To what extent was opposition from politicians responsible for the failures of the civil rights campaigns between 1945 -1955?
Between 1945 and 1955 politicians failed to help the civil rights campaigns giving African Americans equal rights. For instances while some politicians claimed to support the civil rights movement, they failed to actually implement any direct action towards making equal rights possible. Furthermore Southern politicians who were very pro segregation slowed down the process of civil rights campaigns being turned into law by congress. However Politicians weren’t always responsible for the failures of civil rights campaigns such as in Morgan V Virginia. While this case led to the banning of segregation on interstate busses, the de jure change didn’t always lead to a de facto change; therefore this type of segregation was still carried out in practise.
There were a few political factors responsible for the prevention of civil rights campaigns. The most obvious was the opposition from the south towards Truman’s attempts to give African Americans equal rights to white citizens. Southern democrats disliked Truman’s policies such as the formation of the NECP in 1941, therefore they decided to set up their own Dixiecrat party and pick their own democrat candidate Strom Thurman to go against Truman in the 1948 election. Despite this, Truman still won the election. This suggests that political opposition wasn’t necessarily the most significant reason for the civil rights campaigns failures as Truman showed that a candidate could support the civil rights movement and still be elected, regardless of southern opposition.
However despite the south not being able to stop Black Americans gaining Civil rights they were able to significantly slow down the process. After the 1954 Brown V Board of education case southern middle class citizens set up the White Citizens Councils which showed that the south would not accept desegregation. This was reflected in congress where southern representatives made it extremely difficult to pass laws which benefited African Americans. The southern opposition was the most important political factor responsible for civil rights failures as while the south was unable to stop the civil rights movement all together, it was able to make it extremely difficult for any change to occur. Moreover this meant that what changes towards equal rights that did make it through were usually not significant enough to deal with the vast inequality in America.