What was the short term impact of the Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1957?

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What was the short term impact of the Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1975?

The Montgomery bus boycott which was organised by the newly founded Mississippi Improvement Association occurred between 1955 and 1956 and it can be seen that the boycott was a turning point for civil rights; it showed Alabama that African Americans were serious, and willing to go to great lengths for their cause. It has successfully lasted for 381 days, as the Supreme Court had come to the conclusion that the bus segregation was unconstitutional. The success clearly shows the significance of the event, as it would have encouraged the black community to stand up for their rights, however the economic result of the boycott and the backlash from people who had opposed desegregation, could show that the boycott was not in fact significant in the Civil Rights Movement.

Rosa Parks was a dignified and respected women, she was friendly to neighbours and believed strongly in equality. Her attitude and reputation already gave her the moral high ground against opponents. As E.D Nixon said ‘nobody could point dirt at her… when she did something people figured it was the right thing to do’ (1) the source could be seen biased as E.D Nixon was the president of the Alabama NAACP and Rosa Parks was part of this, however she was respected by many people so what he was saying can be trusted. The fact that Rosa Parks decided she did not want to give up her seat for a white man just goes to prove the wrongs in the system as she was a woman who knew her morals and knew right from wrong. So when she was subsequently arrested, her arrest and trial sparked outrage across the black community and there was a call for action, for something direct to be done. As even though she was sat in the ‘colored section’ not getting up for a white man was breaking the law, which shows the injustice of the system. Thus, the boycott was implemented. The boycott was different previous attempts at gaining civil rights, civil rights leaders and groups such as the NAACP had tried court action with moderate success and not enough progress.

When the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in February of 1956 challenging the local and state laws regarding bus segregation, which led to the success case as the federal district panel decreed that bus segregation was unconstitutional, and with the Supreme Court’s conformation of the case ‘Browder v. Gayle’ the bus boycott had ended the next day. The success of the boycott would have encouraged the black people to file cases of desegregation in other fields as it would have influenced them and given them confidence from their achievement. Jo Ann Robinson said after their success ‘we won self-respect, we had won a feeling that we had achieved, had accomplished’ (2) this shows just how much all their hard work meant to these people, and emphasises the passion Robinson had towards their cause, she would’ve represented the black professional women at that time and just proves that after fighting for thirteen months they were able to succeed in their first victory in civil right which would have allowed them to gain momentum, and carry on fighting until all their rights were achieved.

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The boycott was also successful due to the publicity it had received from well known papers as ‘the boycott made the front page of the New York Times and the cover of Time magazine’(3), making the event known all around America, which would have encouraged black Americans and given them hope that a change was to come.  Also, being on the front page of these predominately ‘white’ papers it means that many white Americans will read it and are able to sympathise with the black Americans and what they’re going though, as well as build support for them. In the first ...

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