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Why was the Civil Rights Act passed by congress?

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Introduction

History Coursework-Why was the Civil Rights Act passed by congress? The Civil Rights movement started due to the illegal segregation of one race from another. This is because many people of African origin were stopped from voting, and this was against the 14th Amendment, which said that everybody had the right to vote. The reason why this was not enforced was essentially the revulsion of the southern states against centralisation and the control of the south by the north. The fear of a second civil war made sure that the North simply allowed the South to redefine the law so as to please the populous and so make segregation legal for businesses and government. This segregation appealed to many of the voters in the south (nearly all white), therefore the politicians were given an incentive of political survival by enforcing segregation, this also applied to businesses and their economic survival. In addition there were also random illegal, but rarely investigated, lynching by the populous. These were all changed by the civil rights act. There were several key factors, which made the government pass the civil rights act. The first being that the USA was currently engaged in the Cold War, therefore there were political incentives and pressures to get rid of segregation and suppression. ...read more.

Middle

This led to the boycotting of the bus service. This was widely viewed on television and so accelerated the change in the public's perception of the segregation started by the courts. The fact that the protests were non-violent had a three-fold effect; firstly it showed that they were protesting legally. It also showed the glaring contrast with the barbarities of the Klu Klux Klan, and so it increased the media coverage both nationally and internationally. This media coverage then forced the government to choose sides as the public and foreign countries put pressure on the government to do this. Therefore this again encouraged more segregated people to stand up for their rights, it also built up confidence and empowered many more people. It also showed that ordinary people could change the opinions of large segregationist companies. In addition it signalled the end of ignored segregation in the northern states, just as the court judgement signalled the end of legalised government segregation. Therefore as the government had made a decision it was then a matter of seeing how far the government would go to enforce these ideals, after all there was still the risk of civil war and most importantly the loss of all one parties seats in the southern states, and so politically destroy a party. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because essentially America is a democratic and capitalist society. Therefore the government and the businesses will do anything to please the population so as to survive politically or economically. This is because individuals alone can and did affect a large number of people but if there was no public support nothing would have changed. This is because a President cannot pass laws without the inner and outer houses accepting them, and so no one individual can pass a law, and as all the senators are elected then they would reflect the publics opinions. The court's decision on Linda Brown would suggest to me that individuals were changing their opinions. It led to the popularisation of the civil rights movement which led onto the bus boycott and the civil rights marches. These marches showed the public support as 30,000+ people marched showing the numbers. This then appealed to the public's morals through the media of television and so placed pressure on the Government. Firstly it would not want to loose a propaganda battle, but more importantly they would want political survival. That then led to the amendment being enforced and the states controlled. This is why I believe the change in the public's perception of the civil rights movement was the key reason. ...read more.

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