Chris Schmidt (crschmidt) wrote,
Chris Schmidt

American History Civil Rights Paper

Discuss whether NG helped or hindered the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's Remember there are 3 branches to the govt.

The National Government was not a unified front throughout the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's. Even with large pressure on him, during the mid-1950's, President Eisenhower refused to take a stand in the civil rights battle, however, the Supreme court made such rulings as the Brown v. Board of Education ruling which had large sweeping effects across the south, just a few years later. John F. Kennedy promised to provide equal oppourtunity to public, government funded housing, with the "stroke of a pen." But when Kennedy entered office, he did not do this. In fact, only after 3 years in office did he decide to bring this issue about. These differing faces brought many people of African descent to a breaking point. There were many different aspects to this issue, which can be looked at from the three points of view of the branchs of the government: the legislative branch, or congress, the judicial branch, or the supreme court, or the executive branch, the presidency.
      Passed civil rights act of 1965
      Voting rights act of 1965
    Supreme Court
      Brown vs. Board of education 1953
      Brown II 1955 "All deliberate speed"
        No firm stance on civil rights
        Forced to act by Little Rock stuff (little rock 9)
          -sent in armed guard
          -kept them there whole year
        Got MLK Jr. out of jail
        Campaigned on Public housing (stroke of a pen)
          -didn't keep promises
        Very reluctant to show force, move towards one side
        Moved indirectly - jobs in govt, commission to end job discrimination
        Too little too late on housing, voter education
        Pushed Civil Rights bill through congress
        Very integrationist
        Worked hard to make all people equal

There are many different aspects of the National Governments involvment in the civil rights movement in the 1950's and 60s. From Johnson's integrationist perspective to the Little Rock situation, many different faces are shown. However, by the end of the 60's, a large part of the government's work on civil rights was complete: the laws were in place, they merely needed to be enacted. Then, as MLK said: "all of Go's children will be able to join hands and sing . "Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last!"

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