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

What would you consider the most decisive or influential forces to bring down apartheid in South Africa?

Extracts from this document...


What would you consider the most decisive or influential forces to bring down apartheid in South Africa? The dark days of Apartheid finally came to an end in 1990 when the ?Father? of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. In many ways it can be argued that the abolishment of apartheid is attributed to Mandela and in part this is true. However, the factors which led to the downfall of the repressive Apartheid regime are not as simple as assigning it to one sole determinant, but a combination and culmination of varying factors. The main influential forces herein discussed can be classed into 3 categories. Firstly, internal pressure from the black protest and its political parties; secondly, the international isolation which enforced economic sanctions and sporting boycotts; and finally, the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union as the cold war relaxed (US Department of State, 2001). As such this essay will briefly outline these main influences which brought down Apartheid and assess which played the most profound part in its demise. The oppressive actions of the government inflicted on the black community were well known before the 1960?s. However, the most prolific years in the anti-apartheid movements occurred after this time in the form of internal resistance from small and isolated groups (Louw, 2004). ...read more.


The South African police and other supporters of apartheid relished this internal fighting of the resistance groups as it made the black community appear as if they were not ready to rule the country. Supporters of apartheid stated that the blacks were too violent and not willing to accept other people's views, which is needed if everyone is to live freely in a democratic society. Despite the disagreements which allowed apartheid to continue, the combined effort of large scale demonstrations undertaken by these anti-apartheid groups would serve as a catalyst for international support for the black cause and condemnation against the South African government The decline in power of the Soviet Union as a result of the decay of the Cold War played an integral part in dismantling the apartheid regime. The lack of international exposure and outcry regarding apartheid was largely based upon the need of the western world, namely the U.S for capitalistic gain. As such the relationship between the Cold War and the downfall of Apartheid was the fact that apartheid was only allowed to continue due to the Cold War (US Department of State, 2001). America viewed South Africa as the stronghold of economic wealth and strength within Africa and as such did not want to jeopardize its control over the trade and shipping routes, with it falling under Soviet communist rule. ...read more.


refused to buy these products. Therefore, South African companies had no money with which to pay their workers causing an increase of black unemployment and poverty and a decrease in white incomes as well as a raise in their taxes. Consequently, protests began in South Africa. The financial crisis in 1985 was a direct cause of these imposed sanctions (Hirsch, 1989). The crisis initiated the drop of the Rand and sent the government to declare a state of emergency (Hirsch, 1989). Such an increase in international condemnation and internal demonstrations created an anarchic society thereby forcing the population to believe that it was time for change in South Africa. As evidenced above, the importance of international support and intervention cannot be understated. The boycotts and economic sanctions imposed against the apartheid regime can be seen to be more of an influential force that finally triggered wholesale changes to occur within the country. Yet the most decisive factor behind the fall of apartheid was the opposition within the country from black movements. Their protest and other demonstrations, which at times ended with hundreds dead and thousands more injured, drastically eroded the regime and created doubts within the white faction about their system. Intrinsically the efforts by anti-apartheid groups within the country was a double-edged sword that forced the western world to take notice and intervene. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1950-1999 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 University Degree 1950-1999 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A look at the Origin, Stigma/Discrimination and Government Involvement with AIDS in the United ...

    4 star(s)

    users would not have to share infected users which would cut down those that were infected.22 President Regan finally acknowledged the AIDS virus at a press conference in 1987. AIDS activist hoped that he would dismiss the fears that physical touch can transmit AIDS to the American people; however this was not the case.

  2. To what extent was the United States responsible for the collapse of the Grand ...

    Union, they had always viewed it as something of a rogue state: "The USSR's agreements with Western governments, from the commercial treaties of 1921 onwards, had been regarded by everyone on both sides as suspendable." From the 1921 agreements to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, nobody in the west, and certainly nobody

  1. Free essay

    The Fall of Communism in Poland. The Catholic Church Solidarity and its ...

    This parental relationship continued between the Church and the state until Pope John Paul II ascended to the papal throne in October 1978. Dunn discusses how this threw the Eastern Bloc totally off balance and on to the defensive: " He [Pope John Paul II] threw the entire Communist Bloc on the defensive.

  2. Marred by violence, ravaged by terrorism: A brief history of (in)security in ...

    in the Lebanese accent and 'bandura' in the Palestinian accent was used to differentiate between individuals at Maronite checkpoints during the civil war, with pronunciation of the latter earning you detention or even death.18 Neighboring nation-states are also certainly liable to be blamed when discussing the Lebanese terrorist problem.

  1. When and Why did British Decolonisation begin?

    The people of Britain were far more interested in their own well-being from the financial backlash of the war and were not well disposed to money being spent on imperial defence.[6] The resulting argument which could be made was that ?as the Welfare State began to live the Empire began

  2. Examine the emergence of 'urban African Culture'

    but having been forced to return to abusive husbands by their own families.[15] Rising levels of bridewealth in many rural areas also contributed to the migration of women, as men who could not afford to pay lobola increasingly began to abduct the women they wished to marry and elope with them instead.

  1. In what ways do the themes of consumption and the informal economy, living standards ...

    It was this resentment amongst ordinary people, which led to the socialist regime?s eventual demise during the revolutions of 1989.[67] Word Count: 3,161 words Bibliography Primary Sources Interview with Krystyna Bialek, 25th February 2012 Secondary Sources Bidileux, Robert and Ian Jeffries (eds.)

  2. Outline the role that Australian forces played in the Vietnam War and discuss the ...

    establish the ?Australian Veterans Herbicide Studies unit? and eventually The Vietnam Veterans? Association of Australia (VVAA) relentlessly upheld their beliefs and succeeded in having a ?Royal Commission? to further delve into the claim?s authenticity.[13] The enormous influx of Vietnamese refugees coming migrating to Australia was yet another impact to Australian life.

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