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Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ BACKGROUND ? KEY LAWS TO 1945 1. 1866: Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishes slavery in the U.S. 2. 1868: The Fourteenth Amendment - guaranteed all citizens equality before the law and declared that federal government could intervene if any states tried to deny this. 3. 1870: Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of male citizens of the United States to vote regardless of race, color or previous condition of servitude. However ? 1. Individual states controlled voting, education, transport and law enforcement. Southern States introduced laws that legalised segregation ? known as Jim Crow Laws. Examples = laws that separated white from black on trains, buses, restaurants, schools, theatres etc) 1. By 1890S most blacks in the south were disfranchised through voter registration restrictions ? eg - poll taxes, residency and literacy tests. This shut them out of the political process, including service on juries and in local offices. 2. The grandfather clause provided exemption for illiterate whites to voter registration literacy test requirements. 3. The Supreme Court/Federal Government did nothing about these laws. In 1896 ? Plessy v. Ferguson - the Supreme Court upheld de jure racial segregation of "separate but equal" facilities. The Court stated that separate but equal facilities were not against the 14th amendment. 4. Lynching = commonplace, those responsible never brought to justice. Blacks had no legal protection. PRESIDENT TRUMAN (1945-53) On the one hand ? 1. To Secure These Rights (groundbreaking Government Report into CR) 1. said US could not claim to lead the free world while blacks were not equal 2. argued that segregation should be eliminated by using federal power 3. revolutionary recommendations 4. raised awareness (of ? lynchings, discrimination in army, wage gap, health care issues, education, voting rights) 1. Truman?s pro-civil rights speeches ? state of the Union addresses 1947/48 ? ?our first goal? must be ?to secure fully the essential human rights of our citizens? 2. ...read more.

Middle

Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed "Bloody Sunday" by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later. 1. Who? KING/SCLC 1. Wanted to make Selma a symbol of the resistance to CR in Deep South. Thought Selma?s sheriff Jim Clark would react brutally ? therefore saw opportunity for media attention. 2. Led would-be voters to register at Selma County Court (despite federal judge?s ruling ? no registrations) 3. SCLC & SNCC organised march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama?s state capital) to publicise need for a Voting Rights Act. March attacked by state troopers (at Edmund Pettus Bridge) ? labelled ?Bloody Sunday?. 4. President Johnson asked King to call off next March. 2nd march went ahead - King got marchers to approach state troopers but then retreated at bridge (did not tell SNCC about this and they felt betrayed). 3rd march did reach Selma (numbers during 5 day march grew from 8000 to 25,000) 1. Impact? 1. Numbers involved showed support for Voting Rights Act 2. Media attention ? brutality towards campaigners. National criticism of Selma?s whites and local authorities. 3. Inspired other marches (in support) in cities such as Chicago, Detroit and New York. 4. Crucial influence on President Johnson & Congress ? led to 1965 Voting Rights Act. However, 1. Selma?s activists felt betrayed by withdrawal of SCLC (felt being used ? SCLC raised money, made headlines ? then left) ? worsened divisions in CR movement PRESIDENT JOHNSON 1964 Civil Rights Act (President Johnson ? pushed this through despite considerable opposition in Congress). This was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provided the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation. ...read more.

Conclusion

As does his involvement in the Poor People?s Campaign & the Memphis Strike (ie ? showing concern for economic hardship, calling for redistribution of wealth) 1. Moved him closer to younger elements of CR movement ? SNCC & CORE 2. BUT ? alienated him from some ?conservative? black leaders and anger Lyndon Johnson. (12) Meredith March ? rift between SCLC & SNCC deepened. SC?s use of the ?Black power? slogan caused tension ? King opposed phrase because it suggested racial separatism and apparent acceptance of violence. Impact - OVERALL EVALUATION 1. However, through his leadership and example the CR movement achieved its most significant victories ? eg ? shaming Congress into enacting the Civil Rights (64), Voting Rights (65) and Housing (68) Acts. 2. After his death the national direct action phase of the CR movement died with him. 3. His ability to inspire was peerless. As such, he deserves to be remembered as the greatest black visionary leader of the 20th century. CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) 1. Formed in 1942 by 6 non-violent activists (inspired by Gandhi) 2. Originally v.small in numbers ? however ? campaign methods = important ? 3. In favour of non-violent direct action ? eg - organised sit-ins at segregated Chicago restaurants & demanded segregation on interstate transport. 4. 1947: Journey of Reconciliation ? Travelled by bus from North to Southern states (to test Morgan v. Virginia ? ruling by supreme court that segregation on interstate bus services was illegal). Direct challenge to states who had not segregated ? result = arrested on several occasion ? this raised awareness that de jure changes in the law had not led to de facto change in practice. 5. 1961: Freedom Rides - Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of "freedom riders," as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by CORE and the SNCC, involved more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white. ...read more.

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