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

Why was the Sharpeville Massacre Produced such different interpretations?

Extracts from this document...


Why was the Sharpeville Massacre Produced such different interpretations? The first white settler's arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. In 1707, the Dutch company stopped all immigration; for over 100 years, no new immigrants arrived. This ended abruptly in 1806 when the British captured the cape: In 1814, Britain bought the cape from the Dutch and it became part of the growing British Empire. The Boers were furious when Britain banned slavery in its empire in 1833. From the very outset the white Boers set up the country so that legally they controlled the whole law making process, Government and 93% of the land. They believed in white supremacy and deliberately took actions to keep the black people in extreme poverty so that they had to work for white farmers and miners for an appallingly law wage. It was not clear exactly what apartheid meant but it definitely did not mean interrogation and it did not mean rights for blacks Apartheid meant 'Separateness' the separation of blacks and whites. In reality it came not only to mean segregation but also white domination of all other races. ...read more.


Also there was evidence that the blacks were defenceless because there were shot in the back which implies that they were surprised and were running away from the whites. Although no weapons were found and that the government were consistent with the blacks in treating them wrongly the evidence does swing in the blacks favour because the white had thought to pre-meditate the attack. That s why there were so many different interpretations with the Sharpeville massacre. The government tried to apportion all of the blame on the blacks because they knew that the whole world was watching this historical event. The purpose of source C was that it was the 'chronicle of the 20th century' so it was there to inform and provide factual information not to give opinions. Source E was from an encyclopaedia, which is the same as the chronicle, it was there to provide factual information. Source H was an account from an eyewitness, which was published, in a liberal magazine (i.e.- antiapartheid) The purpose of Source H was to get a message across to the black people that it all of the blame was to be blamed on the white police. ...read more.


For example in source E it was written in 1961 so it was must be an accurate account of what happened because it was written just one year after it happened so it will be fresh in the writers memory. But in source G it is quite obvious that it was written some thirty years on and the woman's memory will be not as clear. Perhaps some people thought that it was acceptable to speak their views when atmosphere in SA had changed- apartheid nearing end. Sources B and F are very powerful images- very valuable sources. Photos only one moment but they don't catch what happened before and after. They back up the idea of the blacks running away because they were shot in the back. Some sources have a personal interpretation of the events, which are different views, which raises the question of bias. There are many different interpretations so no there are no definite versions of what happened. The weight of the evidence suggests that the Government was responsible. We need more evidence e.g. video, white police and a wider range of views. Scott Mulligan 11PBY History coursework 1 ...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 USA 1941-80 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 USA 1941-80 essays

  1. South Africa and Apartheid: Have the effects of apartheid disappeared?

    This source is likely to be fairly reliable in that the figures are fairly accurate but the way the information is presented and the context that it is in does not show an accurate picture of south Africa. I.e. the source sounds like there have been major improvements when there have not.

  2. What happened at Sharpeville on 21 March 1960? Massacre or self defence?

    the machine guns went off separately or at least not exactly at the same time. This shows that the source may not be completely reliable. Both Sources F and E do agree on the fact that there was no warning from the police before the gun fire and this increases the chances of the Source being reliable as evidence.

  1. Civil Rights Coursework Sources Questions

    They were instructed to "pick up the gun" to defend themselves. They also created the Black Power phrase and the salute, which Mohammed Ali famously endorsed whilst on the podium of the 1968 Olympics. This became known as the Black Power Movement, it gave black people a positive sense of

  2. History on Sharpeville

    pro-Africans things however, both of the saying were different, whilst Source A is translating the African language and it says 'Our Land', Source B simply says that they were singing 'Africa, Africa', which shows that it was either incorrect information, or the writer could not translate it properly in any

  1. What Happened At Sharpeville in March 1960?

    As a news article it may have been dramatised a little, good stories make bigger profits after all and there are no other reports to compare his to. He is an eye witness however and this primary source, however emotive is a first hand account.

  2. Study Sources A and B - How far does these two sources agree about ...

    It is quite easy to see, how in source A, the blame is on the police, for overacting, but looking at source B, the police become the victims. This must mean that both journalists had different encounters and thought of what really happened that day.

  1. What happened at Sharpeville On 21st March 1960 - Massacre or Self defence: source ...

    Source A says that the blacks weren't being aggressive and were "grinning and cheerful" but Source B says that the Whites were "expecting trouble" which disagrees with Source A, saying that the blacks were being offensive and violent. Overall Sources A and B partially on some of the points raised

  2. What Happened At Sharpeville On 21 March 1960- Massacre Or Self Defence?

    However Sources C and D support Source A greatly. This is because Source C and D have many things in common with source A. Q3 Source E is saying that the police are violent and that the protestors are completely innocent. This source blames the police for the Sharpeville incident.

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