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Devin Bischler

Ms. Albrecht
Advanced Composition
10-29-14
Nelson Mandela
Civil disobedience is the outright refusal to obey certain laws, demands, or commands of
the government. It is often called nonviolent resistance, or nonviolent protesting. People use civil
disobedience as a formal way to go against a law. It is often because people believe that their
basic rights as a human have been completely hindered with. Civil disobedience is a very
effective tactic because a group of people come together to protest in the place of the action. This
leaves the government with no choice but to try to negotiate with the demonstrators. Nelson
Mandela is an example of someone who used civil disobedience to fight against the unjust laws
in Africas apartheid government. Despite many struggles and obstacles that were in the way,
Nelson Mandelas non-violent protests were an effect way to break down the barrier between
blacks and whites in South Africa.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the village of Mvezo in South
Africa. Since he was small he was a trouble-maker. He strongly argued his thoughts and never
lost any arguments. After all, the name Rolihlahla in the native language translates as troublemaker. Mandela stated his education at the University of Hae Was the equivalent to Harvard.
Very soon after Mandela started his higher education, he began to study law. He got informed of
the anti-apartheid movement, and he left school for the city and to be involved in the African

National congress. Together, he and other young Africans formed the youth movement group in
the ANC, (Nelson Mandela Biography 8:04)
The ANC was only the beginning for Mandela. For the next twenty years, Mandela
directed peaceful, non-violent acts against the South African government and its racist parties.
(Nelson Mandela Biography 8:04)
During this time in history, the African government was passing very segregated and
racist laws. The literal meaning of apartheid is apartness. At this time Africans were
considered to be foreigners in their own country. They were no longer recognized as citizens any
more. Despite all of the terrible treatment and laws the Africans faced, they did not back down.
Instead they launched one of the largest peaceful protest movements the world has ever seen.
(Sawyer)
Nelson Mandela would go on to become one of the leaders in the ANC. They would be
the ones that would be the driving force behind rooting out the deeply segregated ways of the
apartheid government. The government was ready to take up arms against protesters, and on one
fateful day it did. March 21, 1960 police killed 69 unnamed people in a protest of recently passed
laws. This lead to the government harming the ANC. Many leaders of this organization were put
on the trial for treason as a result of continuing ANC activities after the ban. Mandela was the
sentenced to five years in prison. The public was completely outraged by this.
(NelsonMadnela.org)
Two years after Mandela was released he was captured trying to rally support against the
government. He was going to be tried for sabotage and life in prison. At his trial, he gave his
famous Speech from the Dock where he said I have fought against black and white

domination, and have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society
(NelsonMandela.org)
During his stay in prison, Mandela became the worlds most famous political prisoner.
Even though he was in jail, he had much political power. There were many times when he met
political leaders and also leaders of the ANC. His fame and influence continued to grow. When
he was final released from prison nearly 20 years later, the apartheid government was finally
coming to an end. (Mooney III) Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize for recognition of the
peaceful transformation. A year later, Mandela ran for presidency in the very first ever
democratic vote in South Africa in history. It was a landslide victory.
Nelson Mandela has left a lasting legacy that is very apparent to see. He helped to
dissolve the apartheid government despite tremendous odds stacked against him. His peaceful
protest were effective in getting the attention of the whole world and the things happening in
Africa.

Works Cited Page


Knapp Sawyer, Kem. Champion of freedom Nelson Mandela, Greensburough: Morgan Reynolds
Publishing, 2012. Print.
Mooney, Brian. Great People in History, Great Leaders. Pag.n. 110-11. New York: Rosen
Publishing, 2013. Print.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 8:04, Oct. 21, 2014,
From http://www.biography.com/people/nelson-mandela-9397017
Nelson Mandela Biography. (2014). Nelsonmandela.org. retrieved 8:03, Oct 21, 2014, from
http://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography.