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Nelson Mandela And His New Nation

1547 words - 6 pages

From 1900 to 1901 the British Army conquered Dutch settlers known as Boers in the Boer War and South Africa became a of the whites in South Africa are Boers. In 1948 the National Party started apartheid, which meant only British colony. The Boers beca
the main voting support for the dominant National Party; over 50% of the whites could vote, and that blacks had to live in segregated, poorer areas than whites, and had restricted movement and employment rights. In 1947 a political party was formed cal
d the African National Congress, a black party dedicated to ending apartheid by peaceful means.1 Soon after, Nelson Mandela joined the A.N.C. The A.N.C. wanted to end apartheid by civil disobedience, general strike, and public demonstrations. The Boer
overnment banned the A.N.C. , and in 1961 Mandela began advocating violence; in his mind he had no other choice. He was imprisoned shortly after this, and in 1990, National Party president W. deKlerk bowed to international pressure against apartheid a
released Mandela. In 1994 Mandela was elected president of South Africa in the first fully democratic election in South African history.2

        This may not be as happy a story as it seems. Mandela faces three major obstacles in his quest to create an egalitarian society. Mandela has achieved full enfranchisement, but he may find it more difficult to guarantee full civil rights across the bo
d. In addition, Mandela will have great difficulty in achieving economic equality. It will be difficult for him to re-distribute wealth without compromising the rights of the richer white class.3 He also faces long-term factors such as the time and m
ey needed to educate the poor so they can obtain the economic equality they need.4 The issue of violence is another obstacle that Mandela will find difficult to overcome. The radical element of the Boers may create an uprising if their privileged econ
ic and social positions are jeopardized. The Zulus, South Africa's largest ethnic group, led by Buthelezi, want political independence and are prepared to fight for their land. If full political democracy and economic equality fail, this could make th
threat of violence much greater.5

        Ten months after its first multicultural elections, South Africa's transition to democracy marked the re-birth of a nation. The new coalition headed by President Mandela and dominated by his African National Congress has earned the respect of their pe
le because they are governing in a manner more respectful to the wishes of people of all races. Political violence has disappeared in most areas of the country. The new system of government has the blacks excited and trying to participate as much as p
sible by lining up to vote all over the country. Some blacks began lining up in the early hours of the morning and wouldn't leave till they got to try out their new freedoms to elect a government.6 Mandela's management of the transition to multiracial

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