Apartheid started out as just a political campaign the National party used to rally Afrikaners, but Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, the prime minister from 1950-1966, turned it into "a drastic, systematic program of social engineering." (Thompson, 189) Apartheid had four main principles.
1) the South African population was made up of four types of people or "racial groups": White, Colored, Indian, and African. Each racial group had totally different cultures.
2) because whites were the only "civilized" race, they had complete control over the country.
3) because whites were the only "civilized" race and had complete control over the country, white interests were always more important than black interests.
4) whites formed the largest "nation." This was true because the government united the Afrikaners and English-speaking whites to form one white nation even though they despised each other's culture; it split up the African majority into ten smaller "nations."

The goal of Apartheid was to keep the restless African majority under control to ensure white supremacy. Because Parliament was made up of only whites, Africans could do nothing to stop the passing of segregation laws. Through new laws, the National party gradually removed all black rights to participate in the government. (Thompson, 187) Although Apartheid was enforced racial discrimination, Western countries, including the United States, overlooked the injustices of the system during the Cold War because South African propaganda convinced the governments that South Africa was just a member of the "free world," that South Africa had always been fighting against communism, and that all the violence was necessary to put down uprisings started by communists. Also, the party used internal propaganda to secure its tenuous position in South Africa.

Apartheid society was divided by race in every sphere of life, and the laws made it nearly impossible for non-whites to improve their standing in society. Many groups fought against Apartheid for the rights of non-whites. Resistance was brutally suppressed by the white government. The organizations were banned; the leaders and other dissenters were imprisoned, tortured, and killed, even if they practiced passive resistance. During the Apartheid era, South Africa was a land of terror and injustice for its non-white inhabitants.

|Segregation | Propaganda | Organizations | Apartheid Society|