The south was dependent on cotton plantations and depended solely on agriculture and therefore required cheap labour in the cotton plantations. This prompted slavery in the region as a source of cheap labour. On the other hand, the north depended on industries and turned cotton into finished goods. Urbanization was also rampant due to growth of cities and immigration and did not advocate for slavery. This often brought about conflicts between the north and south prompting the civil war in 1861-1865 (Jones, 1996).
The whites were considered a superior race compared to the others. Racial discrimination was therefore evident and continues to plague America in all aspects of life including social, political, economic and cultural areas. The American independence declared all humans as equal and has inalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and the constitution defended these rights. On this basis, civil rights movements were formed to fight for the rights of the minorities especially segregation and racial discrimination. The movement was particularly powerful in the south where minorities were often mistreated especially due to their conservatism nature and existence of Ku Klux Klan who were resistant to change. This paper discusses and analyzes civil rights movements operations and the varying ideas about how social, political, economic and cultural change could be achieved in the United States.
In order to understand the civil rights movements, it is essential to understand the circumstances surrounding the civil war as it formed the basis for the movements. The war had the worst casualties than all the other wars that had been fought in America including the world wars. According to McPherson (1990), America was experiencing rapid growth in population, territory size and economy as a whole.