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

Civil Rights-Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping Blacks gain mare civil rights in the 1960s? Explain your answer.

Extracts from this document...


Civil Rights-Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping Blacks gain mare civil rights in the 1960s? Explain your answer. Civil rights are the rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination. They were important because they gave people the right to legal, social and economic equality, especially Black Americans wanted them because having them meant discrimination against them would end. In the 1960s, Blacks began to gain more civil rights. This was due to the help of Marin Luther King and other important factors. The Civil Rights Movement was at a peak from 1955-1965. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, guaranteeing basic civil rights for all Americans, regardless of race, after nearly a decade of non-violent protests and marches, ranging from the 1955-1956 Montgomery bus boycott to the student-led sit-ins of the 1960s to the huge March on Washington in 1963. However it is unclear whether Martin Luther King was the most important factor in the fight for Blacks to gain more civil rights. To gain a clearer insight and to decide, it is better to compare his actions and movements with areas where he was not involved. ...read more.


would not fight to get his way. He believed that the only way to get a lot of people to listen was to have them see he was peaceful. Martin Luther King Jr. insisted that the march on Washington was for jobs, as well as for freedom. King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham. He wrote Letter From Birmingham City Jail, arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. Martin Luther King Jr., in his letter, wrote that the greatest stumbling block to justice for black Americans was "not the White citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; this was the Martin Luther King Jr. who declared that "we are engaged in a social revolution . . . that seeks to bring about . . . basic structural changes in the architecture of American society," recognizing that America was also engaged in a class struggle between the haves and the have-nots. However, events like the Brown vs. Topeka case and the Little Rock incidents took place without King or the SCLC. In 1960, the civil rights movements exploded into life and King had little to do with it. It began in Greensboro with the first sit-in against the Jim Crow Laws. It is later that a Greensboro SCLC member contacted King about the sit-ins. ...read more.


He helped to change America. He brought to the world's attention how unfairly blacks were treated. This led to new laws that ended the practice of keeping people of different backgrounds apart, making life fairer for everyone. Martin Luther King Jr. lived on a tightrope, embodying the tension between working within the existing system and its ground-rules, and seeking to transform that system according to a different set of values and priorities. From the day the NAACP was founded, the civil rights movement in America has had to walk a tightrope. On the one hand, it has sought justice and equality within the social, political and economic system that exists in our society. On the other, it has worked heroically to change the nature and structure of that system to make more possible the realization of freedom. He worked for equality for all people. His rights were not equal when he was growing up. He felt it was his job to make the world an equal place for all people. However he needed the help of others to make these changes occur. He used his own ideas and the ideas of others to lead movements that were usually successful. His strong leadership and unprecedented power of speech gave people the faith and courage to keep working peacefully even when others did not His assassination was claimed to have stirred the conscience of whit America more than his life. Without King's determination, both the political leaders will have done nothing for the blacks but he could not have succeeded on his own. ?? ?? ?? ?? Civil Rights Coursework ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 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 GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping ...

    4 star(s)

    The huge numbers he got through to added great momentum to the civil rights movement. In 1963, Martin Luther King was arrested and wrote a letter from his jail in Alabama which became one of the greatest symbols of the civil rights movement.

  2. Discuss the different methods used by Malcolm X and Martin Luther king Jr in ...

    It would take time, but he was looking to the future, and the long-term effects of his actions and the civil rights movement. Malcolm X had followed the teachings of Elijah Mohammed and the Muslim religion in later life. It was during his time in prison, where going in, he

  1. How successful was the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

    of the civil rights movement and demonstrates how the civil rights movement, led by non-violent organizations like SCLC, was becoming more organized, professional, and efficient, which was very successful.

  2. Political Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X - a comparison.

    He was an eloquent, charismatic preacher and by quoting the holy Bible he also drew faithful Christians into the Nation of Islam. His opponents feared him, because his speeches represented honesty, candor and sincerity. Soon Malcolm recognized the differences between himself and Elijah Mahammad.

  1. What was the contribution of Martin Luther King to the civil rights movement?

    For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.'

  2. Why did a campaign for civil rights emerge in the 1950s? The civil rights ...

    Arguably, it was this boycott which provided a decisive shift in the power equation between whites and blacks. Indeed Morris argues that the adoption of non-violent direct action 'robbed the white power structure of its ability to openly crush the civil rights movement by violent means' (Morris, 1999, p.517)

  1. Do you agree that Martin Luther King was the most important factor in helping ...

    On November 13, 1956 a decision by the Supreme Court forced all buses in Montgomery to desegregate. The encouragement of MLK to the black people of Montgomery shows that he was a major reason for blacks gaining more civil rights in America.

  2. The importance of Lyndon Johnson in bringing about Civil Rights.

    He won a Nobel peace prize for his non-violent approach towards gaining civil rights. Most famous for his ?I have a dream? speech at the Washington memorial in 1963, King?s name is nearly synonymous with civil rights. King?s most notable achievements include: The Montgomery bus boycott; On December 1st, 1955,

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