Introduction

Introduction

A Chapter by Mathew Nicolson

   The National Party won the 1948 general election and, upon forming a government, began to implement the policies of Apartheid which would define both the country’s domestic and foreign affairs for over forty years.  In the post-war context of decolonisation, South Africa’s Apartheid policies, imposed by the Nationalist government upon the non-White population, were increasingly in contradiction with international opinion.  Shortly after the election, the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, which reflected an international consensus on the relationship between the state and its citizens.  Apartheid policies were to frequently violate those rights.

   Under Apartheid, a person's race determined their home, education, political representation, marriage - every aspect of life the government could feasibly control.  Apartheid was enforced by the development of a police state.  The Homelands policy would become the natural extension of Apartheid, depriving non-Whites of South African citizenship with a view to create separate 'independent' territories.  However, in the period 1960 �" 1984 Apartheid came under gradually increasing pressure from foreign countries.

   This dissertation shall focus on the impact and extent of these pressures from foreign countries on the Apartheid policies of the governments led by Hendrik Verwoerd, John Vorster and P. W. Botha between 1960 and 1984.  The first chapter will discuss the effectiveness of international opposition to Apartheid during Verwoerd’s leadership and in particular the attitudes of Western leaders and Communist states.  The second chapter shall examine the effects of international opposition during Vorster’s leadership, focusing on the campaigns of Western anti-Apartheid pressure groups and increasing resistance from other parts of Africa.  Finally, the third chapter will assess the world’s response to Apartheid during the implementation of P. W. Botha’s "adapt or die" policies, which includes further divisions in the West, continued South African isolation in Africa and the debate over economic sanctions and cultural boycotts. 




© 2013 Mathew Nicolson



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Added on August 6, 2013
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