Research Paper on Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid (an Afrikaans word partially derived from the French, meaning “separation, apart from”) was a so-called policy of “separate development” affecting populations along racial or ethnic lines in specific geographical areas. It was conceptualized and implemented since 1948 in South Africa (Union of South Africa and the Republic of South Africa) by the National Party and abolished June 30, 1991. Apartheid policy was intended for institutional outcome of a policy and practice of empirical racial segregation (Pass-laws, baasskap and color bar), developed in South Africa since the founding of the Dutch East India Company in the Cape Colony in 1652. With apartheid, territorial connection (and nationality) and social status depended on the racial status of the individual.

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To write a good research paper on the topic you must know that the policy of apartheid was the “result of historical anxiety of the Afrikaners obsessed by fear of being swallowed up by the surrounding mass of black people,” which resulted in rigid laws, “driven by a dynamic white minority obsessed with survival” as a separate nation, and were the result of a confrontation over a geographical area, between an over-developed society, integrated in the first world with a subsistence society, still in the third world, expressing refusal to integrate the first with the seconds.

After the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 and in the context of decolonization, international criticism against apartheid began to grow (the exclusion from the World Health Organization, the International Labour Office, and the International Olympic Committee, withdrawal of the mandate from the South West Africa). But it was only after the Soweto riots in 1976 that international sanctions (embargo on arms sales) were imposed by the Security Council of the United Nations against South Africa. The reforms initiated under the governments of Pieter Botha (the authorization of nonwhite then mixed unions, abolition of reserved jobs, a new constitution re-establishing political rights to Indians and mestizos, abolition of the law prohibiting intermarriage, open public places to all communities) were not sufficient to halt the proliferation of bilateral international sanctions (diplomatic or trade restrictions, ban on imports of coal, export denials technologies) while townships become ungovernable. After coming to power in August 1989 President Frederik de Klerk and release after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the struggle against apartheid, the last pillars of apartheid laws (including the group Areas Act and the Population Registration Act) were abolished (June 1991). Constitutional negotiations (CODESA), conducted between the government, the African National Congress, the national party and the main South African political parties, lead to the development of an interim constitution, the first non-racial parliamentary elections by universal suffrage (27 April 1994) and the election of Nelson Mandela as the first black president of South Africa (10 May 1994).

For peacefully ending the apartheid policy and engaged in political negotiations, Nelson Mandela and Frederik de Klerk jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Apartheid was also applied from 1959 to 1979 in the South West Africa (now Namibia), then administered by South Africa.

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