The Civil War was a national devastation that had a deep impact on American society. In 1863, Lincoln proposed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring the slaves would be free, though it was limited only to the rebellious states. By careful preparation of the document, Lincoln ensured that it would offer a positive impact on the Union efforts and to redefine the purpose of the civil war. The results of the emancipation continued to have an abrupt and profound effect of equality and social justice (Roark, 402).
In the 1954, the U.S Supreme Court passed the separate but equal, this was basis for state-sanctioned discrimination, drawing national and international attention to African Americans plight. Civil right activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to help bring around
Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader in the African American civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. He may not have explored a new territory or developed a new scientific law, but he did explore the ideas of equality between Whites and Blacks in America. Through inspiring speeches and nonviolent marches, he kick started desegregation between Whites and Blacks. His peaceful tactics set an example worldwide for nonviolent protests and improved conditions for people of colour in America. His moral explorations lead to more of the white population seeing African Americans as an equal, peaceful people rather than inferior ones.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE (SCLC) worked with blacks and whites to create a desegregated society and eliminate RACIAL DISCRIMINATION. Their efforts generated positive responses from a broad spectrum of people across the country. Rev. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., who headed the SCLC, made significant headway with his adherence to nonviolent tactics. In 1964, President LYNDON B. JOHNSON signed the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT and a year later he signed the VOTING RIGHTS ACT. CIVIL RIGHTS legislation was an earnest and effective step toward eliminating inequality between blacks and whites.
“Bloody Lowndes” by Hasan Kwame Jeffries commends the sacrifices black southerners made against conventional ideas of political power in Alabama, setting forth the fight for black civil rights. White supremacy in office did not allow for blacks to have fair representation in the laws that governed them. This constant oppression fueled the urge for change and the convening amongst black people in Alabama. An important part of this progression was the formation of the SNCC, or Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960. The involvement of younger people in the Civil Rights Movement, like that of the SNCC, initiated an understanding that equal rights for blacks was not impossible.
The black leader Martin Luther King adopted nonviolent actions to fight against racial oppression. During the 1960s, black people as a category organized struggles. They actively engaged in the political activism, striving for classless reforms and freedom. In short, Civil Rights movement won political rights for blacks. It brought more opportunities of education, the right to vote, and better jobs for black people.
Although slavery had been outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment, it continued in many southern states. In an effort to get around laws passed by Congress, southern states created black codes, which were discriminatory state laws which aimed to keep white supremacy in place. While the codes granted certain freedoms to African Americans, their primary purpose was to fulfill an important economic need in the postwar South. To maintain agricultural production, the South had relied on slaves to work the land. Black codes were restrictive laws designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and ensure their ties to the land.
The civil rights movement was a mass movement for African Americans to gain equal opportunities, basic privileges and rights of a U.S. citizen. Although the beginning of the movement dates back to the 19th century, we saw the biggest changes in the 1950s through 1960s. African American men and women, whites, and minorities, led the movement around the nation. Racial inequality in education, economic opportunity, and legal processes were the most prominent places in need of social reform. Minorities were politically powerless.
“Beginning in the late 1870s, Southern state lawmakers passed laws that required Whites and Blacks to attend separate schools and to sit in different areas on public transportation.” (“Jim Crow Laws” 1). People thought these laws were needed because “The Jim Crow system was undergirded by the following beliefs or rationalizations: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America;” (“
Radical Reconstruction in Americas’ South, from 1867 to 1877, was an impetus period that has shaped contemporary America. Social effects of radical Reconstruction were aimed primarily at the former African slaves and freedmen. This Reconstruction would go on to influence the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, thus allowing for a re-evaluation of the adequacy of the Reconstruction in dealing with former slaves. The Radical Reconstruction period, after the initial reconstruction, brought about political advantages.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) decision formally introduced “Jim Crow” laws to the nation. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately maintained that, “as long as equal facilities were provided to citizens, classification of individuals by race was neither a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause nor inhibitory of the Black community’s advancement” (Guthrie, 2004, p 7-8). For the era, which followed the Supreme Court ruling, African Americans struggled for an equal life in society and tried to gain rights. With the creation of the NAACP in 1909 it “became instrumental in advocating the rights of its minority constituency…”
Particularly in the South, they continued to seek opportunities to legal slavery. As a result, Southerners pass a state law, Black Codes, during reconstruction. This law restricted the civil rights and public activities of legally freed African Americans. Owning weapons, freedom of movement, and land ownerships were against Black Codes. Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896), the court case that upheld authority of the state law claiming, “separate-but-equal facilities for whites and blacks” , led up to another significant factor, segregation, which arose to be controversy in mid-1900s.
The American civil war led to the reunion of the South and the North. But, its consequences led the Republicans to take the lead of reconstructing what the war had destroyed especially in the South because it contained larger numbers of newly freed slaves. Just after the civil war, America entered into what was called as the reconstruction era. Reconstruction refers to when “the federal government established the terms on which rebellious Southern states would be integrated back into the Union” (Watts 246). As a further matter, it also meant “the process of helping the 4 million freed slaves after the civil war [to] make the transition to freedom” (DeFord and Schwarz 96).
Union victory in the Civil War in 1865 may have given slaves their freedom, but the process of rebuilding the nation during the Reconstruction presented a whole new set of challenges. The Era of Reconstruction was the time after the Civil War where the nation attempted to promote justice and healing among the people. During this time there was a push for advancement of equal rights with the promotion of the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves of the North, followed by the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery in the United States; the 14th Amendment that defined citizenship for black males and the 15th Amendment that went on to guaranteed
The Civil Rights Movement of 1954-1968 had been successful to a reasonable extent in terms of bringing about racial equality and social changes as through its many methods of activism, the movement had in some way pushed America forward towards achieving changes of rights for African Americans. The movement for reform was carried out through a variety of separate phases, each of these established in order to achieve a single goal. Racial segregation was a practice that was prevalent within public schools of the southern states of America. The introductory event that led to the Civil Rights Movement was the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.