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The role of Nelson Mandela

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Coursework Assignment: The role of Nelson Mandela 1. Source A is a newspaper advert highlighting Mandela's imprisonment. It was paid for by the African National Congress (ANC) who were strong supporters of Mandela and the African civil rights movement. This means that it may have been biased in favour of the civil rights movement. The ANC wanted to show how badly mistreated the blacks in Africa were in order to gain support from many countries around the world and defeat apartheid. It was printed in 1988 when there was already quite a lot of support for the movement following the 'Free Mandela' song and concert in 1984. This means that the ANC were probably also trying to reinforce the people's view of apartheid and Mandela's imprisonment. The source is quite limited and although a primary source does not give any information on the suffering of the ordinary people at the time. Also it does not show how things were improving in South Africa. Without this information it is only showing one side of the argument and thus can make people have a biased view. ...read more.


At the end he shows that he is not an 'Uncle Tom' by declaring that he is prepared to die for the cause. This shows that he was using the speech as propaganda as he knew that this would place him as leader of the civil rights movement and bring massive support. The source is useful as a study of Mandela himself but to a historian studying Apartheid it is not very useful at all. Source C is a table of figures concerning the living conditions of all races in South Africa. It was produced by the UN who are supposed to have a totally unbiased view on all relations but do however have a slight preference for democracy. This makes the source very reliable. The source also has a wide range of data ranging from the population to the average salary of both blacks and whites. It does however not show how the actual living conditions were in South Africa for the blacks. This makes the source slightly less useful but when studying the topic of apartheid it is much useful than Source B. ...read more.


The writer of this speech would have wanted to show Mandela and the rights movement in a bad light to destroy its support. The government also wanted to deny the civil rights movement and its pursuit as a valid political choice. They took advantage of the acts of terrorism by Mandela and other blacks. This showed that the blacks were not at an equal level and that they were also not going about their pursuit the right way. If the government could portray Mandela as a terrorist they could remove a lot of the sympathy he had gained from all around the world. This is done by stating that Mandela 'is not in prison because of his politics' but that he is 'guilty of a serious crime'. This was quite a successful argument against Mandela's release and contrasted greatly to the information received from the ANC. Both of the groups had different reasons for supplying these reports and they contradict each other so that it is difficult to know who is telling the truth. 4. Source E is from a British newspaper, and is a cartoon drawn by a British cartoonist criticising Apartheid. It was drawn in 1964, which was very early in the African civil rights movement. ...read more.

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