Q:

Why important role did Nelson Mandela play in modern history?

A:

The role played by Nelson Mandela in modern history is that of a strategic leader who helped end apartheid and bring free elections and democracy to South Africa. Mandela's importance to modern history centers around his resilience in the face of extreme adversity and his principled willingness to sacrifice his life for his beliefs. Although imprisoned for treason by the apartheid government of South Africa, Mandela's steadfast adherence to his cause helped to sway world opinion against the apartheid regime and bring about the international sanctions that eventually led to his release and election to the country's presidency.

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The key to Mandela's political achievements was his ability to sway world opinion and to function as an effectively persuasive force by his actions and example. Skilled in the use of symbolism in word and in deed, he became an icon for human rights. His leadership strategies can be studied as a model by which complex societal forces can be woven together across differing legal, political and economic domains into a nation-altering transformational force.

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  • Q:

    Was Nelson Mandela a Christian?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, was a Methodist Christian. He was raised and schooled in the religion but kept his religious beliefs private throughout his historic struggle and subsequent victory over the forces of apartheid in South Africa.

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  • Q:

    What was Nelson Mandela fighting for?

    A:

    As a native African living in South Africa under apartheid, the government system of imposed segregation in which non-native white residents of South Africa were treated as fundamentally superior to black natives, Nelson Mandela's initial cause was focused on bringing about the end of apartheid and systematic racial oppression in his home country. Apartheid came to an end in the 1990s, and in 1994, Mandela was elected as the first black chief executive of South Africa in the nation's first full, democratic election. When Mandela's presidential term ended in 1999, his focus shifted from issues within his own nation to general human rights issues across the globe.

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  • Q:

    Why was Nelson Mandela in prison for 27 years?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years as a result of his efforts to bring racial harmony and equality to South Africa. He began his efforts as soon as he graduated from law school and founded the first black law firm in the country in 1952. As unrest spread in the 1950s and 1960s, Mandela found himself the target of law enforcement efforts, and after he secretly left South Africa to gain aid and training for the struggle, he was picked up and jailed until Feb. 11, 1990.

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  • Q:

    How many years was Nelson Mandela imprisoned?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, 18 of which were spent at the infamously cruel Robben Island Prison in South Africa, where he was held from 1964 - 1982. Mandela was released from imprisonment in 1990 despite having initially been handed a life sentence. At the time of his imprisonment, South Africa was ruled by the white supremacist system of apartheid, in which native black Africans were officially considered inferior in every way to colonial European citizens, also known as Afrikaners. Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary who eventually became the first president of South Africa, and he was initially imprisoned on charges of incitement before being charged with conspiracy to overthrow the state in what is known as the Rivonia Trial.

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