The Civil Rights Movement Essay

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The first signs of the forthcoming civil rights movement can be traced back to the beginning of World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 which banned discriminatory employment policies in defense-related industries contracted by the federal government.


International situation in the late 1950s - early 1960s turned domestic discrimination into literally vital issue that might affect the future of the whole world. World War II triggered the anti-colonial movement in Asia and Africa, and the balance of powers in the world - given approximate parity between the communist and capitalist blocks - depended upon what form of political establishment those new countries would choose. And again, in the 1950s several politicians tried to draw attention of the federal government to the link between discriminatory domestic policies of racial segregation and failure of the American efforts to extend political influence over new Asian and African states. In 1952, Chester Bowles, U.S. Ambassador to India, pronounced a speech at Yale University in which he clearly specified the causes of repeated failures those regions: "A year, or even a week in Asia is enough to convince any perceptive American that the colored peoples of Asia and Africa, who total two-thirds of the world's population, seldom think about the United States without considering the limitations under which our 13 million Negroes are living" (Dudziak , 2000: 77).
Being put on the verge of loosing its international prestige the United States was forced to take serious efforts to improve the situation. ...
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