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Thematic Essay

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Josh Salter 5/17/06 Thematic Essay Mrs. Vail Throughout the history of the United States, many reform movements have taken place, creating an everlasting effect on the nation. These movements have improved many aspects of American life; through actions taken by organizations, individuals, and the government. The Women's Suffrage movement and the Civil Rights movement of the 19th and 20th Centuries were two critical objectives that played key roles in the development of United States society. Individuals like Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, helped carry out the Women's Suffrage movement through productive actions and accomplishments for women. While individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, and organized actions like the Montgomery Bus Boycott; helped attain success for African Americans in American Society. During the 1800's, most rights, including voting rights, belonged to white males who owned property. Women had essentially no rights at all, going back to the Founding Fathers of the United States who felt that only property-owners would take this right of citizenship seriously. By the mid 1800's a certain individual in Lucretia Mott, stepped up to fight for Women's rights in many significant ways. ...read more.


It wasn't until 1920, which hard work and dedication for Women's rights leaders like Mott and Stanton paid off, when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed which provided women with the right to vote. After this, Women were finally liberated, and the right to vote was at last an opportunity. The determination and willpower of these Suffrage leaders produced much success that will last forever for all women in the United States. During the mid 1900's, another huge reform movement was carried out, known as the Civil Rights movement, in which certain African Americans fought hard to achieve the rights that other, white Americans, had occupied. During this time, African Americans were denied basic rights of citizenship based on the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. It all began after the Civil War, when the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments allowed blacks to obtain rights, however, the rights were abruptly rescinded after the Reconstruction era ended in 1876. In the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation was legal as long as the separate facilities were equal. ...read more.


King Jr. and fellow African Americans were taking place. The success of Dr. King Jr. was finally attained, as the government began to grant civil rights to African-Americans. The government proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 24th Amendment, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made it illegal for racial segregation (1964 Act), banned the poll tax (24th Amend.), and banned literacy tests for voting (1965 Act). Racial discrimination and the non-rights for African Americans finally came to an end. Without the occurrence of such reform movements like the Women's Suffrage movement and the Civil Rights movement, rights for certain people would not have been attained. With individuals like Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton leading the way, the rights for all women were achieved, through dedication and pure determination. Also, with hard work and the will power of a certain few in Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the rights for African Americans have also been achieved. Without these particular role models stepping up and taking charge, these movements may not have taken place, which would have been detrimental to the United States society forever. ...read more.

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