Sharpville Massacre Questions 1-5 (History GCSE) Essay, Research Paper
1) In ?what waysdo sources A+B agree about the events in Sharpeville on the
morning of 21stof March?
Source A is a primary sourcewritten by Humphery Tyler a Journalist from a
south African magazine. Source bis a secondary source, it is a report to an
English newspaper, a day after theshooting.
The two sources agree thatarmored cars Saracens were present as well as
police cars. Source A says thatthere was three Saracens armored cars present
earlier in the day while. B saysthere was a dozen Saracens. Source A ??big
gray police car and three Saracens???.Source B ??About a dozen Saracens???. The
two source also agree that the policewere well armed. Source B ??police
reinforcements were sent there???. Source A: ??There were plenty of police,
too, well armed. A constable shoved his rifleagainst my window shield.??? The
two sources both agree and say that the eventshappened in Sharpeville. Source
B starts the report with ??Around Sharpeville???,as too does source A ??we went
into Sharpeville the back way???. ?Source A fails to mention the number
ofprotesters there. Just the vague description ??many people???. Though in
source Bthe account says that the police station was ??virtually besieged by
Tyler describes the day as ??ASunday outing???. He describes the crowd as
??grinning and cheerful???. He says thatchildren were present waving at the
police men ??Two even waved back???. Source Bdoes not mention this or anything
about the protesters emotions. Source B said??trouble was expected???. If
trouble was expected why were kids present, smilingand being happy. This does
not show any signs of trouble and the women andchildren present suggests that
the Africans did not expect trouble. Source Bdescribes in the report a
shooting in the morning ?? which one African was killedand another seriously
wounded???. This was not mentioned in the source A.
Source A describes theprotesters Shouting Pan African saying ??Izwe Lethu???
which means our land. Theyare described as ??many people???. While source B
writes ?? that they were virtuallybesieged by thousand s of Afrikaans shouting
???Africa, Africa???. This is a muchmore aggressive chant than our land, which
was described in source A. Thismakes the crowd look hostile. And with the
thousands of them makes them soundbad: aggressive.
Overall there are far moredisagreements than agreements. I feel that Source
B, the report published inthe English newspaper, was trying to justify their
actions more than give adescription of the events of the morning March 21st. ?
What are the similarities anddifferences between the two sources description
of the events in Sharpville onthe morning of 21st March?
The sources are bothphotographic, source C was in taken in the morning of
march 21st .Source D was taken on the same day but later at midday. Both
photos are of thecrowds of protesters at Sharpville.
Source C and D both show thecrowds ?of African protesters and bothshow
vehicles, these are the main similarities. Source C is a picture takenbehind
the police and facing the protesters. Two policemen are sitting on topof a
Saracen in the open looking relaxed. Another policemen is walking pastthem.
Three Saracen armored cars are mentioned in source A of Tyler???s
account.??Driving behind a big gray police car and three Saracen armored
cars???. Thoughin the picture I can only see one, this shows how photos are
limited in gettingthe full picture and can leave things out.
The police look very calm oneeven has his arms folded. The flaps on the
armored car are open and the vehicleappears to be stationary. As it can be
hard to tell if the actual photo is aaccurate reflection of the events shown.
Photographic evidence is the same asan eyewitness, but the accuracy of the
picture can be changed. Things can beblocked out, appearances of people can
be altered. There is know way of knowingthat the car is switched off, it
might be on and moving towards the protesters.We cannot see any weapons in
the picture, the only clue to the police beingarmed in the photo, are big
straps across their backs. Source A backs this insaying ??Police, too, well
armed??? ??Shoved his rifle against my wind-shield???
The police are actingcautiously to have such a big cars present and large
police force their.Humphery Tyler describes what he saw ?? Plenty of police???.
This could be tointimidate the protesters, or to show that the police are
ready for any violentprotesters.
In source C protesters arefacing the camera and the police. They look calm
and relaxed in the warmmornings heat. Source A describes how the protesters
were behaving, earlier inthe day ??They were grinning and cheerful??? ??Sunday
outing???. Their are no signsin the photograph of protesters fearing attack or
looking for trouble with thepolice. Tyler???s account in source A describes the
atmosphere between police andprotesters ??Some kids waved to the police
sitting on the Saracens and two ofthe policemen waved back???. The protesters
look a long distance from the policeand the vehicle, this is creating tension
as the police appear to be armed,while the protesters do not. There are
limitations with photographic evidence,objects can be blocked out and thing
not appear to be what they seem.
There are a small crowd gathered in front of the police no morethan two rows
big. The protesters have no banners or written signs of protest.They show no
emotions or actions of protest. This could be because it is in themorning
when not many protesters are their yet. ?In the crowd I cannot see any white
people. But the picture is inblack and white and hard to distinguish features
of the protesters in thebackground. Though they are some women in the crowd,
this is backed up bysource E another extract from Tyler???s account ??Hundreds
of women rushed pastus???
I feel that the message givenout shows the police to have the crowds of
protesters under their control. Thecrowd shows no signs of feeling or active
protest. There is also no signs ofviolence from the police or the protesters
. I think that the crowd is very farback, this might be because they feel
wary of the weapons that the policecarry.
Source D is a picture takenfrom within a crowd of protesters at midday 21st
of March, the sameday as source C. Just like source C the picture contains a
vehicle. But insteadof it looking stationary in front of the crowd, it looks
as though it ispassing it.
The vehicle is a large car.Their are no signs to tell in the photograph that
it is a police car. Unlike insource C where it was clear by the presence of
the police, this source has knowvisible police, in or around the car that I
can see. This is because aprotesters hand is blocking the driver, and the
passenger side of the car is blackwith no detail. But this could be the car
from the council, mentioned in sourceB, ?? A motor car from the council, which
went through earlier in the morning,emerged a wreck and the people inside
were injured???. The vehicle does notappear to be wrecked or damaged.
The crowd are all drawn tothe vehicle crowding around it, ?bunchedup to one
another on both sides of the vehicle with their thumbs up pointing tothe
driver of the car. The crowd is much more active than in source C the
crowdlook exited and full of life. The caption explains that ??The thumbs up
sign wasa symbol of protest??? This looks to be in the picture a nonviolent
form ofprotest. As the majority have their thumbs up facing the car.
Source D is closer to thetime of the shooting as the police look like they
have lost control of theprotesters. The mood of the protest has changed
dramatically, there is now morefeeling shown on peoples faces, and emotions
in their body language. ?
The sources in many ways areopposite to one another. Source C shows the
protesters to be a long way awayfrom the police vehicles and the
photographer. Unlike source D where theprotesters are close to the car and
the photographer taking the picture isinside the crowd. ?Their are
fewprotesters in source C compared to source D where the protesters
couldrightfully be described as hounding the car. In both of the sources the
policeappear to have some authority because their in vehicles and the crowds
ofprotesters are on foot. The two main similarities of the crowds are that
theiris no violence and that they are unarmed. Overall there are more
differencesbetween the two sources. The pictures portray the moods of
protesters atSharpville throughout the day and how their emotions change.
Question 3How reliable is source F asevidence of what happened? Explain your
answer ?Sources F is a secondarysource written by the Anglican Bishop of
Johannesburg, Ambrose Reeves. Thestatements were formed a few days after the
shooting. They were collected byhim under oath while visiting and speaking to
the wounded. It say that??Witnesses??| were in separate wards of the hospital
and could not have talkedbefore making their statements.??? The information can
be trusted because thebishop is under oath to God, ?if he wereto break this
and lie he would be breaking his religion and promise to God. Allthe people
that he interviewed were there at Sharpeville and have the injuriesto prove
it. His first sentence starts with ??All the witnesses???. ?Source E is written
byHumphery Tyler and is a primary source as he was there at the time. The
sourceis an extract from Tyler???s account ??We heard the chatter of a machine
gun, thenanother, then another???. Source F of the Bishops interviews read that
thewitnesses said ??The police lined up out side the police station and all
firedtogether??? Tyler???s account backs this up. ?The Bishop said that ?? Allthe
statements agree that the crowd was not armed, even with sticks.???
Alsowitnesses said they were ??Unarmed and did not approach the police station
withviolent intentions.??? This is backed up by source D a photographic source
of thecrowds at Sharpeville. The picture is taken deep within the crowd and
doesn???tshow any of the crowd to be armed. ?This is a justified statement as
Tyler the only journalist there saidthat ??I saw no weapons, afterwards when I
studied the photographs of the deathscene??? ?The Bishop says that ?? Nearlyall
those being treated in hospital had been shot in the back.??? This is backedup
with the photograph taken by Tyler???s Photographer. The source G shows
theprotesters running from the police station, with a police man in the
distancestanding on top of a Saracen. In source E Tyler describes this to be
apoliceman firing his stem gun into the crowd ??He was swinging it around in
awide arc from his hip as though he were panning a movie camera??? ?In both
source E and F bothstatements agree with one another that their was no
warning given to the crowdsof protesters. ??I heard no warning to the crowd???
??police did not attempt togive any warning before opening fire.??? With both
of these quotes agreeing withone another suggests that the statement is
reliable. ?Source F becomes morereliable with the evidence given in sources
E, D, and G as they all agree withthe statements collected by the wounded.
Even though it is a secondary sourceand the Bishop is a antiapartheid
campaigner, it is made more reliable as asource when cross-examined with the
other sources. ???????
Question 4SharpevilleWhich is the more useful asevidence of what happened at
Sharpville, Source E or Source G? Both the sources are primarysources and
both are useful for giving evidence at Sharpeville. Source E is awritten
account from Humphery Tyler, who was the only journalist present inSharpville
that day. He describes in detail what he saw before and after theshooting.
Source G is a photographic source taken by the photographer withTyler in
source E. ?Source E is useful asevidence as it describes situation and
circumstances in detail. For instanceEmotions, feelings and what he heard and
saw. He captures the atmosphere well??Chatter of machine guns??? ?? then another
, then another??? this is what causedthe protesters to flee. ??Hundreds of
women rushed past us??? ??little boy had anold coat which he held behind his
head thinking that it might save him from thebullets???. Tyler turns his
attention to the women and children to capture theinnocence of sight he saw.
This vivid description is backed by source G. Itshows clearly a women and a
child running to the sides of the camera, with manyfollowing behind. ?Tyler
describes how thepolice were firing into the crowd. ??Policemen was standing
on top of a Saracen?????Firing his stem gun into the crowd???. This is backed
once again in source G,there is a policeman standing above the crowds of
protesters, as they ran fromthe police station. In Source G I am able to make
out the policemen standing onthe Platform which I am assuming is the Saracen,
that was mentioned in Tyler???saccount. He writes in his account that the
police said that the ??crowd werearmed with ???ferocious weapons???. He next
explains what he saw of the crowdbefore and after the shooting, ??I saw no
weapons??? ??And afterwards when Istudied the photographs of the death scene I
saw only shoes, hats and a fewbicycles left among the bodies???. In the picture
of the protesters runningtowards the camera no weapons of and kind can be
seen not even umbrellas whichare shown in Source D, as Tyler describes in his
account they just left everything in order to flee. Through this source the
evidence is able to be seen inthe minds eye. Source G is useful asevidence
because it does not have to be described and at a glance the readercan
determine for themselves what is happening. Also people believe more whatthey
see than what their told and holds more reliability with them.
Althoughphotographic evidence is the same as an eyewitness, the accuracy of
the picturecan be changed by the developer. Things can be blocked out,
appearances ofpeople can be altered. Areas of the picture can be lightened or
darkened.Objects can be made bigger or smaller.So their is an area of
uncertainty inthe clarity of pictures.The picture Africanprotesters running
from the police station situated behind them, towards thecamera. Which is
backed up with Tyler???s account ??Hundreds of women rushed pastus??? ??Hundreds
of kids were running to???. The picture is taken with a wide anglelens and
captures the scale of the people fleeing. The photograph links withwhat is in
Tyler???s account, so I don???t think the picture was altered. In order to get
the full useout of these too sources you have to put the to types of
information togetherin order to achieve the maximum knowledge of what
happened. Using the pictureto shows the real life visual images, while the
written source to bring out thedetails missed in the picture. Unlike the
written sources the advantage ofusing photographic evidence are that the
person looking at the source can maketheir own mind up.