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

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Introduction

Why did the desegregation of schools become a major problem in the USA in the 1950s? Segregation was a complex and deeply rooted problem in American which dates way back to the Civil War. There were a number of reasons why the desegregation of schools became a major problem in the 1950s. The long term causes can be traced back to when many black people were force to work as slaves in large plantations in the south. The blacks were always viewed as inferior and although victory of the north in the Civil War in 1865 abolished slavery, in theory giving black people full civil rights, this did not happen. Whites in the south showed strong resistance and since each state in the USA could have its own laws, the 'Jim Crow' laws were introduced. These legislations segregated black and white people in all aspects of social life. Black people were forced to sit on separate areas on buses and restaurants, use separate drinking fountains and not allowed to use some leisure facilities. ...read more.

Middle

They returned more confident and assertive and began to pressurize the government for more civil rights. This resulted in some reforms in voting and employment but many proposals were rejected by a white congress who feared the loss of support amongst white voters. Education remained segregated and became the major source of discontent amongst black Americans. White people were determined to keep the schools separate as they did not want black children to have a better education which would result in more blacks gaining better qualifications and therefore more competition. As black people became more and more aware of their situation they stepped up their campaign for integrated education. The short term causes began with desegregation of education finally being achieved in legislation in 1954 when the NAACP took the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education case to the Supreme Court. The NAACP argued that 7 year old Linda Brown should be sent to her nearest school rather than the all black one several miles away. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the NAACP and also stated that segregation in schools was unconstitutional. ...read more.

Conclusion

He ordered 1,000 paratroopers and 10,000 National Guardsmen to Little Rock and the black students were escorted to school protected by the federal troops. The widespread media coverage meant Little Rock was the centre of national attention for the duration of the crisis. This event made clear just how difficult it was for schools to integrate and made clear that the government could only pass laws on desegregation, but segregation remained within the classroom as these legislations could not be enforced and laws were insufficient to change the minds of the majority of the white population. Faubus was even voted one of the top ten most admired men in the US, which further highlights the extent of racism in society and the challenges facing desegregation. Therefore many events contributed to desegregation becoming a major problem. Education was the most contentious in the different areas of segregation as it was the key to changing the role of black people in society and the continuous build up of discontent led to the major crises in the 1950s. Desegregation was occurred but was by no means an easy process; instead it would be many years before it was really achieved both by law and within American society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chuer Zhang ...read more.

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