CLIO 7 (1) - page 43

bly eventful and testing journey to presidency, from
growing up in a small village to spending 27 years
in prison. In 1944, he joined the ANC, and worked
with them to fight for basic rights and to put an end
to apartheid. At first, he participated in peaceful
protests for many years doing everything he could
do within the law. When the government banned
the ANC, his party had to go undercover and in
1961, when he realized a more radical approach was
necessary, he co-founded MK, a new-armed wing of
the ANC. Mandela believed this was his only op-
tion to make an impact. He said, ‘It was only when
all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful
protest had been barred to us, that the decision
was made to embark on violent forms of political
struggle.’ He was arrested and charged in 1962 for
conspiring to overthrow the state and sentenced to
life imprisonment. He admitted all his charges and
in his opening statement in court, said, “I have cher-
ished the ideal of a democratic and free society in
which all persons live together in harmony and with
equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to
live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal
for which I am prepared to die.” Mandela took part
in peaceful protests, petitions and violent means to
achieve social justice. These were all illegal acts as
they came from the non-white community. People
argue that the violence committed by the MK was
wrong, but Mandela said himself that force will
always beat peace in an unjust state and action had
to be taken. This got their voices heard and when
Nelson Mandela was released in 1990, the South
African community recognised that everything he’d
done in the past was for a better future for all.
The Civil rights movement in America,
despite the movement lasting 14 years, achieved an
end to racial segregation and discrimination with-
in the law and also secured legal recognition and
federal protection for African Americans. Although
not possible to completely eliminate any feelings of
prejudice, this movement improved the lives of the
black population throughout the United States. This
was all achieved through a series of acts of non-vi-
olent protest and civil disobedience. Despite these
technically being illegal acts, they were not damag-
ing and did not place anyone in a worse position for
doing so, therefore, they opened up opportunities
for dialogues between activists and government
authorities. If these protests had been damaging
to the government or other citizens, they would
have been seen as a problem that needed to be su-
pressed rather than fixed. This demonstrates how it
was not necessary to violently challenge legislation
in order to eliminate the injustice in the American
The French Revolution of 1789-99
supports the idea of a crime having a positive
outcome. Even though there were negative effects
such as the complete downfall of the economy, the
positive outcomes easily outweighed the negative.
Democracy was developed, Civil rights were put in
place, freedoms of speech, worship, and the press
and land ownership were granted and the social dis-
criminative class system was abolished. The success
and ideology of equality and democracy did not just
stay in France. It spread across Europe, to countries
such as Italy and Germany. The French Revolution
changed European society forever and was entirely
reliant on the countless crimes committed by the
French people. Due to this, The French Revolution is
one of the largest scale crimes committed in Euro-
pean history. All revolutions can be seen as a mass
crime committed against the government and the
French Revolution was one of the most famous in
history. PierreVergniaud, a popular figure of the
Photograph by Rowland Scherman for USIA - U.S.
National Archives and Records Administration
A ‘Free Mandela’ slogan on the side of King’s
College Chapel, Cambridge, in 1964
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