THE AFRICAN NATIONAL Congress (ANC) led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The ANC was formed in 1912 to oppose the political and civil exclusion of Africans from the Union of South Africa, which was created in 1910 when the British colonies and the Boer Republics joined together to form one nation.

During its early years, the ANC advocated nonviolence, the defense of political rights for Africans, and nonracialism—the belief that the peoples of South Africa were to be viewed as one, regardless of skin color. For example, in response to the 1912 Natives’ Land Act, which said that blacks could no longer own or lease land in white areas, the ANC launched a petition campaign in protest. In 1912 and 1913, women supporters ...

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