Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement

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What were the short-term and long-term results and effects of Martin Luther King Jr.'s actions? 

The short-term results and effects of Martin Luther King Jr.'s actions included a heightened awareness of the civil rights struggle among the American people. Many of those who'd never previously paid attention to the struggle now sat up and noticed what was happening in the Deep South. The long-term results and effects of King's actions were the achievement of civil rights legislation.

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Prior to Martin Luther King Jr.'s arrival on the scene, the civil rights movement was largely ignored by most American people. But once this charismatic preacher with the powerful voice and an undoubted gift for oratory became more prominent, more Americans began to sit up and take notice of the civil rights movement, its struggles, and its goals.

King's message of peace was also influential as it made the civil rights movement much more palatable to those white people who would've been turned off by a more militant, confrontational approach. Thanks largely to King's leadership, the civil rights movement was able to put the issue of racial equality right at the top of the domestic political agenda.

In the long-term, King's actions helped to deliver the historical raft of civil rights legislation signed into law by President Johnson in the mid-1960s, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The passing of this legislation was a vindication of the tireless...

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