Analysis Of The Sharpeville Massacre Useful For Uk Ocr History Students

5525 words - 22 pages

South Africa Coursework1.Study Sources A & B-How far do these sources agree about what happened in Sharpeville?Source A is a journalist (Humphrey Tyler); Tyler was a journalist for a South African newspaper. Tyler was unique in being the only journalist in Sharpeville on the day of the massacre; this makes Tyler a primary source. Tyler’s account seems to be of the opinion that the police over-reacted.Source B is a report in an English newspaper. The report was published the day after the Sharpeville massacre making it a secondary source. Source B clearly gives the impression that the police were being threatened and besieged by the protesting Africans.Both sources agree on a number of points. For example, both sources agree on the presence of Saracen armoured cars in the township, “Driving behind… three Saracen armoured cars” – Source A, and “about a dozen Saracens were at Sharpeville” - Source B, the sources also agree that there were protesting Africans chanting at the police. Source A states “many people were shouting”, and source B says “thousands of Africans shouting”.Similarly, both sources also agree that the protest had grown into a large crowd, and also that there had been a large mobilisation of police in response to the crowds. Both sources also mention a concentration of police strength. Source A says “Police too, well armed” while Source B says that “Police reinforcements were sent”After this, however the sources begin to diverge. Both sources claim that the crowd was chanting a different slogan. Tyler claims that the demonstrators were chanting the slogan of the P.A.N – ‘Izwe Lethu’ (trans. ‘Our Land’); while Source B says that the protestors were crying “Africa! Africa!” also, the English newspaper reports that there were earlier disturbances in the township (culminating in the shooting dead of an African), Tyler, however makes no mention of earlier disturbances. They also differ on the amount of police there, Source A mentions only three Saracen armoured cars, while Source B states that there are in fact a dozen Saracens thereAnother place where the sources diverge is when the sources describe the general feel of the crowds. I source A the crowds attitude is likened to “a Sunday outing” and that many of the protestors were having a good time, smiling and even waving at the police. However, he describes the police as very on edge, on hitting his car and screaming “Get out, get out! Or I’ll arrest you on the spot.” In source B however the impression of the greater numbers of police still having problems keeping control, to the point where there is a power struggle.In conclusion, the two articles see to disagree on more points, and on more important details than they agree on. All that can be gathered definitely from the sources is that there were crowds there, shouting, and that there were an...

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