not change over the next few centuries and would actually worsen in the early 1900s starting with the Land Act of 1913. This particular act was the beginning of territorial segregation and forced black Africans into reserves as well as forbidding them from sharecropping, successfully cutting them off from any means of economic improvement while also preventing them from rega...


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...igns as a basic structure from which they could build progressively more politicized forms of organization--a process which culminated in the development of a national democratic affiliation (“A Struggle From the Ground Up”).
Within a nonviolent campaign, participation simply means that the movement maintained a loyal following. The continuation of participation in the face of repression does require perseverance and discipline but these three terms are so closely intertwined and so easily tied to the will of the people that to separate them would only cause redundancy. There was a diverse collection of organizations involved in apartheid resistance including but not limited to the South African Students’ Organization (SASO), the African National Congress (ANC), and the Pan African Congress (PAC) which allowed for all aspects of South African life to be represented.

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