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Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980
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Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980

Apartheid South Africa makes available British government files from the Foreign, Colonial, Dominion and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices spanning the period 1948 to 1980.

The launch of apartheid policies by the National Party in 1948 heralded 40 years of legally entrenched white dominance over South African politics, society and business. Punitive restrictions placed on travel, education, work and political activism instigated the formation of organisations such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), saw support increase for the Communist Party and fuelled the growth of international anti-apartheid organisations.

These previously restricted letters, diplomatic dispatches, reports, trial papers, activists’ biographies and first-hand accounts of events give unprecedented access to the history of South Africa’s apartheid regime. The files explore the relationship of the international community with South Africa and chart increasing civil unrest against a backdrop of waning colonialism in Africa and mounting world condemnation.

This resource is in three sections: 1948-1966, 1967-1975 and 1976-1980.