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What is the effect that the federal government had on the advancement of civil rights...

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heiress | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 14, 2011 at 1:10 PM via web

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What is the effect that the federal government had on the advancement of civil rights for African Americans from 1865-1992?

I'm doing an essay on which factors are the most important for the advancement of civil rights and I didn't know what to say about the federal government. Help please!

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM (Answer #1)

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The federal government was behind most of the advances in African American rights during the time you mention.  The government often needed to be pushed by activists, but it was much more in favor of black rights than the states were.

For example, it was the federal government that pushed for black rights during Reconstruction.  This was how the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments got passed, giving blacks the right to vote and the (official) right to be treated equally.

Later on, after WWII, the federal government needed to be pushed, but eventually helped with civil rights.  It was the federal government that forced Arkansas to allow the Little Rock Nine to integrate Central High.  It was the federal government that passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In short, though the federal government has not always been very eager to push black rights, it has done much more than state governments did.  All of the major black rights victories have come through the federal government.

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purplepandaress | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 19, 2011 at 9:28 PM (Answer #2)

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Look into the influences of presidents, like which ones where beneficial to the civil rights movement and which were a hinderance. Also remember the other branches of the federal government system like - congress and the supreme court. and how they were a hinderance or a benefit to the movement. e.g congress passed the civil rights act of 1875 that alowed blacks to enjoy the same public places as whites but supreme court declared that this was unconstitiutional, allowing the whole 'separate but equal' and jim crow era to kick off. btw when is this due? M x

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