Apartheid .docx - Compelling Question What Ended Apartheid...

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Compelling Question: What Ended Apartheid? Nelson Mandela, a leader of the ANC, had been arrested in 1964 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Behind bars on Robben Island he became the symbol of the resistance to apartheid. Free Mandela was a familiar cry worldwide. The final stage of apartheid 's demise happened so quickly as to have taken many people in South Africa and throughout the world by surprise. The release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 and the lifting of the ban of the African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation movements led to a protracted series of negotiations out of which emerged a democratic constitution and the first free election in the country's history. Democracy did not emerge spontaneously; it had to be built laboriously, brick by brick. This was a complex process, following years of multifaceted struggle and accompanied in the 1990-1994 period by convulsive violence as vested interests resisted change. Probably unique in the history of colonialism, white settlers voluntarily gave up their monopoly of political power. The final transfer of power was remarkably peaceful; it is often is described as a "miracle" because many thought that South Africa would erupt into violent civil war. The apartheid system in South Africa was ended through a series of negotiations between 1990 and 1993 and through unilateral steps by the de Klerk government. The apartheid system began to fall apart in the 1980s. Two million unemployed blacks, a shrinking white minority, continued black resistance, and an economy suffering from international sanctions finally convinced many South Africans that something had to change.
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  • Winter '19
  • African National Congress

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