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

To what extent were 1880-1917 decades of disappointment for African Americans?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Matthew Daniels6WO224/09/12 To what extent were the years 1880 - 1917 'decades of disappointment' for African Americans? When Lincoln issued the Emancipation proclamation in 1863, African Americans believed they were on the road to equality and freedom, as they were now liberated and free of their slave owners. However, not even the African Americans themselves could have foreseen the challenges that would face them during the years up to 1917. Legislation change and the problems with legislation severely weakened the rights of black people; and the rise of white supremacy only added to the disappointment of the life as an African American. This is why many historians such as Vivienne Sanders have described the years between 1880-1917 as the ?decades of disappointments?, as she believes that, ?much of the promise of the 1860s was not fulfilled?. However, it could be argued that the emergence of key civil rights activists undoubtedly made these years prosperous for African Americans. Booker T. Washington and William Du Bois certainly put the argument of civil rights for African Americans firmly on the map, resulting in these years being encouraging for blacks instead of being disappointing. It could be argued that in fact the years of 1880-1917 were ones of disappointment for African Americans due to the problems with and the change in key pieces of civil rights legislation. ...read more.

Middle

The violent atrocities that it committed were unprecedented and were directed not only at black people, but also at anyone who supported them or furthered their course; consequently people were forced into a state of fear of the KKK, and so all support for civil rights for African Americans were quickly rescinded. Even when the KKK was outlawed, racist violence was still rampant, which is why these years were the decades of disappointments for African Americans. Many black people suffered or died as a result of lynching, which surprisingly the authorities did nothing about. In reference to Booker T. Washington who was an activist for black civil rights, Vivienne Sanders states that ?many whites resented and loathed him?, which supports this idea of white supremacy being clearly evident during this time period. It appeared that everybody was against African Americans, and nobody would do anything to help them. Discrimination towards them even got to a stage where merely whistling or looking at a white woman was sufficient to arouse the wrath of the white people. Even if the discrimination was blatant, many whites found ways to trick African Americans, which adds to this idea of these years being the decades of disappointments. ...read more.

Conclusion

blacks to do well in life and rise above the white supremacy that was present, as well as enabling discriminatory legislation to be removed, which improved the rights and freedoms of African Americans. In conclusion, I firmly believe that the years of 1880-1917 were decades of disappointment for African Americans. I believe this to be the case, because by 1917 the majority of African Americans endured poverty and discrimination as well as continually being exploited. Once more, although the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments remained intact, ?Jim Crow? laws in the south were upheld, even though the NAACP appealed against them being unconstitutional. The NAACP provided some change, but not enough to make the African American?s life not one of disappointment. They meant that civil rights now had organised pressure groups to ensure it became a political issue; but the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912 was a further setback for African Americans. Coming from the South, he supported segregation and removed African Americans from government positions. Therefore, the years of 1880-1917 were decades of disappointment for African Americans, because after the hope and promise that the 1860s provided (most notably the Emancipation Proclamation), there was no progress in civil rights for African Americans and the rise in white supremacy added to this disappointment. ...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. Peer reviewed

    Assess the view that the Supreme Court was the most important branch of federal ...

    4 star(s)

    a far more important role, despite the fact that their moves were being blocked by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court continued to have a negative effect upon the civil rights movement as the 19th century drew to a close.

  2. The Eisenhower years saw significant improvement for the African Americans

    A further area where there was improvement but limited was Eisenhower's Civil Rights Acts in 1957 and 1960. In order to win the black vote in the 1956 election his administration drew up a Civil Rights bill aimed at ensuring that all citizens could exercise the right to vote.

  1. Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

    Overview In 1965 in Selma (Alabama.) blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade.

  2. Martin Luther King. Martin was one of Americas greatest civil rights activists, shaping ...

    The beginnings of this feud could be traced back 400 years ago when the Triangular Slave Trade (trading of slaves for goods) occurred. Its name derived from the route ships involved would take. Slave ships would leave British ports with goods to trade with African slave traders for slaves.

  1. To What Extent Were The Activities Of the White Racist Groups, the Most Important ...

    By 1924 five million members and had risen dramatically since 1921 in which there were 100,000 members. This huge number only furthered their cause and leave African Americans with little power and were hugely discriminated against. In the 1950s and 1960s, Klan members began to resist the social change and

  2. Research on the major Civil rights events between 1963 to 1968

    The other Americans, who had seen the explosion, assumed that all the men had died. The navy held a memorial service for them. But after six more days, the men were finally saved after being spotted by scouts ? and the strapping young Lieutenant Kennedy went on to become the 35th President of the United States.

  1. Was Lincoln a genuine advocate for civil rights for African Americans?

    This means that Lincoln might be thought of as being a genuine advocate for civil rights for African Americans as he continually stated how he believed in equality. The fact that, even at the risk of losing votes from slave-owning people in Border States and pro-slavery democrats in the North,

  2. How did the southern states deny equality to African Americans even after Emancipation

    The amendment became practically ineffective as proven by the ?slaughter house? decision of 1873, which demonstrated that one?s civil rights may be protected in a national capacity, but this however did not constitute to the rights being protected by the state as state citizenship granted rights were different.

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