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Essay On Politics Accomplishments

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was, without question, the most important leader in South African history, and he has acted as a symbol for equal civil rights worldwide. In this paper, I will provide you with a short biography about Mandela’s life, his presidency, and explain the impact he had on his country, and why it matters today. Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the village of Mvezo in southern South Africa, to his father’s third out of four wives. (Aikman 70-71) The South Africa that Mandela was born into was prone by the rule known as apartheid, which was a powerful system of racial segregation that essentially denied Black and Colored people rights that applied to the White minority population.(The History of…show more content…

During his presidency of the organization, he opened the first black-owned law practice in South Africa, and organized its first military wing, in response to the government killing and arresting of the peaceful protests against the apartheid rule. (Boddy-Evans, Web)
It was these actions, however, that led to Mandela’s arrest in 1962. He was charged for treason and imprisoned at Robben Island. And there he sat for a huge chunk of his adult life – a whopping 27 years passed until he was released. But during his sentence he was offered several times to be released in return for his resignation from his political position, but he refused. As a result, Mandela’s reputation only grew in the years of his imprisonment, and he soon became a symbol of resistance against the White supremacy that the country was prone by. (The Nobel Peace Prize 1993, Web)
In 1989, F.W. de Klerk, an anti-apartheid politician, was elected the last White South African president to date. The first major action he took as president, in response to both international and domestic pressure, was to lift the ban of the ANC and he released Mandela in February 1990, after more than a quarter century imprisonment. de Klerk and Mandela both received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993

 

Word count: Li Chun Ho (Alvin)Date: 26/05/2011 IB History HLEssay Question: What were the causes and achievements of Détente?1The Détente, a relaxation of international tension mainly composed by America, Russia and China inthe Cold War during the 1970s were due to lack of economic funding, the fear of violentconfrontation leading to nuclear destruction and the dependency of countries on the support of other states. Economic deficiencies in the national budgets of countries meant budgets towardsmilitary and weapons were diverted towards improving the economy, compromising the arms race.Due to a number of incidents that generally rose the playing ground from indirect skirmishesbetween the US and USSR such as the Korea and Vietnam War, this escalated to the threat of nuclear weapons to achieve goals, such as the Cuba Missile Crisis. An agreement to stop the use of threatening nuclear destruction was therefore crucial to limit the damage the would-beconfrontation would yield. Furthermore, relations between the Communist states deteriorated,causing them to find alternative countries for support. These factors ultimately led to the signing of treaties such as the Helsinki Agreement and the SALT talks, which drew a line on how defensive theopposing ideologies were limited to using and to dissuade the use of nuclear warfare.Due to their heavy involvement as key belligerents in the Cold War, Russia and America facedmounting economic difficulties. The Vietnam War had cost the Americans at least 28 billion dollars ayear, with nearly 40% of its population employed in the military at that time. Russia also suffered asimilar result in its engagement against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Their economic burden wasfurther magnified by the nuclear arms race. Along with factors such as widespread anti-war feelingsin the US public coupled with the decrease of living standards contributing to the

American Dream

,America was pressured to divert its funds from the military sector to improving the country. Likewisewith the USSR, living standards under Khrushchev and Brezhnev had deeply disappointed theRussian public by draining funds into the arms race and the Eastern bloc; hence the Soviet Politburowas not prepared to continue this unpopular action. Likewise, the backward economy haddiscouraged foreign countries, capitalist or communist, to economically invest in Russia. Since poorrelations between China and the USSR began to emerge, China wanted to find an ally for supportthat would prevent isolationism and help open trade.The prospect of escalating confrontation that would eventually lead to nuclear destruction wasterribly real that compelled the three states to discussions that would prevent the risk of nuclearwar, known as MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. The threat of using nuclear weapons becamerealistic after the Korean War and just before the Vietnam War, at the Cuban Missile Crisis. Thisbecame an important aspect which encouraged talks between countries of the two differentideologies. The US government was influenced by anti-war feelings at home. The Soviets, althoughhaving reached the same US missile capability in 1969 felt threatened at the thought of the futurearms race that held the world at balance. As of this, the USSR thought she would be in a betterposition to discuss matters to lower the Cold War tensions with the West, notably the United States.Furthermore, the drifting of relations between China and USSR contributed to the need for relaxingtension. China, perceived as a Communist competitor and ally to the USSR had experienced poorrelations in the 1950s. As China began to build up a communist government based on the Stalinistsystem, Khrushchev denounced Stalinism, calling for peaceful co-existence. Border disputesoccurred around the Ussuri River in 1969, sparking a tension in their relationships. This prompted

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