Apartheid  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Apartheid (meaning separateness in Afrikaans, cognate to English apart and -hood) was a system of legalized racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1990. Apartheid had its roots in the history of Dutch, French and British colonisation and settlement of southern Africa, with the development of practices and policies of separation along racial lines and domination by European settlers and their descendents, which persisted both before and after South Africa gained self-governance as a unified dominion within the British Empire. When the National Party gained power in the post-World-War-Two general election in 1948, they set in place their programme of Apartheid, with the formalisation and expansion of existing policies and practices into the system of institutionalised racism and Afrikaner domination. Apartheid was dismantled in a series of negotiations from 1990 to 1993, culminating in elections in 1994, the first in South Africa with universal suffrage. The legacies of apartheid still shape South African politics and society.

Apartheid legislation classified inhabitants and visitors into racial groups (black, white, coloured and Indian (or Asian). Under Apartheid, South African blacks were stripped of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based and nominally self-governing bantustans (tribal homelands), four of which became, under Apartheid, nominally independent, sovereign states. The homelands occupied relatively small and economically unproductive areas of the country. The government based the homelands on the territory of Black Reserves founded during the British Empire period. These reserves were akin to the US Indian Reservation, Canadian First Nations reserves, or Australian aboriginal reserves. Many black South Africans, however, never resided in their identified "homelands". The homeland system disenfranchised black people residing in "white South Africa"<ref>That part of the country in which whites resided.</ref> by restricting their voting rights to their own identified black homeland. The government segregated education, medical care, and other public services with inferior standards for blacks. The black education system within "white South Africa", by design, prepared blacks for lives as a labouring class. There was a deliberate policy in "white South Africa" of making services for black people inferior to those of whites, to try to "encourage" black people to move into the black homelands. Black people ended up with services greatly inferior to those of whites, and, to a lesser extent, to those of Indians and coloureds.

The system of apartheid sparked significant internal resistance.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Apartheid" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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