How did apartheid have an impact on World History?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Apartheid was a policy of racial discrimination and segregation used in South Africa from 1948 to 1994.  Apartheid impacted world history through its legitimization of racism and prejudiced ideals.  This policy of South Africa resulted in unintended outcomes.

First, this policy made the subservient treatment of an entire race of people within the country not only okay, but legal.  South Africa is definitely not the worst example of a political approach race relations in the history of the world, but it is pretty bleak.  The impact of this is far-reaching, because in our increasingly global world, other countries struggling to create just systems for race relations could be influenced by South Africa's system. Some countries might see the disparity between whites and blacks, and use it as a measuring stick for their own country, as a reason to or not to affect change, thinking, "Well, at least this country's race problems are not as bad as that..." 

The main impact and far-reaching consequences from Apartheid stems from its sheer longevity.  It lasted for almost fifty years, and ended less than twenty years ago.  Apartheid reminds the world that we, as a global community, are making strides for a better, more accepting future, but still have a long way to go.