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
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
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|