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Nelson Mandela And Martin Luther King Jr.

1058 words - 4 pages

Section A
Two significant social and political changes that occurred as the result of Nelson Mandela’s actions are abandoning peaceful protest in favor of violence and the ending of apartheid (classification and segregation based on race). Mandela was born in 1918, began his life as part of a tribal clan – the Thembu people. Mandela’s father was a respected counselor to the Thembu royal family. Mandela’s father died in 1927 when Mandela was just nine years old and was then raised by the Thembu chief while attending local boarding schools. Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943 at the age of 25 and began his long journey to end white dominance and make South Africa a democratic state with equal rights for both white and black South Africans ("Frontline: Mandela," n.d.).
In 1944 Mandela and his associates form the ANC Youth League to organize mass support for the ANC. New apartheid policies were implemented by The National Party in 1948 and the following year the “ANC Youth League drafts a Program of Action calling for mass strikes, boycotts, protests, and passive resistance” against the apartheid policies ("Frontline: Mandela," n.d.). Mandela became the president of the ANC Youth League in 1951 and the following year more than 8,500 people take part in a nonviolent mass resistance. After his arrest later that year (1952) his sentence was suspended, he was banned, and was ordered to resign the ANC. In 1956 Mandela and over 150 others were tried for high treason. In 1960 anti-apartheid protesters gathered to challenge laws of segregation and after police open fire on the crowd, 69 people were killed, most with bullet wounds in their backs. Mandela fled South Africa and traveled around Africa and Europe. When Mandel returned in 1961 he was arrested and sentenced to five years. While serving his sentence, Mandela and other ANC members were tried for sabotage and violent attempt to overthrow the government. Mandela was sentenced to life in prison ("Frontline: Mandela," n.d.). After the violence that was shed upon the peaceful protests, Mandela conceded that the nonviolence protests were ineffective and argued that they had “no choice but to take up an armed struggle against the state” ("Mandela," 2009). Mandela remained imprisoned and during the next three decades, the violence throughout the country escalated. In 1986 the government, due to widespread unrest in black townships, declares a State of Emergency.
February 2, 1990, after several meetings by Mandela and the government, the announcement is made to Parliament that bans against the ANC and other political organizations were to be lifted. On February 11, 1990, after 27 years, Mandela is released from prison but the violence continues because apartheid still remains. In April of 1994, South Africa holds its first democratic elections which allow all races to vote, essentially ending apartheid. In May of 1994, Mandela is inaugurated as the first black...

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