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The Role Of The Supreme Court, Government, Economics, And Protests In The Civil Rights Movement

1638 words - 7 pages

There were four different elements that contributed to the success of the Civil Rights Movement: the Supreme Court, the Government, the economic situation of the time, and the protests of the movement. The role, which the Supreme Court's played in the success of the civil rights movement, was essentially one of neutrality. The Supreme Court ordered the segregation of schools and other public facilities, known as the policy of separate but equal. But the Supreme Court, also, declared the separate but equal laws unconstitutional and ordered desegregation. The different parts of the United States government played different roles. John F Kennedy and the executive branch helped to protect the nonviolent protesters from violent acts against them as well as issuing executive orders, such as banning employment discrimination. Congress helped by passing laws in favor of the black, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the great victories in the Civil Rights movement. The economics of the day placed many blacks in ghettos in the north, this situation allowed them to organize themselves to protest segregation. The protests of the movement showed the country how the black were treated and that all they wanted was to be treated fairly, the protests also allowed them to make themselves a nuisance for the police and government to deal with.The Supreme Court made some of the major decisions that instituted segregation in the late 1800s and some of the major decisions that brought about integration in the 1950s. In 1896, with the court case of Plessy v Ferguson the Supreme court decided to segregate "intrastate railcars" between white and black (Constitutional). "This decision legitimized the segregation of American society under the 'Separate but Equal' doctrine" (Constitutional). Then in 1954 with the court case of Brown v Board of Education the Supreme Court decided that white and black children should not have to go to separate schools, thereby desegregating public schools in the United States (Legal). The decision in this case was what struck down the policy of separate but equal. Then between 1957 and 1965 the Supreme Court "...enacted four civil rights bills which finally granted a broad range of democratic political rights to blacks, and provided the mechanisms to enforce those rights" (Piven and Cloward 181). After 1940, the Supreme Court "...upheld the rights of blacks to eat in unsegregated dining cars on interstate carriers, to register to vote in southern white primaries, and to enroll in publicly supported institutions of higher education" (Piven and Cloward 207). Thus, the Supreme Court provided blacks with many new rights, even though it was the Supreme Court that instituted the separate but equal policy in the first place.Our government helped a large amount in the Civil Rights Movement, both presidents and congress contributed to the movement. Roosevelt helped blacks improve their rights, not as overtly as Kennedy did, but he made steps...

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