History 103 Exam 3

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History 103 Exam 3

Group One, Question One

At the end of the Apartheid regime in 1994 when south Africa had its first democratic elections, there was a need for the country to heal as a way of transitioning to self-governance. The Apartheid regime had been marred with atrocities and injustices against native South Africans and had left deep legacies and problems among South Africans. Under apartheid, the majority of the South African population had viewed the government as a source of disorder, restriction, and violence. One of the ways the government tried to process these experiences was by setting out to unite the country and mend public opinion towards governance. A hallmark of these efforts was the drafting of a new constitution.

Work on a permanent constitution began on May 9, 1994, almost immediately after the transition to democratic rule. The constitution was drafted with apartheid experiences in the minds of the drafters and many of the provisions were to remedy some of the factors that enabled the Apartheid regime. Human rights, tolerance for divergent political opinions, and remedying the possibility of another authoritarian government were a significant fraction of the drafted constitution. For instance, the draft provided that the Constitutional Assembly, composed of 400 members and 90 members of the National Council of Provinces, approve a constitution by a two-thirds majority. This was to curb the National Party from vetoing constitutional changes since the national party alone could not make the two-thirds majority required. The constitution’s sensitivity to human rights was also demonstrated by comprehensive human rights provisions. With regards to the bill of rights, the South African constitution is one of the most comprehensive worldwide.

Additionally, still in the efforts to mend public opinion of the government, the government initiated a robust outreach program in the drafting of the constitution courting public opinion on what the people wanted to be included in the constitution. The process involved over 400 community workshops from which letters and petitions were about the constitution were garnered. The constitution was ultimately approved by President Mandela on December 5th, 1996. In as much as the constitution has had its shortcomings over the years, it was a massive attempt by the government to achieve healing for the people and move the country on from Apartheid legacies.

Group Two, Question One


The end of the apartheid rule was facilitated by several factors. Internal resistance, political pressure from outside South Africa, international economic pressure, and coordinated efforts between south Africa and outside nations ultimately culminated in the end of apartheid rule. The hallmark of the fall of the apartheid regime was the period between 1990 – 1994. The period characterized by economic and cultural sanctions on the apartheid government, weakening white commitment, internal resistance, saw rapid developments in the struggle eventually leading to the formal end of the regime in 1994 when south Africa had its first democratic elections. Even though internal resistance over the years had weakened the apartheid government, it took international involvement to push out the regime that had over the years found new ways to impose themselves on the people. Internal efforts played a critical role, but international involvement in South Africa’s struggle got the job done. Outside forces were most responsible for ending the apartheid regime. Key contributions by international players that validate accreditation for the end of apartheid are discussed below.

Economic sanctions

Economic sanctions isolated the apartheid government significantly reducing the power that gourde the regime. In 1086 when economic sections were posed, south Africa was battling its neighboring nations and the country’s economy had taken a significant dip. Sanctions resulted in a further crumble in the economy forcing the apartheid regime to start negotiations around granting independence to South Africa (Clark et al. 2016). International nations that had relationships with the apartheid regime distanced themselves from any engagements with the government due to the global notion against the atrocities leveled against civilian black South Africans. The struggle received overwhelming support globally with the US congress even voting to overrule a veto vote by president Reagan which sought to shield the regime from economic sanctions. The apartheid regime was committed to controlling the South African economy, a crash in this critical aspect of government courtesy of international economic sanctions forced them into surrendering to the struggle. Economic sanctions were critical to the end of apartheid rule and were initiated by the international community.

International pressure for the release of Mandela.

Anti-apartheid activism throughout south Africa had achieved dismally over the years but gathered huge momentum once apartheid deeds took global attention. Despite dissenting voices and resistance forces, the regime had continued to stifle and oppress the blacks. Protests however started bearing fruits in the late 80s when anti-apartheid activism became a matter of global interest. International advocates and key political figures across the globe started advocating for the release of Mandela and other imprisoned freedom fighters. International political leaders also appealed to the government to allow exiled leaders back into the country. Courtesy of the boost from international pressure, Mandela was finally released in 1990. This revitalized the ANC and strengthened the internal struggle for independence. It was after the release of Mandela that formal negotiations to end apartheid rule began.

End of the cold war

The cold war had seen the US support the apartheid government, which was anti-communist, in a bid to keep South Africa from falling to communism. The fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war left the apartheid regimes with no allies from the fact that no one was now fighting communism. The regime had also painted the ANC as communist puppets and used this as validation for their oppressive rule (Nixon, 2016). When the cold war ended, the regime was left with no allies to enable it. Furthermore, the justification often used that ANC was a communist agenda in South Africa no longer sufficed. The US, which was a leading champion for the freedom of black people but had been constrained by its preoccupation with limiting the spread of communism now took an active role in challenging the regime after the fall of the Soviet Union (Clark et al. 2016). The Congress facilitated economic sanctions against the apartheid government and civil rights movements voiced their concerns demanding freedom for the black people of South Africa. The end of the cold war made the regime devoid of allies and an agenda to justify their rule (Nixon, 2016). It also made the international community more united against the apartheid rule. Isolation of the regime and pressure by the international community ultimately made the regime submit.

Independence of other African States

Attainment of independence by other African nations throughout the years that apartheid reigned further reenergized South Africa’s struggle for freedom. Neighboring nations such as Zimbabwe and Angola empowered ANC leaders provided a safe space for ANC leaders to organize resistance and seek refuge in the course of the struggle to dislodge the regime. Battles with these nations further weakened the apartheid government giving internal forces the momentum to champion change. South Africans further drew inspiration from other African nations that had achieved independence over the years. This inspiration and support from neighbor states made the resistance a force to reckon with in the late 1980s and the 1990 years leading to the end of the regime. Neighboring nations helped battle the regime while other nations across Africa also inspired the resistance.


Internal resistance to the apartheid regime had its achievements and contributions to the fall of the regime. It is impossible to overlook their contribution to the freedom of South Africa. However, the achievements of internal forces rank comparatively lower compared to the impact international forces made on the struggle. International forces gave the struggle the cutting edge that ultimately resulted in the end of apartheid rule. Economic sanctions, the fall of the Soviet Union and communism, international pressure for the release of Mandela, and support from South Africa’s neighbors all proved to give the struggle a decisive inch eventually seeing apartheid rule come to an end. Internal forces played a major role towards ending apartheid rule. However, forces from outside were most responsible for the end of the regime.

Work Cited.

Clark, Nancy, et al. South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid. Routledge, 2016.

Nixon, Ron. Selling Apartheid: South Africa’s Global Propaganda War. Jacana Media, 2016.