DECOLONIZATION

After 1945, European nations began to give up their colonies. In some places, power was handed back to local people peacefully. White South Africans refused to share power, creating a system of APARTHEID.

WHEN DID WINDS OF CHANGE BLOW?

In 1960, the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made a speech in South Africa, declaring that a “wind of change” was blowing through the African continent. He meant that the age of empires and colonies was coming to an end. Today only a few colonies or “overseas territories” still exist.

APARTHEID

Apartheid is a word from the Afrikaans language that means “staying apart.” It was the South African government’s policy of racial separation from 1948 to 1994. White people, who made up only 14 percent of the population, refused to give the vote to black or Asian people. These peoples were denied basic rights and were not allowed to mix with the whites.

WHAT WERE THE EFFECTS OF APARTHEID?

Black people were not permitted to live in areas reserved for whites. They were not even allowed to sit on the same benches. Many black people endured bad housing, poverty, and inadequate education. Black and white South Africans who protested against apartheid risked imprisonment or death.

WHEN DID APARTHEID END?

The end of apartheid came in 1994, when Nelson Mandela won South Africa’s first democratic general election. This occasion marked the end of two centuries in which Europeans had attempted to rule the rest of the world. However, the newly independent nations of Africa still face many problems.

BIOGRAPHY: NELSON MANDELA 1918-

Nelson Mandela was a black lawyer who campaigned against apartheid. Imprisoned from 1964–1990, he became a symbol of resistance. After his release, he became South Africa’s first black president.

FIND OUT MORE

Age of Empire

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!