• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What were the major turning points in Nelson Mandela's life?

Extracts from this document...


Turning Points in Mandela's Life Nelson Mandela was a black lawyer who played a major role in the struggle against apartheid. His incredible life story was filled with many turning points - influential moments and events that caused great change in South Africa. The first major turning point in Mandela's life was in when he arrived in Johannesburg to take part in the times of great change in South Africa. He was well educated and believed there was more out there for him so ran away from an arranged marriage to move to the city. He emerged into streets of white prosperity and black poverty and violence. Here he experienced racial discrimination for the first time. This changed his life because having had his eyes opened to the true state of segregation in South Africa, he became determined to make a change and throw off the chains of white supremacy. Mandela began working as a lawyer's clerk by Walter Sisulu and was later able to set up his own all- black firm with a friend Oliver Tambo. ...read more.


Mandela had always been against violence but Sharpeville caused him to change his mind. This was a very important moment in his life as it led to his troubles later on. The next major turning point came after Mandela had gone into hiding whilst organising the MK. The MK base was discovered along with much evidence linking him and others to acts of violence and sabotage. He was caught and sentenced. During the Rivonia Trial Mandela made a four hour opening speech that rose above self defence- it appealed to white South Africans to understand their black fellow country people, and to try to deal with their fears and the idea of a 'one person, one vote' democracy. This heart wrenching, eye opening speech was very important as it saved Mandela and seven fellow defendants from death, but made many realise the true state of apartheid and how much better life could be if it were to change. This changed Mandela's life as he had inspired millions of blacks, and helped the government become conscious of the fact that he was not merely a troublemaker- he was a well-loved, passionate and educated activist who was determined to achieve his aims. ...read more.


Here he gained publicity and the love of the people. Sharpeville made Mandela realise he would have to go a step further to achieve his dreams and take up violence, there was no other choice. His involvement in the MK landed him in front of a judge where he gave an eye opening speech about apartheid and his simple wishes- he was saved from death but received 27 years imprisonment. As President he was able to make the changes he had dreamed of for so long. All these turning points are important, as they lead from one to the next but I believe that the major turning point was Mandela's turn to violence. Having always been against violence, he was abandoning one of his principles, but it was this turn that really got the wheels spinning. With his move to violence, the government was forced into action, and many other blacks took up the struggle. His involvement led him to his trial, the Rivonia Trial, where he was given the opportunity to open eyes, publicise his cause and inspire others before being sentenced to life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. History Extension Major Work- The 1932-33 Bodyline Series

    of 162 runs with a high score o 67 and at an average of 32.40. In the 1932/33 Bodyline series Kippax's average dropped to 13.50. With a high score of 19 and a total of 27 runs for the series, this demonstrates the extent of which the effect of 'bodyline bowling' had on the Australian batsmen.

  2. Nelson Mandela. Within this essay I am going to write about three main turning ...

    He also created long friendships with many ANC leaders. Mandela becoming leader of the ANC youth league helped gain more members because he offered more and better ways of protesting. The membership rose from 7,000 to 100,000 meaning there were more people willing to join in the fight to end Apartheid.

  1. The end of Apartheid

    These were so important as they meant South Africa was equal again and that the apartheid system was eventually abolished and gone for good. Both men were vitally important in bringing about the end of apartheid and minority rule in South Africa.

  2. Select and explain the most important turning points in Nelson Mandelas life.

    A very important turning point I will be talking about in Mandela's life was his beliefs on violence after the Sharpeville Massacre. Before the incidents that took place at Sharpeville, Mandela believed in fighting apartheid with non-violence. After the Sharpeville events Mandela changed his beliefs and wanted to start using violence.

  1. Select and explain the most important turning points in nelson mandelas life

    This furthermore means that he would have never gone into prison and we today, wouldn't even know who Nelson Mandela was. Accept this did happen. So this proves that this event had a large impact on his life and was a turning point in his political life because it changed his life forever.

  2. 1839 Violence in Wales

    It is not well researched as it is an eyewitness account and is not factual as the source says that it is an eyewitness account from Daniel Williams who was giving evidence in court, this evidence is biased and Daniel Williams could have made a deal with the authorities which may have got him a lighter sentence.

  1. Was The Leadership Of Nelson Mandela The Main Reason For The Ending ...

    apartheid, the passing of time may have altered De Klerks views significantly. De Klerk may also be being modest about his own achievements in ending apartheid, therefore giving Mandela more credit due than necessary. It is possible that De Klerk is trying to distance himself from his previous association with the apartheid system, by emphasising Nelson Mandela?s achievements.

  2. The life and death of J.F.K

    The two started dating soon afterwards. Jackie was from Rhode Island and had come from a wealthy family but was an independent woman. She worked as a photographer for The Washington Times-Herald. When Jackie returned from the Queen?s Coronation in London, John proposed on the 24th of June with an

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work