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Causes/Consequences Of The Montgomery Bus Boycott

1498 words - 6 pages

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a campaign that is officially considered to have lasted from December 1st 1955, and lasted for 381 days until December 20th 1956. The reason for the campaign was to achieve de-segregation on all Montgomery, Alabama busses, and then later all busses in America This essay will outline three causes, three consequences and other relevant information relating to this campaign.

The Jim Crowe laws were the initial reason that the busses were segregated. The Jim Crowe laws were a set of laws that affected America (particularly the South) from the late 1800’s and were not legally abolished until 1964. The laws enforced the idea that all black and white people were to ...view middle of the document...

When American soldiers (of all races) travelled to Europe to serve in World War Two, they were all treated in an exemplary manner and everybody was grateful for their service. However, when they came back home it went back to the routine of white people treated superior, and black people falling victim to the Jim Crowe Laws. This was made even more ironic by the fact that over in Europe, the battle had been for equality for people of Jewish descent, and now black people who had been fighting on behalf of America came back to their own country, and did not have equality.

The event that is considered to be the most influential leading up to the Montgomery Bus Boycott was Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, who refused to obey the orders a white bus driver to give up her seat to a white passenger once the white section of the bus was filled. As a result of this, Rosa was arrested and on the day she was set to appear in court, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) organized a bus boycott to support her and hopefully make the trial more prominent so it would attract media attention and support. The reason the NAACP was so committed to Park’s case was because the idea that black people had to sit at the back of the bus with inferior treatment was almost a representation of the entire idea of Jim Crowe laws, and that if they could achieve desegregation on all American public transport systems, not only would it be a lot more convenient for black people, it would open up the door for many more social justice movements. One important thing to remember when studying Rosa Parks case, was that she was not the first person to be arrested for refusing to give up their seat to a white person, nor was it her first time initiating protests like this. Around the same time as Rosa, a fifteen year old girl, Claudette Colvin had also refused to give up her seat on a bus in the same style as Rosa, but the NAACP decided to take on Rosa’s case as it would be taken more seriously than Claudette as she was pregnant out of wedlock, and had been convicted of assaulting a policeman so there was a chance the case would be completely discredited and show up the NAACP.

On the 1st December, 1955, by the end of Rosa’s day in court she had been fined $10 (equivalent to a fine of about $300NZ nowadays) and the busses were still segregated. This was disappointing, but untimely served the NAACP well as they then took the case to the Supreme Court (the nation-wide court), where the motion to desegregate all public transportation in America was fought and eventually won in the space of about a year. But in the leading up to this, the NAACP formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), the group who organized the boycott. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a movement that encouraged as many people as possible - black and white - to avoid using public transportation until it could be segregated. The protest can be defined as a non-violent...

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