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

What were the most significant factors in the ending of the apartheid system and who was more significant in that process: Nelson Mandela or F.W. de Klerk?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Renee Terz What were the most significant factors in the ending of the apartheid system and who was more significant in that process: Nelson Mandela or F.W. de Klerk? The end of apartheid is one of the most significant events in South African history and at the time presented much hope for the country in the form of peace and equality. This essay will outline the main influences in the ending of apartheid as well as discuss the significance of both Nelson Mandela and Fedrik Willem de Klerk in order to identify the most significant factor in the ending of apartheid. The apartheid in South Africa had meant that for 50 years the government had discriminated against the majority of South Africans because of the fact that they did not have white skin. This discrimination had caused death, racism, violence and uprisings. It had created an unstable and declining nation. There were however, two very significant men who are thought of as the two most important factors in the process of ending apartheid. Both Nelson Mandela and Fedrik Willem de Klerk (F W de Klerk) were crucial to the end of segregation in South Africa and the significance of their influence is not questioned. ...read more.


These three men as well as many other activists inspired the black communities to take a stand against the biased laws. They inspired and motivated protests such as the Soweto riots, the Vaal Triangle uprising, the Sharpeville Massacre and many other demonstrations. These protests raised enough awareness of the cause that the South African government realised people were prepared to question the law and order of the nation. Unfortunately, most of these uprisings ended with hundreds dead and thousands more injured. Black activists and anti-apartheid groups such as the ANC were very much a significant part in the changes in South Africa leading to the end of apartheid. Nelson Mandela was the most influential black activists in South Africa and worked for many years in order to fight the government and the rules of apartheid. In the earlier years of apartheid, Mandela led black protests in order to raise awareness of the unfair and unjust rules that were governing the country. He increased his anti-apartheid efforts when he joined the ANC and realised that peaceful protests were not working as effectively as they had hoped. In 1960, Mandela proposed to the ANC that they set up a military wing to organise more noticeable acts of protest. ...read more.


His position had allowed him to take advantage of the existing pressure and need for change to ensure a peaceful transition out of apartheid. As president of South Africa, he managed to make drastic changes to the governing of a torn country, gained respect for working towards equal rights for all South Africans and allowed the nation to move forward in terms of law enforcement and economy. F.W. de Klerk was hugely significant in the ending of unfair discrimination and in the establishment of a new, multiracial, united South Africa. Although Fedrik Willem de Klerk was extremely valuable and important, Nelson Mandela was more significant to the ending of apartheid in South Africa for a number of reasons. His impact on the process of ending apartheid was more significant in that it lasted for longer, affected more people and is still considered a representation of the struggle in South Africa. More so than de Klerk, he is recognised today as the single symbol of resistance. He affected people on an emotional scale and initiated the change of attitude within South Africa. His determination, passion and courage were crucial to his significance. As well as F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela there were many beneficial influences in gaining momentum for the anti-apartheid cause. However, although there were many factors that contributed to the ending of apartheid, Nelson Mandela was the most significant. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Interwar Years: 1919-39

    * The French government felt too weak to prevent Hitler breaking the Versailles Treaty unless Britain took joint action alongside France. * British politicians, on the other hand, were more favourably disposed towards German revisions of the treaty as long as this was done through negotiation.

  2. Compare and Contrast the Democratic Successes and Failures of Andrew Jackson and Nelson Mandela

    aided greatly in the transition of South Africa from an incredibly discriminatory apartheid state into an integrated democracy. Having struggled for the rights of the black majority in South Africa for several decades and imprisoned for his intent to seek justice for this portion of the population, Mandela helped to

  1. League of Nations

    the League, and therefore the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, which the League tried to force Italy to stop by "smaller" sanctions in a way that they could keep Italy as an ally, but Mussolini got offended any way. And also the fact with the League being too closely interlinked with

  2. The Never Ending War: between India and Pakistan

    In the great majority of these, the ruling prince, or maharaja, followed the same religious faith as his subjects. Most states quickly acceded to Indian control, but three resisted: Hyderabad, Junagadh, and Kashmir, or more formally, Jammu and Kashmir. The first two were territories holding a Hindu majority, but ruled

  1. The Evaluation and Effect on the Formation of W.E.B Du Boiss NAACP during the ...

    After completing his years of schooling, he wrote over fourteen pioneering books on sociology, history, and politics. His most popular book was The Souls of Black. This was a collection of fourteen essays that later transformed race relations in the United States by "redefining the terms of a 300-year old

  2. The North, The South, and Slavery

    Early years, work force in NE factories remained small and impermanent ii. Manufacturers had to make do with a modest, largely female labor supply iii. 1840s- Need for factory workers caused a large, permanent laboring class beginning to take place in the cities b.

  1. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    the US to step up its supply transfers to Israel to maintain the regional balance of power. On 14 November, the US began a massive airlift, worth around $3.5 billion, to rearm Israel. - Washington's effective response during the Yom Kippur War helped ensure Israeli victory.

  2. Explain why Britain joined the EEC in 1973 and why the process caused so ...

    Britain was again one of the nations to take part, but again refused to become a founder member. The reasons for Britain deciding not to join included; prioritising relations with the Commonwealth and the United States, and the fact that Britain?s economic performance was diagnosed in terms of internal conditions rather than external alignments and trading relationships (2).

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