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Civil Rights during Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson - Essay Example


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Civil Rights during Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson

Eisenhower was more “cautious” than Truman, who lost the re-election because of his strong advocacy for civil rights (Corse). Eisenhower did not think that legislation and court decisions could alter racial discrimination and prejudice, but he did order desegregation in public schools and the military (Corse). Southern politicians, nevertheless, doubted Eisenhower's cold feet on civil rights and took it as a stand for civil rights (Corse). In 1957, Governor Orville Faubus of Arkansas employed the National Guard to stop the desegregation of Little Rock Central High with the enrollment of nine Black students. Eisenhower placed 1000 paratroopers to protect the Little Rock Nine (Corse). Grassroots activism intensified during Eisenhower's administration, because of the slow improvement in civil rights (Corse). Some of the pivotal events are Rosa Parks' actions and her impact on the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the rising popularity of Martin Luther King, organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the lunch counter sit-ins in numerous cities in the 1940s and 1950s (Corse).
Kennedy tried to broaden the voting rights for Black people. Attorney General Robert Kennedy collaborated with SNCC and others to improve the registration of Black southern voters (Corse).Kennedy also selected numerous African Americans for Federal positions and made Thurgood Marshall a Federal judge. Activists felt that Kennedy lacked vigor and dedication to the civil rights movement, however, and the former continued direct actions, such as conducting freedom rides that stopped segregation in interstate commercial travel (Corse). on.
After the bloody attacks of the Birmingham police against non-violent protesters in 1963, Kennedy was forced to call for the drafting of the civil rights legislation (Corse). He died shortly, nevertheless, which transferred his civil rights obligations to Johnson. Johnson was able to secure legislation through Congress that presidents before him were not able to do. He was able to help pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, through votes from Northern Democrats and Republicans. This act made segregation in public places and transportation as illegal. It also made the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that will fight and deal with job discrimination. It further protected the voting rights of minorities and banned gender discrimination. During this time, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was also passed, which emphasized the right of minorities, especially Blacks to vote, and so this act also greatly increased the number of Black voters in the South. The Immigration Act of 1965 prevented discrimination in immigration, where preference for European immigrants was banned. Hence, civil rights movement was launched more actively during Truman's time and subsided somewhat during Eisenhower's and ...Show more
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This paper explores the civil rights actions and outcomes during the administrations of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. …
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