What Was Apartheid?
Apartheid was a system of legal racial segregation that took place in South Africa. The word Apartheid is drawn from the Afrikaans word for “apartness”. Apartheid separated people of different race and color into different regions. It made racial discrimination legal and acceptable. In South Africa is gave white people priority in housing, jobs, education, political power and entertainment. Apartheid officially became a political and legal policy in South Africa in 1948 before this it was just part of life. The new legislation forced the removal of colored people from the city and town centers. Black South Africans no longer have citizenship right and were forced to obey curfews and obtain permits for travel.
When Did Apartheid end?
The apartheid legislation was enforced in South Africa by the National Party Government from 1948 to 1993. The Apartheid law was upheld and continually changed to make it almost impossible to change the law. Many outside counties declared bans on trade with South Africa to protest against their Apartheid laws. Inside the country of South Africa people of all colors protested to the laws by strikes, protest marches, demonstrations and sometime violence. Many political parties were formed and helped to organize the protests and the fight for equal rights amongst South Africa’s populations.
Apartheid began to be dismantled by the South African government, led by President F. W. de Klerk in the 1990’s. This government legalized the vote of black South Africans and released black leaders who were imprisoned for their part in apartheid resistance movements. In 1994 the country rewrote their constitution which led to a free general election for the first time in South Africa’s history. Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa and became the first ever black president.