“The Fourteenth Amendment did not fully satisfy the Radical Republicans. It did not abolish existing state governments in the South and made no mention of the right to vote for blacks.”
However, it did manage to change and redefine the ideas of American citizenship.
The 15th amendment was then passed in 1870 as blacks were still being denied the right to vote. The amendment stated;
“ Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, colour, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Therefore, there should have been no reasoning as to why black people were unable to vote.
...rejoice that I have lived to see this day, when the coloured people of this favoured land, by law, have equal, privileges with the most favoured.
When the 15th Amendment passed on 30 March 1870 Thomas Garrett
However this was not the case. Opposition looked to take advantage of the loopholes. Blacks in the South found themselves being denied the vote due to literacy tests, property qualifications and grandfather clauses. These were particularly effective as no slaves grandfather had previously been granted the vote.
“but most of all was the way in which the Ku Klux Klan and other similar extralegal bodies were by violence and intimidation, preventing negroes from voting”
Blacks were simply too scared to vote, particularly in the South. Therefore, the amendments highlight that progression was being achieved but at a very slow pace and there were numerous obstacles that were holding back the advancement of the Civil Rights movement.
The Jim Crow Laws were created in 1877. The laws essentially denied blacks their civil rights and created a racial atmosphere and unfair equality system across America. Blacks were segregated from whites, including public schools; restaurants; restrooms; public transport and even the military. In 1892 Homer Plessy was arrested as he paid for a ticket specifically for a white compartment of a train, he then refused to leave when asked. In the state court he claimed on the grounds of discrimination, yet the court ruled that the laws of segregation were “legal and justifiable”. The case was appealed and later brought to the US Supreme Court in 1896, a similar outcome was reached. The decision was ruled on the idea of “separate but equal” thus justifying the basis of the Jim Crow Laws. This shows that there has been little advancement and the Civil Rights movement had taken a backwards step.
Alex Mcbride would appear to agree with this statement.
Until the mid-twentieth century, Plessy v. Ferguson gave a "constitutional nod" to racial segregation in public places, foreclosing legal challenges against increasingly-segregated institutions throughout the South. The railcars in Plessy notwithstanding, the black facilities in these institutions were decidedly inferior to white ones, creating a kind of racial caste society.
During this time there were also many influential figures who had a great impact on the changing attitudes of society, as always these people faced great opposition and adversity.
Booker T Washington was one of these figures, best described as an accommodationist. He was born into a slave family in 1856 but was schooled at Hampton thus receiving a good standard of education. He committed his life to education particularly the idea of vocational education; following the philosophy of “train to trade”. He felt that the best opportunities for blacks to work, were in industrial jobs.
Washington became a successful teacher and was appointed the head of an institute for the higher education of blacks Tuskegee, Alabama. His reputation rapidly grew; “by 1895 he was recognised as Americas leading spokesman for black people and their concerns” Vivienne Sanders.
He inspired many black people to seek education and supported many black enterprises. Washington’s “Atlanta compromise” also gained supported from some blacks as he accepted social segregation thus appealing to those who wanted nothing to do with whites. However some felt that slow progress was being made particularly the blacks in the North.
Furthermore, he became Presidential advisor for many Presidents. Roosevelt invited Washington to dine at the White House thus becoming the first black to do so. On the other hand, in the North many believed he did more harm than good. One journalist called him “the greatest white mans nigger in the world”.
“ Washington was a sell-out. This view holds that W.E.B. DuBois is a much greater role model than Washington because he urged organizing for fight for equal political, social, and economic rights. Washington knelt before the white man and accepted whatever crumbs the master threw from the table and told his people to do the same.”
"The white race cannot survive without dairy products."--Herbert Hoover
Here's what a star student thought of this essay
Quality of writing
The major problem with the quality of this essay's writing is how they quote the sources. Firstly, writing down exactly where you found the source should go at the end of the essay in a bibliography rather than in the essay itself, as it makes the essay look cluttered. However, it is ok to quote and name a historian in the essay itself, as showing you are aware of what other people have argued reflects a sophisticated understanding. So, this student should not have written "Source: Wikipedia" in the essay itself, but it is good that they used "Alex McBride would appear to agree...". (It is not advisable to use Wikipedia because it can be updated by anyone - if using Wikipedia always Google information you find on there to find more reputable websites or ebooks to cite that carry it, and if you can't find any, chances are it's not 100% accurate.) Secondly, instead of "Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University" the student should just say "Foner argued" because the details of where he works adds nothing to an essay that needs historical knowledge, analysis and judgment of interpretations. Thirdly, it always looks impressive to write the sources into your sentence then re-word some of what they say, because it shows you can combine your analysis with other people's interpretations. For example, in the second paragraph, the student could have said: Foner argued that it did not "fully satisfy the Radical Republicans" because it did not address the suffrage issue. The spelling, grammar and punctuation are good but more care needs to be taken with apostrophes - in "no slaves grandfather" slaves needs an apostrophe. The structure is weak as paragraphs are not used well, which makes the student's knowledge look disorganised and probably disorientated the student while they were writing it. On the whole the essay has an appropriate style, and this fluency shows the student understands their ideas, but some sentences - such as "Opposition looked to take advantage of the loopholes" - sound informal because they are so short, which isn't appropriate for an academic work because it is dealing with a serious topic. The essay benefits from using words such as "however", as this is an easy way for them to demonstrate they understand alternative interpretations - something that is crucial to access high marks. It is a good idea to learn a list of these words and phrases (others include "on the other hand" and "alternatively") as it will not only help you to bring in the alternative interpretations, but if you know more than one it will make your essay less repetitive and easier for the examiner to read.
Level of analysis
The student has a good understanding of the alternative interpretations regarding the civil rights movement, which shows they can think outside the box by not just using one simplistic explanation of what happened. The student uses a wide range of sources, which is good as it proves they are aware of the alternative interpretations (but see section 3 on the essay's problems with referring to them). The student uses precise evidence, but it is sometimes too precise: in the first paragraph, it is not necessary to name all of the five border states because it takes up too much time/too many words - it is history not geography. It would be better to simply say "in the five border states such as Delaware" and then move directly into the analysis, as this way you are using your knowledge as well as saving time/space to analyse it as well. A better use of evidence comes in the first sentence of the second paragraph, when the name of the amendment and the year is used. No conclusion has been reached at all, which is bad because a conclusion is an ideal opportunity to display the advantages and disadvantages of each interpretation, which proves that you understand them. Always allow time in an exam (or word count space in coursework) for a conclusion even if you have to miss out the last sentence of the rest of your essay, because the highest marks are only achieved if you write one. There is also no introduction, and while this is not as necessary as a conclusion, it is useful to write one as it gives you a structure to work with, and if you're pressed for time it can double up as a plan.
Response to question
The student generally has a good understanding of the question and this leads to some relevant analysis of interpretations (see section 2), but there is little mention of the civil rights movement as a collective body. References to Booker T. Washington and so on are good but they come right at the end of the essay. It would make the essay more explicitly related to the idea of the civil rights movement if these topics were dealt with first, because you absolutely have to respond to the question. Examiner's reports in essay-writing subjects sometimes say that it is not allowed to subvert the terms of the question by simply saying no and discussing whatever factors you like: it is best to address the terms of the question first to leave the examiner in no doubt.