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Why was the Sharpeville Massacre Produced such different interpretations?

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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