World History Honors Summer Assignment

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World History Honors

Summer Assignment

Answer the following questions regarding Gandhi, King and Mandela: What Made Non-Violence Work? Any suspicion of plagiarism will result in a non-submission of assignment. Failure to complete assignment by the start of the fall semester or suspicion of plagiarism will result in a 5% loss of class average for the first semester grade.
Read the background essay to gain more knowledge about these men. Answers should be typed. Plagiarized responses will receive no credit.
Document D Questions:

  1. What non-violent tactic is being threatened by Gandhi to protest the salt tax?

  1. What is civil disobedience?

  1. Provide an example of civil disobedience.

  1. Inference: Why did Gandhi write the letter to Lord Irwin, telling him in advance what he intended to do?

  1. What are the risks of civil disobedience to society?

Document E Questions:

  1. What is a lunch counter sit-in?

  1. Is a lunch counter sit-in an example of civil disobedience? Why?

  1. Explain the difference between a strike and a boycott?

  1. How does King justify breaking the law at his trial?

Examine the Picture

  1. What can you tell me about the sit-in and the times from Blackwell’s photo? Explain.

Document F Questions:

  1. Does the document provide evidence that Mandela supported civil disobedience? Explain.

  1. Did Mandela believe that acts of civil disobedience must be non-violent?

  1. Under what circumstances might have Mandela supported violence?

  2. Think: What does Mandela mean when he says that non-violence is a practical option rather than a moral necessity?

Document G, H, I

  1. Identify the idea that is common to all three documents?

  1. Would you have been able to maintain total discipline at Dharsana? Explain.

Documents J, K, L

  1. What non-violent tactic do all three men have in common?

  1. How does a leaders willingness to go to jail help a movement become successful?

  1. What effect might is have on their followers?

  1. What effect might it have on their adversaries?

Document P Questions:

  1. List the main symbols that you can see in this cartoon.

  1. What is Gandhi’s relationship with the lion?

  1. How did the rest of the world see Gandhi?

Document Q Questions:

  1. Does the message on the button match the words of the quote below?

  1. Was “embracing the enemy” important to the success of non-violence? Explain.

Document R Questions:

  1. What is the cartoon saying about this time in South Africa? (Caption, arms)

  1. Was uniting the oppressor and the oppressed a necessary part of non-violence?

Gandhi, King and Mandela: What Made Non-Violence Work?

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. - MLK, Jr.


The history of violence in the world is well documented. The Mongolian conquests, the creation of an Aztec Empire, two world wars in modern times - mankind has often resolved conflicts by taking up arms. However it is also possible to use non-violent solutions, and leaders of many nations have tried this approach to their problems. Efforts to find non-violent solutions preceding the American Civil War, World War II, and the 2003 occupation of Iraq are cases in point. However, like so many others, these efforts failed. Sometimes the costs of a peaceful response, to Hitler for example, may simply be too high. But this DBQ will examine three cases where a non-violent movement was successful.

Historic Context

India, the United States, and South Africa. Three important nations on three different continents. At a time not so long ago, deep within the belly of each country lay a disease that threatened the health of the whole. For India the disease was colonialism. For the United States and South Africa it was racial segregation. In all three countries violence smoldered just below the surface and could very well have erupted into revolution. But the violent revolution did not occur. Why?


In each of these nations three preconditions partly explain why non-violence worked. One was the very threat of the violence mentioned above. Without the possibility of violent outbreak the existing power structure might not have been willing to change.

Another precondition shared by these countries was that at one time all were colonies of England. Their populations believed, as England did, in rule by law. This belief held that law has the power to restrain even government officials.

A third precondition was the presence of an individual so charismatic he could lead his followers to a non-violent victory. These men, true giants of the twentieth century, all gave their lives to the cause. Gandhi and King were shot by assassins; Mandela spent almost twenty-seven years of his life in prison. Knowing the story of each of these men sets the stage for the documents that follow.

Mohandas Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbandar, India. His father, a socially prominent Hindu, gave him respect for all religions. His mother, a Jainist, taught him that all living things are holy. Following custom Gandhi married at age 13; his wife, Kasturbai, was even younger. At age 19 he sailed for London to study law and at age 22 got his degree. This study reassured Gandhi that the English, rulers in India for almost two centuries, were law-abiding and fair. Hopes high, he sailed for home.

But his hopes were short-lived. During his first trial in India Gandhi was so overcome by shyness he couldn't speak. So when a businessman living in South Africa invited him to try his luck there, Gandhi jumped at the offer. Again his hopes were dashed. Three weeks after he'd arrived, the full force of European racism came
An eye-for-an-eye only makes the whole world blind.

— Mohandas Gandhi

crashing down on him when he was thrown off a train; he was a "colored" man daring to hold a first-class ticket. Despite his shyness, Gandhi found the insult too much to bear, and in the process of fighting back, was arrested and sent to jail. From this experience, he became known as a leader, first to his friends, then to his fellow prisoners, and finally to the South African Indian community at large.

When Gandhi returned to India in 1896 he was a minor hero from his victories in South Africa. But the wretched poverty he saw everywhere sickened him. Rickety tin and cardboard shanties clung to the outer walls of wealthy homes. Rickshaw drivers, clothes tattered and feet bare, carried white colonials to their places of business. Stone-faced Indians, dressed in artificial finery, served their masters at clubs they themselves couldn't join. Everywhere "European Only" signs enforced privilege. In fact, to be successful in the world the English had built, Indians were expected to imitate their rulers - wearing their clothes, mimicking their manners, and accepting their standards of beauty. Gandhi refused.

Gandhi wanted people to live free of all class, wealth, and educational distinctions, even those imposed by India's ancient caste system.

But first he had to build a community which modeled this classless society. He shed the clothes that made him look like a British lawyer and dressed in a poor man's traditional loincloth. He spent time each day at a spinning wheel making homespun cloth. And he did the undignified chores of the untouchables, people so low they are below caste. At first these practices seemed absurd. Then little by little, because of the purity of his life, Gandhi came to be known as "Mahatma" or "Great Soul."

Gandhi saw that India's self-respect was tied to independence. But England was a giant whose might was feared around the globe. Indian politicians had grappled unsuccessfully with English power for almost a century. How much more difficult would it be for the gentle Gandhi? And yet in the end Gandhi succeeded where they had failed. The question is how.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Michael King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929. His father was a Baptist preacher, his mother a schoolteacher. So when as a young man Martin Luther, as he came to be called, earned his doctor of divinity and two other advanced degrees within seven years' time, it was not really a surprise. When he

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

moved with his bride. Coretta to Montgomery, Alabama, the new preacher of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, this too was not a surprise. And because he was an African-American living in the South, his arrest for such trivial crimes as driving five miles over the speed limit wasn't altogether a shock. What was surprising was what he chose to do about it.

About this time a bone-tired women named Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white man and set the modern struggle for civil rights in motion. In one courageous act, she had challenged "Jim Crow," the racially biased laws of the South that had humiliated and dominated the lives of African-Americans far too long. The back of a bus, the back of a theater, the back of a sandwich shop, poll taxes, inferior schools, segregated housing, lynching by hooded mobs -these were things Southern blacks faced every day of their lives.

Two years later, in 1957, King and a number of other black ministers met in Atlanta. They hoped to find a peaceful solution to all these problems, but knew they would have to walk a fine line between the first rumblings of black militancy and the open hostility of white police chiefs, mayors and governors. From that meeting, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was born, and King was chosen as its first president. With his new title there came increased prestige - speaking tours, a meeting with President Eisenhower, a trip to Africa to celebrate Ghana's recent independence. But there were increased risks, too. Sometimes there were vicious threats of violence or even of death. Sometimes the threats were carried out. And when those charged with the crimes were proven guilty, their all-white juries freed them.

But the campaign for civil rights had been launched and there was no turning back. King went to India in 1959 to meet with friends and family of a man whom he'd long admired, the late Mahatma Gandhi. He returned home a few weeks later more convinced than ever that nonviolence was the most powerful way to fight oppression. Gandhi's methods, however, would have to be tailored to fit the situation in America. King wondered how he could keep frustration from boiling over in the black man. who was told yet again he could not enter a certain school or voting booth or park or library or restaurant. He wondered too if the ends he

and his followers longed for could be obtained without violence.

Nelson Mandela

The son of a Thembu tribal chief, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in 1918 in a tiny village in the Transkei region of Dutch or Afrikaner South Africa. When he was a baby, his father was dethroned for refusing to accept an order from an English magistrate. For six years the boy was raised in the proud traditions of his Xhosa ancestors; at seven he was sent to an English boarding school where he was required

People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can also be taught to love.

- Nelson Mandela

to live under apartheid, the white South African system of racial "apartness." At school his teachers no longer called him by his Xhosa name ("Rolihlahla" literally means "pulling the branch of a tree," but it could also mean "troublemaker"). Now he was given the more acceptable European name "Nelson." This was the first time, though not the last, that Mandela felt disrespected for his blackness.

In the 1930s it was rare for a black South African to attend college. But not only did Mandela attend, he graduated, got a degree from law school, and set up a practice in Johannesburg. Yet apartheid was a constant humiliation to him. In the 1948 election the ultra-conservative Afrikaner Nationalists came to power. Mandela was dismayed to see the segregation habits of the past three hundred years become fixed into law. To Mandela this law was "diabolical in its detail, inescapable in its reach, and overwhelming in its power." Hoping to shape a brighter future for himself, his wife, and two small children, Mandela joined an almost powerless political party, the African National Congress (ANC). But his role as its first Youth leader put an unbearable strain on day-to-day life, and his first marriage ended in divorce.

In the 1960s many African nations were gaining independence from their European colonizers. Encouraged, the ANC campaigned peacefully for democracy in South Africa. But as the government became more hostile, more secretive and violent in its tactics, ANC protests changed as well. In November 1961, a military arm of the party, Umkhonto, was formed with Mandela as its head. Now the limited use of arms and sabotage was officially authorized by the ANC. As hoped, they got the attention of the government; they also got its wrath. Driven underground, and at times to foreign lands, Mandela lived as a fugitive. Finally in 1964 he was captured, tried and sentenced to life in prison. It was a sad day for black South Africa.

Days stretched to months, months to years, and years to decades. Mandela endured most of them at brutal Robben Island Prison where his guards did their best to break his spirit with isolation and abuse. Remarkably he kept hope and dignity alive. Then, twenty-six and a half long years after his imprisonment began, he was released. The South African government, hoping

to avoid an out-and-out civil war, was gambling that Mandela would use his reputation for being a calming influence with black South Africans. In addition Mandela intended to finish what had been begun long before, the dismantling of apartheid. He also intended the change to be both democratic and peaceful.

The Question

Gandhi, King and Mandela were all sitting on powder kegs built of hate and injustice. The people in each society knew the powder kegs existed. More importantly their governments knew they existed. Yet all three men, with courage and conviction, charisma and self-sacrifice, were able to bring about non-violent change. Gandhi brought independence to India; King brought civil rights to the United States; Mandela brought democracy to South Africa.

So how did they do it? The threat of violence, the historic respect for law, the leadership of a charismatic individual - these were all important ingredients, but they were not the whole story. Examine now the documents that follow, looking for further ways that non-violent change was achieved in India, the United States, and South Africa. Again, our question - Gandhi, King and Mandela: What made non-violence work?

Document D

Gandhi's letter to Lord Irwin, English governor in India, before marching to the sea and breaking the English Salt Tax Law

Sabarmati, India (March, 1930)

Dear Friend,

Before embarking on Civil Disobedience and taking the risk I have dreaded to take all these years, I would ... approach you and find a way out. I cannot intentionally hurt anything that lives, much less human beings, even though they may do the greatest wrong to me and mine. Whilst therefore I hold the British rule to be a curse, I do not intend harm to a single Englishman or to any legitimate interest he may have in India.... And why do I regard the British rule a curse? .. .Even the salt [the peasant] must use to live is so taxed as to make the burden fall heaviest on him.... The tax shows itself still more burdensome on the poor man when it is remembered that salt is one thing he must eat more than the rich man....

My ambition is no less than to convert the British people through nonviolence, and thus make them see the wrong they have done to India.... But if you cannot see your way to deal with these evils and if my letter makes no appeal to your heart, on the eleventh day of this month I shall proceed with such coworkers of the Ashram [Community] as I can take, to disregard the provisions of the Salt Laws....

note: Gandhi's march to the sea is generally called "The Salt March." Most historians consider it the turning point of the movement to free India from British control. The Salt Tax Law made it illegal for Indians to manufacture or collect their own salt.

Document E

Source: Martin Luther King, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Reprinted by arrangement with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr., c/o Writers House as agent for the proprietor, New York, NY. Copyright 1967 Martin Luther King Jr., copyright renewed 1995 Coretta Scott King.

Atlanta, Georgia (October, 1960)

I took part in the lunch counter sit-ins at Rich's department store as a follower, not a leader. I did not initiate the thing.... I was arrested along with some two hundred eighty students in a sit-in demonstration seeking to integrate lunch counters. I said when I went in Fulton County Jail that I would stay the full time if it was one year, five, or ten years. Of course the students agreed to stay also.

If, by chance ... we are guilty of violating the law, please be assured that we did it to bring the whole issue of racial injustice under the scrutiny of the conscience of Atlanta....

We do not seek to remove this unjust system for ourselves alone but for our white brothers as well. The festering sore of segregation debilitates the white man as well as the Negro. So if our actions in any way served to bring this issue to the forefront of the conscience of the community, they were not undertaken in vain.

Document F

Source: Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Copyright © 1994 by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. By permission of Little, Brown and Company, Inc.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa (May, 1952)

We also discussed whether the campaign (for Defiance of Unjust Laws) should follow Gandhian principles of nonviolence, or what the Mahatma called satyagraha, a nonviolence that seeks to conquer through conversion.

Some argued for nonviolence on purely ethical grounds, saying it was morally superior to any other method.... Others said that we should approach this issue not from the point of view of principles but tactics, and that we should employ the method or tactic demanded by the conditions. If a particular method or tactic enabled us to defeat the enemy, then it should be used. In this case, the state was far more powerful than we, and any attempts at violence by us would be devastatingly crushed. This made nonviolence a practical necessity rather than an option. This was my view...

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Document G

Source: "They That Turn the Cheek" Abridged with permission of Simon & Schuster. In Webb Miller, / Found No Peace: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent. Copyright 1936 by Webb Miller. Copyright renewed © 1963 by Mrs. Webb Miller.

The Dharasana Salt Works, 150 Miles North of Bombay, India (May, 1930)
Mme. Naidu called for prayer before the march started and the entire assemblage knelt. She exhorted them: "Gandhi's body is in jail but his soul is with you. India's prestige is in your hands. You must not use any violence under any circumstances. You will be beaten but you must not resist; you must not even raise a hand to ward off blows." Wild, shrill cheers terminated her speech....

In complete silence the Gandhi men drew up and halted a hundred yards from the stockade [surrounding the Dharasana Salt Works].... Suddenly, at a word of command, scores of native police rushed upon the advancing marchers and rained blows on their heads with their steel-shod [clubs]. Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows.... The survivors without breaking ranks silently and doggedly marched on until struck down.... The blankets used as stretchers were sodden with blood.

At times the spectacle of unresisting men being methodically bashed into a bloody pulp sickened me so much that I had to turn away. The western mind finds it difficult to grasp the idea of nonresistance.

Note: Mme. Naidu was a well-known Indian poetess who was to take Gandhi's place should he be arrested. The author of this document, Webb Miller, was a foreign correspondent present at both the raid and the hospital where the wounded (320 injured and two dead) were taken afterwards. This is the report he filed.

Document H

Source: Martin Luther King, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Reprinted by arrangement with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr., c/o Writers House as agent for the proprietor, New York, NY. Copyright 1967 Martin Luther King Jr., copyright renewed 1995 Coretta Scott King.

Birmingham, Alabama (April, 1963)
Toward the end of our mass meetings ... I would extend an appeal for volunteers to serve in our non-violent army. We made it clear that we would not send anyone out to demonstrate who had not convinced himself that he could accept and endure violence without retaliating. At the same time, we urged the volunteers to give up any possible weapons that they might have on their persons. Hundreds of people responded to this appeal... We proved to them that we needed no weapons - not so much as a toothpick. We proved that we had the most formidable weapon of all - the conviction that we were right.

Note: King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference followers began a drive to end segregation in Birmingham in the spring of 1963. Despite King's determination to conduct a non-violent march the protesters were met by police chief "Bull" Connor and his men, cattle prods, fierce dogs, and fire hoses.

Document I

Source: Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Copyright © 1994 by Nelson Rolihlahia Mandela. By permission of Little, Brown and Company, Inc.

Johannesburg, South Africa (April, 1952)
I explained to a group of several hundred Africans, Indians, and Coloured that volunteering (for the Defiance of Unjust Laws campaign) was a difficult and even dangerous duty, as the authorities would seek to intimidate, imprison, and perhaps attack the volunteers. No matter what the authorities did, the volunteers could not retaliate, otherwise they would undermine the value of the entire enterprise. They must respond to violence with nonviolence; discipline must be maintained at all cost.
Document J
Source: M.K. Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, Madras: Ganesan, 1928.

Johannesburg, South Africa (January, 1908)

I had just heard (that my fellow Indian protesters) had been sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard labor, and had been fined a heavy amount.... If these men had committed an offense, I had committed a greater offense and I therefore asked the Magistrate to impose upon me the heaviest penalty.... I well remembered that I ... did not feel the slightest hesitation in entering the prisoner's box.

On vegetable days which were two in a week we cooked twice and on other days only once, as we were allowed to cook other things for ourselves only for the noonday meal. We were somewhat better off after we began to cook our own food. But whether or not we succeeded in obtaining these conveniences, everyone of us was firm in his resolution of passing his term in jail in perfect happiness and peace.

Note: Gandhi spent a total of 2,338 days in jail.
Document K

Source: Martin Luther King, The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Reprinted by arrangement with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr., c/o Writers House as agent for the proprietor, New York, NY. Copyright 1967 Martin Luther King Jr., copyright renewed 1995 Coretta Scott King.

Montgomery, Alabama (March, 1956)
At the jail, an almost holiday atmosphere prevailed. People had rushed down to get arrested [for their part in the Montgomery bus boycott]. No one had been frightened. No one had tried to resist arrest. Many Negroes had gone voluntarily to the sheriff's office to see if their names were on the list, and were even disappointed when they were not. A once fear-ridden people had been transformed. Those who had previously trembled before the law were now proud to be arrested for the cause of freedom. With this feeling of solidarity around me, I walked with firm steps toward the rear of the jail. Note: King was arrested 37 times and jailed 14 times.
Document L

Source: Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Copyright © 1994 by Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. By permission of Little, Brown and Company, Inc.

Rivonia, South Africa (June, 1964)
That night, after discussion among ourselves, Walter, Govan, and I informed counsel that whatever sentences we received, even the death sentence, we would not appeal. Our decision stunned our lawyers. Walter, Govan and I believed an appeal would undermine the moral stance we had taken. We had from the first maintained that what we had done, we had done proudly, and for moral reasons.... Our message was that no sacrifice was too great in the struggle for freedom.

... If we were sentenced to death, what then would happen? ... I told (my counsel) that I would have a lot to say. I would tell (Judge) de Wet that I was prepared to die secure in the knowledge that my death would be an inspiration to the cause for which I was giving my life. My death - our deaths - would not be in vain; if anything we might serve the greater cause in death as martyrs than we ever could in life.

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"/ have a dream

that one day on the red hills of Georgia

the sons of former slaves

and the sons of former slave owners

will be able to sit down together

at a table of brotherhood."

Martin Luther King, August 28, 1963

" It was during those long,

lonely (prison) years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became

a hunger for the freedom of all people,

black and white."

Nelson Mandela

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