Rise and Fall of Apartheid in South Africa Term Paper

Pages: 12 (3187 words)  ·  Style: Turabian  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage

¶ … rise and fall of Apartheid in South Africa. The writer examines its elements, and the abuses and struggles that the Black population of South Africa had to go through because of its existence. In addition the writer explores the Black fight for freedom and the dismantling of Apartheid. There were seven sources used to complete this paper.

The Rise and Fall of Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid ended in South Africa a dozen years ago, however, the Black South African community still struggles with increasing poverty levels, racially motivated decisions that are hidden in professional language, problems getting children to understand the historic significance of Apartheid and other issues that continue to rise up in the wake of Apartheid's demise.

Apartheid was a system that kept the Black population of South Africa openly oppressed for many years until an organized effort to rise up against it became successful in the 1994.

Until then Blacks spent 50 years being racially segregated and held back from any really meaningful life goals due to nothing more than the color of their skin.

As history moves further away from the Apartheid issue it is important for people to remember what it was about and how it impacted the entire population of South Africa to ensure that society never allows it to happen again.

An Overview

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Apartheid was a legally sanctioned system that was designed for the sole purpose of providing power to those who had European descent and resided in the nation of South Africa.

It allows those who were White to maintain not only economic power over Blacks but also provided them with 100% of the political power in the effort to insure compliance and the idea of dismantling its structure almost impossible to conceive.

The way Apartheid was set up each person was provided with a legal classification as to his or her skin color. The primary classifications included White, Black, Asian and Colored.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Rise and Fall of Apartheid in South Africa Assignment

The importance of one's classification during Apartheid should never be ignored. Once a person was classified, that classification determined everything about their life in South Africa. It was used to determine where they would live.

Forced geographic segregation based on skin color provided the avenue for oppression in all areas of life from that point on.

The reality of their geographic system however, was that even when Blacks were told they had to belong to a particular "home area" they often did not reside there. The problem became deep rooted however, because the Blacks were only allowed voting power in their home areas which meant that they were only allowed voting and decision rights in an area most likely far away and one that they had never seen. The actual areas that that they lived and worked in were controlled by Whites through votes, economics and legal rights.

If one wanted to compare the regional system used in South Africa's Apartheid system one could compare it to the Native American Reservations that were provided for Native Americans in the United States except in South Africa the Blacks were not allowed to vote or have any decision making power, outside their home areas, and in America Native Americans are not relegated to those areas for voting rights, though at one time they were.

The delegation of a home area to anyone not White created problems in all walks and areas of life.

If a Black person needed medical care or wanted to obtain an education he or she had to attend or use the Black provided facility. This meant that the services were often substandard.


The history of the concept of Apartheid is often credited with its origin in 1948 but its actual concept and idea came into play during an early 1990's speech given by J.C. Smuts who later became South Africa's Prime Minister.

The actual skeleton frame of the Apartheid concept is attributed to early British colonialism that had used such a set of laws during the 19th century when it was interested in Natal.

It is a term that simply means domination by race or a group through the use of economic and political control.

Before Apartheid became a legally accepted way of life it was already being practiced in small segments of South African life.

One example can be found in the early 20th century when there were "Colored lounges." These were places that Blacks were expected to gather for their after work beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Apartheid Begins Officially

In the years leading the actual adoption of Apartheid there were many areas of life that already hinted at its eventual life.

The Land Act of 1913 was one hint that a racial segregation was eventually going to be supported by the South African government.

Following the 1948 election, even though Smuts was not declared the winner, his idea of Apartheid took hold and began its journey to reality.

One of the first things the 1948 political powers did was pass a law that made inter-racial marriage illegal. It is hard to believe today, in other nations that South Africa would actually move backward with such a step but it happened and it set the stage for what was still to come.

The next step was to decide that the nation was going to legally classify each individual by race.

It is interesting to note the laws against mixed marriage coincided with the decision to segregate people by race.

It is human nature to want to protect one's children from all evil and hardship.

It would be a natural progression under a system such as South Africa's Apartheid for future parents to want to protect their future children and one of the ways that might be accomplished is for Blacks to enter into marriages with Whites. The first generation would be half Black and half White, and if that generation was taught to marry whites the Black blood line would be even further diluted therefore insuring that the classification would become more "acceptable" in terms of opportunities for their children and grandchildren.

This idea would have probably surfaced, as unfortunate as it would have been, because it would have caused Blacks to slowly give up their traditions and heritage. The legislators however quickly realized that this might be the outcome once Apartheid began its journey into South African society and moved to ban all inter-racial marriages.

With each passing year the government designed more ways to separate the races so that Whites would be provided with all the privileges and Blacks would be allowed to eke out a barely livable poverty stricken life.

By 1950 the geographic separation system was put into place.

While Blacks were not physically forced to move and reside in the geographic area that was designated to be "theirs," they were relegated to that area when it came to any rights of voting or making changes.

By 1953 the government moved even further in its effort to oppress the Black population when it began to designate Black areas of all walks of life. The nation began to divide its beaches, colleges, hospitals and transportation into Black and White areas.

As America was moving toward the dismantling of such barbaric actions and ideas South Africa was just gearing up and took pride in relegating Blacks to the back of the bus.

In 1953 things took a turn for the worse when the government decided that Blacks must carry special identification paperwork that announced their Black status.

One only has to look at the Nazi Germany treatment of the Jewish to understand the basis behind this decision.

As soon as the Blacks were legislatively told they must carry this special paperwork announcing their race it was also provided that they were not allowed to enter or go to White towns with specific written permission.

Blacks were not allowed to reside in a White town without specific written permission either and that permission was rarely if ever granted for any reason other than positions of servitude.

Eventually the government allowed Blacks to live in a White city for the purpose of employment however they were not allowed to move their spouse, children or other relatives to the city with them. They were left with the option of living and working in a White city without their family, or leaving the White city and working in a Black area where of course the wages and life standards were extremely reduced.

Some Blacks in the effort to provide for their families financially did reside in White areas and work to send the money home however, this was extremely difficult for family life and it was not a common practice.

There was a large movement by 1955 to remove any voting rights of Blacks. This was argued over and over again in the highest courts of the land because of the nation's constitutional promise of each person being able to vote. Eventually the people who wanted it done gave up on getting the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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