• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Who or what was responsible for the creation of a divided, racist & segregated society in the period 1877-1918?

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Who or what was responsible for the creation of a divided, racist & segregated society in the period 1877-1918? ________________ There are many views on who or what was responsible for the racial inequality in the United States during 1877 and 1918. Factors such as the role of the federal government, the individual states, the actions of white extremists, plus others, all had their separate impacts upon the status of Afro-Americans throughout America, however, which one was the most important? Firstly, the role played by the federal government; most importantly the five Presidents that were in office during the period. There appears to be a general trend amongst Cleveland, McKinley, T. Roosevelt and Taft, that although they may have positive ideas to improving the lives of Afro-Americans, they either proved ineffective or weren?t implemented to enough extent. Grover Cleveland failed to demonstrate any sympathy for African-Americans and did nothing to help those members of that community who were oppressed in Southern states. McKinley?s administration achieved little to alleviate the backwards situation of black Americans because, according to historian Gerald Bahles, McKinley was "unwilling to alienate the white South." However, McKinley did appoint thirty African-Americans to diplomatic and record office positions, which shows that maybe the situation of blacks wasn?t as bad as portrayed. ...read more.


In 1896 there were 130,000 black voters, but by 1900 there were only 5300, indicating how the states were responsible for the racist feelings in the USA. Not only that, there was unofficial segregation in the northern cities in housing jobs and schooling which shows how the individual states just simply didn?t want Afro-Americans there despite welcoming millions of other immigrants from all over the world. This view is supported by Thurgood Marshall, ?The United States has been called the melting pot of the world. But it seems to me that the coloured man either missed getting into the pot or he got melted down.? The Supreme Court was also responsible for the social problems, throughout the period they upheld regulations and overturned many Afro-American appeals. In the ?Plessy v Ferguson? case of 1896, Plessy challenged the legality of Louisiana railroad company?s separate cars; the Court declared that Louisiana had not violated the 14th Amendment. The 1899 ?Cumming v Board of Education? case where the Court extended the ?separate but equal? principle to schools. Furthermore the 1898 ?Mississippi v Williams? case where the Supreme Court upheld new voting regulations. All these cases clearly show how the Supreme Court has no interest in working towards equal rights despite clear discrimination and prejudice, illustrating how the Supreme Court were the most important factor behind the segregation in American society 1877-1918. ...read more.


using his political contacts to derail racist legislation.? This statement by Harlan counters Randolph?s view and suggests that blacks were not responsible for their unequal treatment. Mark Meigs argues that World War One was also a factor in the social problems for blacks in his book Optimism at Armageddon. ?In almost every sense, however, Afro Americans were denied the ?fair treatment and recompense accorded other soldiers?.? Meigs argument is supported by the fact that of the 400,000 black men in uniform, only a tenth were ever actually designated as combat troops. Furthermore, despite tremendous bravery and an unbelievable military record no Afro-American soldier received any American military decoration even though the Harlem Hellfighters unit were awarded the French Regimental Croix de Guerre and 171 received separate decoration, including Henry Johnson, who became well known for his heroics. In conclusion, I believe that the lack of action from the Presidents was the main cause for a racist and segregated society in America, 1877-1918. This is because the obvious absence of interest by Cleveland, McKinley, T.Roosevelt and Taft sends a clear message to other Americans, that if the leader of the greatest nation in the world isn?t interested in civil rights for blacks, then why should they be, evidently causing the rift in society to form leaving Afro-Americans with no equality, little freedom and almost no hope. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the significance of the role of individuals in reducing racial discrimination in the ...

    5 star(s)

    Eisenhower had the first real involvement in the movement when he sent federal troops for assistance in Little Rock, and the government enforced the Supreme Court ruling of the Brown case in the town. Kennedy had planned to enforce a Civil Rights Bill, although this was later enforced via Johnson

  2. Peer reviewed

    Assess the view that the Supreme Court was the most important branch of federal ...

    4 star(s)

    and set up a committee with the aim of monitoring discrimination within the federal government offices. For this last action alone, Roosevelt deserves to be remembered as an example of the President being able to help African Americans to gain their civil rights.

  1. How Far Do You Agree That The Impact Of World War 2 Was The ...

    Many were also denied the right to fight and were employed as cooks and cleaners, black soldiers who did make it to the front line were often more poorly trained and equipped. This lack of commitment to legislation led to a growing white opposition within government.

  2. To what extent was Marcus Garvey the most significant African-American civil rights leader in ...

    However, if the support for the NAACP was true for Du Bois too, then his support was the most widespread and significant. Legal changes brought about during this period are also a good indicator of a leader significance achieved, as they are lasting changes.

  1. To What Extent Were The Activities Of the White Racist Groups, the Most Important ...

    advances for African American children, this was a factor which state government had control over, and by not taking action to ensure equal education for African Americans, the State Government was preventing any sort of economic development of blacks and therefore leaving them in the stereotype created of them.

  2. Civil Rights background to 1950. Marcus garvey, A. Philip Randolph and "the Great ...

    Garvey doubted whether whites in the United States would ever agree to African Americans being treated as equals and argued for segregation rather than integration. Garvey suggested that African Americans should go and live in Africa. He wrote that he believed "in the principle of Europe for the Europeans, and

  1. Research on the major Civil rights events between 1963 to 1968

    This involved the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Party (MFDP). Over 80,000 people joined the party and 68 delegates, led by Fannie Lou Hamer, attended the Democratic Party Convention in Atlantic City and challenged the attendance of the all-white Mississippi representation.

  2. Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

    Overview In Greensboro (North .Carolina.) four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work