To what extent was the NAACP responsible for the success of the civil rights campaign?

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To what extent was the NAACP responsible for the success of the civil rights campaign?

   Founded in 1909 by civil rights campaigners, the NAACP (National association for the advancement of colored people) challenged segregation of black Americans across three main fronts; court cases, non-violent protests and boycotts. The significance of the organization increased dramatically after the Second World War when its membership sharply rose due to an increase in black consciousness across America, therefore allowing the organization to further the role it played in the successes of the civil rights campaign.

   A vast majority of the NAACP’s successes during the campaign came from court cases, in no small part due to the role played by Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer and member of the organization whose use of such devices as psychologists reports and quoting from the 14th and 15th amendments to claim legislation as unconstitutional caused ruling favorable to the NAACP in numerous cases. Examples being ‘Smith v Allwright’ in 1945, which outlawed all-white democratic primary elections causing integration in politics if only reaching the primary elections. Also, Thurgood Marshall was the residing lawyer during the ‘Morgan v Virginia’ case in 1946, which after being taken to the Supreme court made segregation on all interstate buses illegal. These cases provided an excellent example of the impact that could be made by the NAACP using the legal system and legislation. Another major case across America in 1945 was ‘Brown v Board of Education’; this case headed once again by Thurgood Marshall was seen as the best course of action at this time at the US was in the middle of the cold war world. Meaning any direct action would most likely have caused them to be labeled communists, as they were going against the government legislation. Eventually, after being taken to the Supreme Court it was ruled that all schools for black and white students should be ‘separate but equal’.

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   Court cases were not the only means taken up by the NAACP to further the civil rights campaign, another notably method was the Montgomery bus boycott conducted between 1955-1956. In which black citizens boycotted the bus companies after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat, the boycott crippled bus companies as the majority of their passengers were black. Leading up to the full desegregation of the buses, which was more than had been originally expected from the protest as its original goal was to get more black bus drivers and have more respect on the ...

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