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Ellie Jean

Mr. Kendall
Nationalism Essay
Very often criminals are incarcerated due to acts of misconduct and impropriety but
rarely is someone sent to life in prison for trying to make the world a more peaceful place. South
Africa, ever since being invaded by the Dutch in early 1650s, struggled against a biased
government that held too many anti-nationalistic characteristics.1 Nelson Mandela, an advocate
against injustice; not only poised as a potential threat to the white supremacy throughout the
country but made it a living to eliminate the National Party of South Africa along with their
many regulations. Through the fight for democracy and equal opportunities, Nelson Mandela put
an end to the apartheid movement and united a nation.
The roots in which Nelson Mandela came from are remarkably unique and establish his
credibility to why he deeply loved his land and wanted the best for South Africa as well as the
citizens of the nation. The emotional connection Mandela revealed while fighting for change was
established through the heritage to which he came from and connects to the strong passion he
expressed. Africa was a continent that consisted of a plethora of tribes which constructed the
culture and rituals of its nations; Nelson Mandela was also included in that custom. Being a son
of a tribal chief, Mandela was birthed into aristocracy and made heir to the throne of the
Tembu people.2 Mandela was one of 13 children and his father had four wives which made up his
family, this situation parallelled the responsibilities he would later take on as a political leader.
The family and leadership duties placed before him from a young age shaped the nationalistic
1 Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, s.v. "apartheid," accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abcclio.com/.

2 Tom, Lodge. "Childhood And Upbringing." In Mandela: A Critical Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

personality he expressed throughout his life in caring for other peoples well-being and being an
influence of change. Mandelas background established the building blocks that created a strong,
reliable commander to establish adjustments within South Africa. The apartheid movement and
National Party of South Africa approved of discrimination and inequality among its people and
was the catalyst of change.3
After the Europeans first colonized in Africa, the white minority ruled the government and
instituted the apartheid that created multiple divisions within the nation and opposed nationalism
and unity4. One distinctive law that separated society was the regulation of dividing tribes to
their independent homelands and forcing people to independently live.5 Although, this could be
seen as nationalistic because the nation was self-sustaining, the way of enforcing independence
divided up the country into races and individual cultures creating no peace. Through the Dutch
Reform Church, the government believed that mixing races within the country would be
inappropriate and would weaken the racial community, although the nation was already
becoming an unstable area because of this.6 The African National Congress (ANC) was formed
to eradicate the unjust and arbitrary controllings of South Africa and helped change the course of
the nations history.

3 Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, s.v. "apartheid," accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abcclio.com/.

4 Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, s.v. "apartheid," accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abcclio.com/.

5 Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, s.v. "apartheid," accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abcclio.com/.

6 Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, s.v. "apartheid," accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abcclio.com/.

Despite the ANC being present since 1912 it did not start to make an impact on the government
and rally the people until Nelson Mandela joined in 1944.7 This political organization fought
against the white favorable laws within South Africa and against anything that was not
supporting equality for all citizens within the country.8 Mandelas theory of fighting against
parliament was in nonviolent acts and started to take the country by storm; people started
standing behind his ideologies through the protests and campaigns he created. As the government
could see, the creation of an overthrow was beginning to take place and something had to be
done. Soon Mandela was a clear threat to the white supremacy, he was imprisoned along with
155 other protesters.9 However, Mandelas sentence to life in prison reveals the discrimination
placed within the South African nation at this time and was clearly an overreaction because he
did not harm or damage in his process for change. From 1956 to 1990 Mandela was imprisoned
and while the government thought they put an end to the uprisings this only motivated the
citizens of the country more to promote change and make a difference.10 Through Mandelas
leadership within the ANC and even throughout jail, he started uniting a group of people to come
together and started creating a patriotic movement.
Mandelas achievement in reviving hope and passion back upon the citizens of the nation created
the uprising of his release in 1990. While the government imprisoned a man against his own will
for protesting, people began to realize the inhumanity of this wrongdoing and together, the
7 2014. "Nelson Mandela." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson),
EBSCOhost (accessed September 18, 2014).

8 2014. "Nelson Mandela." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson),
EBSCOhost (accessed September 18, 2014).

9 2014. "Nelson Mandela." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson),
EBSCOhost (accessed September 18, 2014).

10 2014. "Nelson Mandela." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson),
EBSCOhost (accessed September 18, 2014).

country was able to overthrow the racist legislation. Once Mandela was released there was no
surviving for the National Party of South Africa and he established support from the president,
F.W. de Klerk to declare a new constitution.11
After rallying the citizens of South Africa into a nationalistic perspective, a democratic
government took power when Nelson Mandela became the first black president on May 12,
1994.12 The civil government established abided equal opportunities and treatment of all people,
which allowed the acceptance of cultures and races to connect as one. There was no longer a
supremacy within South Africas borders and unity thrived. Mandela reveals the nationalistic
atmosphere of his country by affirming We must therefore act together as a united people, for
national reconciliation, for nation building, for birth of a new world.13 Through his contagious
love and passion for his country, Mandela shaped patriotic citizens to establish a free and antidiscriminatory country.
Through Mandelas tireless fight for liberty and justice, he rehabilitated a crippling
country and unified a group of people to become one nation. His stance against discrimination
and inequality through protests and rallies birthed the idea of a democratic government for the
people while effectively evicting the apartheid laws. Without Nelson Mandela to lead South
Africa out of the valley of darkness14 it would not be the country it is today.

11 2014. "Nelson Mandela." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson),
EBSCOhost (accessed September 18, 2014).

12 World History: The Modern Era, s.v. "Nelson Mandela: inauguration speech (1994)," accessed September 18,
2014. http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com/.

13 World History: The Modern Era, s.v. "Nelson Mandela: inauguration speech (1994)," accessed September 18,
2014. http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com/.

14 World History: The Modern Era, s.v. "Nelson Mandela: inauguration speech (1994)," accessed September 18,
2014. http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com/.

Works Cited

Carey, Henry Frank. "Nelson Mandela." In Issues: Understanding Controversy and


Society. ABC-CLIO, 2006-. Accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abc-clio.com/.
Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, s.v. "apartheid," accessed September 18,
2014.
`http://issues.abc-clio.com/.
Johnson, Clay M. "antiapartheid movement." In Issues: Understanding Controversy and
Society. ABC-CLIO, 2006-.Accessed September 18, 2014. http://issues.abc-clio.com/.
Lodge, Tom. "Childhood And Upbringing." In Mandela: A Critical Life. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2006.
World History: The Modern Era, s.v. "end of apartheid in South Africa," accessed
September 18, 2014. http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com/.
World History: The Modern Era, s.v. "Nelson Mandela: inauguration speech (1994),"
accessed September 18, 2014. http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com/.
2014. "Nelson Mandela." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank)Biography Reference Bank
(H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost (accessed September 18, 2014).