• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far had racial equality been achieved in the USA by 1968?

Extracts from this document...


How far had racial equality been achieved in the USA by 1968? By 1968, racial equality had been broadly achieved in terms of political rights, but there was still a long way to go in social, economic and cultural terms. It should be remembered that racial equality is not just about blacks and whites, as in this context it also related to Native Americans and Hispanic Americans. By 1968, significant progress had been made in terms of political rights. Importantly, the 1965 Voting Rights Act was the culmination of campaigns such as Smith V Allwright, Eisenhower's Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 60, and SNCC's Mississipis Freedom Summer of 1964. The Act made it illegal to deny black people the vote in any circumstances. Therefore, grandfather clauses and literacy tests were finally outlawed. By 1968, over 3 million black people had been added to the electoral register in southern states, and over a thousand black people had been elected to public office. ...read more.


In terms of social and economic rights, some equality had been achieved by 1968. The 1964 Civil Rights Act, for example, finally banned segregation across the USA. This had an immediate effect on racial equality. By late 1956, 214 cities had desegregated. Additionally, the proportion of black children in segregation schools substantially decreased. The Fair Employment Practices Commission also encouraged the rise of a new black middle class, and therefore during the 1960s, black income doubled. Therefore, it is fair to say that there was some progress towards racial equality in social and economic terms due to the provisions of President Johnson's civil rights legislation. Again, racial equality was not wholly achieved by 1968. First, 58% of black schoolchildren remained in segregated schools in 1968. Secondly, 7% of blacks were unemployed, whereas the national rate of unemployment was only 5%. ...read more.


Native Americans and Hispanic Americans still suffered from racial discrimination by 1968. They had both benefited from President Johnson's civil rights legislation, and both communities had active civil rights campaigns. However, immigrant Hispanic farmworkers still did not qualify for the minimum wage. In many ways, racial minorities such as Native Americans and Hispanic Americans were still victims of prejudice in spite of the gains of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. In conclusion, racial equality had only been achieved to a limited extent by 1968. Although significant progress has been made since 1945 - both formally and in de facto terms - blacks, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans all still suffered from discrimination in terms of economic opportunities, educational provision and their portrayal in the media. The greatest gains were made in political rights, thanks to the Voting rights 1965, but even here minorities, particularly in the south, were still at a disadvantage in 1968. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the significance of the role of individuals in reducing racial discrimination in the ...

    5 star(s)

    reducing discrimination within Mexican Americans followed King's policies of non-violence, this showed King was not only having an effect on black Americans. Chavez led the first farm workers union in America which was successful to some extent, and led to the reduction of racial prejudice.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Why was Progress for Racial Equality so slow in the years 1945-1955?

    4 star(s)

    The presence of one black leader in the campaign for civil rights could of speeded up the process, increasing not only participation of blacks but also helping to change the opinion of white resisters. Actual progress on racial equality during this period shows itself how slow and limited the process clearly was as well as the effect of progress.

  1. Peer reviewed

    Were the 1960s and 1970s a turning point for the equality of Native Americans?

    4 star(s)

    Also in 1978 the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed, which gave Natives the right to express their beliefs and exercise traditional religious ceremonies within and outside of reservations.

  2. Revision notes - the USA 1945 to 1980

    He often claimed to have evidence which he later was unable to produce. 1. He accused the army of being riddled with communists. Most people admired their military and did not believe these accusations. 2. Many senators spoke against him and in 1954 he was censured by the senate. 3.

  1. Comparison of Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson

    He succeeded in passing another one in 1968. Differing from Truman and Eisenhower, Johnson became famous for the effects of his bills. He was the first president to have his requests truly enforced. However, it is likely that Johnson could not have succeeded in the way that he did without the actions made by Truman and Eisenhower before him.

  2. How much and why did President Truman help to promote racial equality?

    It was clear then, to some, that Truman still retained at least some racist attitudes. For example, witnesses would say that Truman made racist jokes in private, and according to his sister he was ?no more for nigger equality than the rest of us?.

  1. Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

    1. Attorney General (head of justice dept in fed.gov) Robert Kennedy enforced the supreme court rulings on desegregated interstate travel (demonstrates importance of federal intervention) However, 1. Nothing new? Eg - Tactic first used in 1947 (but not successful then)

  2. How far had equality for black Americans been achieved by 1968?

    Aaron in 1958 attempted to speed up the integration. This is quite a radical change and a big step toward equality for African Americans. By blacks attending white schools they would now have access to the best if not better recourses that would only advance their education eventually leading to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work