What were the consequences of the Sharpeville Massacre?

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The Sharpsville Massacre was a seminal moment in the history of South Africa. It can be considered the beginning of the international struggle to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. When police broke up the protest with violence, 69 black Africans were dead and 180 were wounded. The international press was on the scene and reported on the incident. The action sparked outrage around the world and a major economic slump haunted South Africa as international investors withdrew their funds from South Africa. Only the intervention of American banks saved the South African economy.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the acts and the system of apartheid itself. The South African government declared a state of emergency and outlawed the Pan-African Council and African National Congress from activity within its country. That action had the effect of making those groups more radical than they previously were. Much of their organization would move underground. The events of the Sharpsville Massacre started the long journey for equality in South Africa and is considered a turning point in the history of the nation.

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