Sharpville Massacre Questions 15 History GCSE Essay

Sharpville Massacre Questions 1-5 (History GCSE) Essay, Research Paper

Question 1


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

thousandsof Africans???.

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.


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