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In what way were the demands of the Irish civil rights movement similar to those of the American Black civil rights movement?

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Introduction

In what way were the demands of the Irish civil rights movement similar to those of the American Black civil rights movement? In many ways the demands of the Irish and American Civil Rights movements were both very similar. Formed in February 1967, one of the main aims of the Irish Civil Rights movement was to emulate its American counterpart, who had forced the US congress to pass Civil Rights Acts both in 1964 and 1965. Both movements gas educated middle class supporters who knew of their and were determined to improve opportunities and the way of life. Segregation and discrimination in society were the two things that they both wanted to end. They both also wanted to have equal and improved opportunities in areas like government, the law, education and employment. In February 1967, the NICRA was founded. This was not just formed by Catholics but by a wide range of organisations and individuals. It consisted of students, socialists and conservatives. The main aim of the NICRA was to create equal Civil Rights for everyone and to expose all situations of discrimination. Discrimination occurred in employment where the Protestants always got jobs over the Catholics. It also occurred in housing allocation as the majority of houses went to Protestants rather than Catholics. ...read more.

Middle

This wasn't fair as the majority of blacks didn't receive any education and couldn't even understand the test. This resulted in blacks remaining unemployed and not allowed to vote. The 'Jim Crow' laws were introduced. These meant that blacks and whites eating in the same restaurant were separated from each other and used separate toilets. Blacks and whites also started to go to different schools and by 1954, twenty states had separate schools for blacks and whites. The 'Separate but equal' ruling made by the Supreme Court in 1896 was never put in practice and as a result white schools always received the better education and therefore later job opportunities were better. Blacks never got respectable jobs in public offices e.g. town mayors and always ended up with the worst paid, unskilled jobs. Some of the aims of the Black Americans were similar to those of the NICRA, for example, by the 1960's blacks Americans began a campaign to end things like discrimination and segregation of blacks in employment, education and law etc. However, unlike the Irish who wanted to end discrimination of religion, the blacks wanted to expose racial discrimination. Although both movements were originally set out as being peaceful, this didn't always happen. In June 1968 the NICRA staged a sit-in called the Austin Currie sit-in to highlight discrimination in housing allocation. ...read more.

Conclusion

He established councils to grant houses on a 'needs basis', he appointed an ombudsman to investigate complaints against local authorities and universal sufferage would also be considered. For many members of the NICRA however, this was not enough and a more extreme group with demands for total equality were demanded. In January 1969 the 'People's Democracy' was formed. This led to violent clashes at these protests and saw an increase in violence and extremism against the slowness and inadequacy of the reforms. It also led to British Troops being sent to NI and increased IRA activity. The blacks were given more equality when the Civil Rights Bill was passed in 1964 and when the Voting Rights Bill was passed in 1965. However, like the situation in Northern Ireland, it was seen as 'too little, too late' and was followed by violent civil rights riots in Watts County, L.A. The 'Black Power' movement was then later introduced. This movement believed in using violence to achieve their aims. They not only wanted integration into the white mans world, but black power and dominance. In conclusion, there were many similarities between the two movements. They both used many of the same aims and methods. Northern Ireland wanted an end to discrimination in religion, while the US wanted to end discrimination and segregation in race. Both movements gained some success, but both felt that limited success called for more violent demands and methods later on in the history of their movements. ...read more.

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