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

How far is it accurate to suggest that in 1945 the chances of improving the situation for black Americans were minimal?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far is it accurate to suggest that in 1945 the chances of improving the situation for black Americans were minimal? Personally, I do not believe that in 1945 the chances of improving the situation for black Americans were minimal, if by improving this also means by just a marginal amount. In many ways the situation in which the black Americans were in had been improving up to this point anyway, since slavery had been abolished and they had been granted more and more legal rights. Although black people, in many states, namely in the south-east, were still being treated in a full discriminatory fashion it is important to note that this was not entirely the case everywhere. Therefore it is already clear that the situation was being improved. In the south, before the war, although slavery had been abolished, the introduction of the 'Jim Crow' laws, between 1890 and 1910, along with the Plessy vs. Ferguson case in 1896, meant that there was to be legal segregation. So, although black people were no longer slaves they were still treated with disrespect, as they were separated and in some cases restricted from accessing certain places. This effected education, healthcare, transport and other public facilities. For example, on buses black people had to sit on one side while white people sat on the other. ...read more.

Middle

In spite of this, the situation still had the chance to improve further as the American Constitution enabled people to confront biased laws. This meant that black people would be able combat the segregation and unequal laws. During the war the mind-set of black Americans changed to such a degree that they felt the way in which they were being treated was unjust and change needed to happen. Before the war had begun black civilians from the north were seemingly oblivious to the harsh manner in which those who lived down south were being treated. More than 1.2 million black men signed up for the US army. They often trained in the southern states where segregation was law. Northern black people who were not used to being treated in this severe, unequal manner were outraged at the fact that they were fighting for a country that viewed them as an inferior race, second-class citizens. Not only were they segregated within training but also throughout the war effort. This meant that black people were transported separately to white people, were trained to a lesser degree, while also equipped with substandard weapons. Not only were they mistreated on the battlefield but often they weren't even given the opportunity to fight for their country, instead they did domestic jobs, cooking and cleaning. ...read more.

Conclusion

A. Philip Randolph also showed that if the government were to be pressurised in the future positive changes could be made. Politically, there was also a huge change during the war effort. In the south more and more black Americans were allowed to vote. The figure rose from being 2 per cent of the southern black population to 15 per cent. By 1945 around the north had also made a political advance to such a stage at which black people had an equal right to vote. Black Americans were also gaining positions in the government. In southern states the social conditions during the war remained the same. There was still widespread racism which resulted in the segregation law continuing to prevail. But, northern progression was such that many facilities and transportation systems were segregation free and there was more mixing of races. One problem that did seem to be rather prominent was that the fact that the black population as whole were poorer they were forced to live in the low class residential and undesirable areas. Overall the war was a huge turning point in the advancement of black rights. It created a reduction in racism and an increase in the number of black activists. Putting pressure on the government also showed that change could happen. So at the end of the war effort it was clear that people were now seeing more chances of improving the African-American situation. ...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. How far is it accurate to say that significant progress had been made in ...

    Other peaceful, grassroots protests followed, such as the Greensboro and Nashville sit-ins. Here, black students - along with white sympathisers - would defy segregation by sitting in white only areas, such as the lunch counter in the Greensboro Woolworth's department store.

  2. How far is it accurate to describe black Americans as second class citizens in ...

    This indicates that they were treated as second class citizens Segregated schools were particularly nefarious because the lack of education affected the work that African Americans could do. They were mostly limited to menial jobs, were paid less than white people and were more likely to be unemployed.

  1. Revision notes - the USA 1945 to 1980

    Possibly the biggest influence upon them was that they were fighting a racist dictator in Germany. When these soldiers returned home they found they were treated as second class citizens and could not vote. This was a big influence on the civil rights movement.

  2. Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

    to Selma (nb ? first march had resulted in ?Bloody Sunday & violence ? at Edmund Pettus Bridge on road out of Selma - marchers tear gassed & beaten by mounted police). (10) Chicago ? riots (eg ? Watts) alerted King to problems of poverty in inner city ghettos in North.

  1. Civil Rights background to 1950. Marcus garvey, A. Philip Randolph and "the Great ...

    Garvey doubted whether whites in the United States would ever agree to African Americans being treated as equals and argued for segregation rather than integration. Garvey suggested that African Americans should go and live in Africa. He wrote that he believed "in the principle of Europe for the Europeans, and

  2. To what extent were African Americans treated as second-class citizens in the states between ...

    In the North, conditions were mostly the same, and even if the individual could vote, it was not certain that sympathetic representatives would be elected. In 1945, only 2 African Americans were elected to congress, William Dawson and Adam Powell.

  1. How accurate is it to say that the status of black people in the ...

    Due to the war ?boom?, the number of unemployed black Americans fell from 937?00 in 1940 to 151?000 in 1945. This showed a huge decline in the unemployment of black Americans which also showed an improvement in their status as well.

  2. Were Black Americans considered second class citizens before the years 1945?

    It was known as the rules that society knew and wouldn?t break such as how one race would treat the other. And how blacks where stopped from voting and told they were only allowed if their grandfathers had voted previously.

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