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Resistance Protests Against the South African Apartheid

Modern society respects diversity, and globalization the world experiences now teaches humanity about the equity and value of any individual regardless of the differences. However, less than a century ago, the opposite historical events took place, and such characteristics as a race could determine a person’s life. Apartheid, the racial segregation regime lasted in South Africa from 1948 to 1994, threw the affected countries into poverty and social crisis that still prevents them from developing. Representatives of the United States and Europe’s supportive forces appeared to assist South Africa during the World Wars and then took the governance to their hands to get the most of the country’s natural resources. The new system eliminated black people’s rights on the legislative level, moved them from motherlands, and prohibited communication with white citizens. Not everyone could comply with such severe life changes, and the resistance movements appeared by the middle of the Apartheid period and then impacted the regime’s abolishment.

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My study’s topic identifies the influence of protests on changes in society and politics of the Apartheid period in South Africa. Anti-apartheid movements were prohibited, yet there are many protests, demonstrations, and even terroristic actions people of color took to fight. The research aims to analyze the role of resistance in the Apartheid’s development and the impact of crimes committed against the regime on affected people and government lives.

Historical Context

The Apartheid appeared when the world dealt with the consequences of World War II, and the United Nations judged the Holocaust that took millions of lives due to their Jewish roots. However, the history lesson was not learned in South Africa, where the whole-white government used the power not to improve the region’s poor economics but to benefit from it (Ndhlovu, 2017). The legislative establishment of rules against black people forced the latter to live in devastating conditions and commit crimes, protest, and fight against the regime. The “list of attacks attributed to nationalists and compiled by the Committee for South African War Resistance” retrieved from the police reports of the early 1960s shows the approaches protest movements used to restore justice (Grilli, 2018). The most aggressive crimes were committed by the affected people from the most impoverished regions, and they forced the government to decrease the regulation eventually.

Impact of Historical Context

The appearance of resistance could not happen during the Apartheid if there were no previous episodes of regulative regimes based on race. Black people who initiated the protest movements had at least a low level of education and were aware of the impacts of events like the Holocaust (Ndhlovu, 2017). Moreover, enforced movement from homeland to another district affects societies, damages traditions that the groups had related to home, and their desire to fight against unfair conditions grew into resistance. (Friedman, 2017). Historical context impacted the approaches and crimes chosen to commit as protests: the affected people established demonstrations popular in the twentieth century, robbed the rich, and exploded bombs at crowded places like churches (Ndhlovu, 2017). Economic factors like poverty, the exportation of resources, and weak internal production systems also influenced resistance’s aggressiveness, pushing the government to abolish the Apartheid.


Friedman, S. (2017). The Sounds of Silence: Structural change and collective action in the fight against Apartheid. South African Historical Journal, 69(2), 236-250. Web.

Grilli, M. (2018). Nkrumah’s Ghana and the armed struggle in Southern Africa (1961–1966). South African Historical Journal, 70(1), 56-81. Web.

Ndhlovu, B. C. (2017). Reconnoitring alternative forms of resistance to Apartheid South Africa, c. 1966–1979 and beyond: A case of an individual. South African Historical Journal, 69(2), 178-194. Web.

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