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Why did desegregation of schools become a major problem in the USA in the 1950s?

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Coursework 1 Why did desegregation of schools become a major problem in the USA in the 1950s? In the 1950s, the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation of schools in America was to become illegal because of the inequality of the facilities. Desegregation had to take place immediately, which meant that the white and black children had equal and fair rights in education. He process of desegregation failed and caused major problems throughout the 1950s. One of the Long-term reasons for the problems was the American Civil War from1860-65. Black children in Southern states had previously not attended school because they were slaves and did not own the rights to an education. President Lincoln was all for destroying slavery and for a time; southern blacks enjoyed their equality. They could do this because at the time the north ruled the southern states, but that soon changed. After 1865 however, power was back into the hands of the whites and they felt that he blacks freedom was a threat to whites. This led the white Americans in the southern states to introduce a chain of unfair laws called the "'Jim Crow Laws'. ...read more.


This decision may not have came about if Chief Justice Earl Warren had not of been appointed. This is the most important reason why desegregation became such a problem: It caused outrage, as southern politicians were not happy, they said that the rights for the states to govern their own affairs was being violated. Some states were very eager to get their own way and resorted to closing and reopening schools as 'Private' to accommodate for whites and even sackings were being dealt out to staff that attempted to promote desegregation. The Supreme Court decisions started off a chain of violence in the southern parts of America. The Ku Klux Klan, an organisation that targeted blacks using forceful violence and murderous techniques, greatly increased its members. The Klan did such things to scare blacks and to get them to continue sending their children to separate schools. Still unhappy about desegregation, a large group of whites caused trouble, which led to black children not being able to attend school without the help of state troopers. The federal government did nothing about these matters, until events in 1957 forced them to do so. ...read more.


As well as the attack on segregation in education, racial segregation became an increasing dilemma. Nevertheless, the impact of World War 2 increased the confidence of blacks determined to fight discrimination. In result of this, a serious of demonstrations was carried out against the 'Jim Crow Laws'. In Alabama, Martin Luther King first came to prominence with his policy of non-violent disobedience. After an important boycott of the buses in 1956, the Supreme Court announced bus passengers being segregated was unconstitutional. The 'non-violence' success was adopted by other states and in 1960; a group of black students started a sit-in movement. They sat at lunch tables reserved only for whites and this proved effective; leading to the desegregation of shops, restaurants and theatres. The 1950s in the USA were a turning point for the struggle of blacks against segregation and inequality. In conclusion to the major problem of desegregation the law changed and the government were made to accept and support it. The big fuss which was made about desegregating schools, led to separation in general, all in all making it a long-term reason why desegregation was a major problem in the 1950s. Gemma Whitehead 11HE ...read more.

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