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A History Of Segregation In The United States History Essay

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Societies have always had different classes of economic status, political standing, and sometimes depending on the people's race. In the United States more than 200 years before the Civil War, The sense of superiority among some white people created the concept of segregation; the legal or social practice of separating people based upon their race or ethnicity. Although segregation was perceived to occur in the South, the unjust concept was found in every section of the United States at one time or another. Segregation was a major obstruction throughout the country during the 1800's and 1900's. Even so, the separation of races led to the significant Civil Rights movement, but before that, undesirably, a harsh actions of violence occurred.

After the civil war, there were no more slaves, and the situation has led the race viewed itself superior to formulate the concept of segregation. Later on, De jure segregation, or segregation by law, is when the local, state, or national laws necessitate racial separation, became widely used after the war. Although de jure segregation in the United States is mostly associated with the south, segregation were in everywhere in the country. According to Wexler Sanford, blacks in the South faced segregation or outright exclusion from schools, taverns, and other public places (42). In the south, after the civil war, legislatures, former confederates, passed laws known as the black codes, which intensely limited the rights of blacks and segregated them from whites. The codes varied slightly from state to another, but they all limited property owning and included vagrancy laws under which blacks could be forced to work for whites if they were considered unemployed (Sanford 43). For example, in 1857, the supreme court of the United States declared that blacks could never be citizens of the United States. At the time, Mississippi prohibited blacks from renting property in towns or cities and applied penalties for those blacks who did not sign labor contracts to work for whites. By the time the United States entered the World War I, the south was totally segregated society. Every public space (school, train, waiting room, water fountains, elevator, church, hospital...) was either for withes, blacks, but never for both. Segregation had gone to an irrational level when they had to have two Bibles to swear on in courtrooms, one for whites and other for blacks.

Even thought, all the segregation was applied on blacks, there were several attempts for blacks to protest against those discriminatory laws. However, there were many ways to stop blacks' movements. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a group founded in 1865 to 1866 a hate group organizations in the United States whose avowed purpose was to protect the rights of and further the interests of white Americans by violence and intimidation, and other organizations were founded and followed the same path of directing their violence toward blacks to keep their movements down. According to Sanford, during reconstruction in the south, the KKK, the knights of white Camellia, and other organizations murdered thousands of black landowners, politicians, community leaders, and even some whites who supported the racial equalities in order to prevent them from voting and participating in public life (121).In addition, lynching was one of the terrorist tactics used to control and threaten the blacks. During six years after 1884, white mobs lynched more than 2,000 blacks only in the south. They burned them alive, shot theme, or beat them to death. During the World War I, lynching decreased slightly, but many blacks were lynched for any violation of the code of southern race relations, such as, talking to a white woman, attempting to vote, or just seeming to make trouble.

The threat of violence against blacks who attempted challenge or even question the established laws, created a big competition for blacks to fight for their rights. Blacks fought in courtrooms, ballot box, and through organizations. One of the civil rights activists was William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, the first African American to receive a doctorial degree from Harvard University, he met with a number of black activists in Niagara Falls, Canada, in 1905 to plan strategies to fight racial equality. By 1909 they were called the Niagara Movement, which led later to find the NNACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Blacks held meetings everywhere. Frederick Douglas, a black abolitionist, gave speeches at large protest meetings, the largest one was at Lincoln Hall in Washington D.C. Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr., were also another important southern civil right leaders who frequently referenced as a human rights icons today. Before World War II, there were some valuable victories through the nation. Guinn v. the United States (1915), Buchanan v. Warley (1917), Hollins v. Oklahoma (1935), and Gains v. Canada (1937) were only a few, but a significant signs that increased the ambition for the change. During and after the World War 2, the challenges to segregation became more and more successful. There were many factors that contributed in the civil rights movement. The major one was the great migration in 1940s and 1950s of blacks from the South to the North and West, which dramatically increased the black urbanized population and gave enough voting power to elect public officials. In the North, where there was no barriers to voting, blacks helped elect and defeat those who supported or opposed civil rights advances. Therefore, the political landscape changed by the power of urban black voters, which was another factor that accelerated the pace of civil rights. The last major fact was the realization that racism could be a threat to the nation's democracy. The Holocaust and the murder of six million European Jews during World War II by the Nazi Germany, warned Americans to consider the legitimacy of racism in the United States. And thus, through the combined efforts of many individuals and organizations, the goal of civil rights to end legal discriminations had been achieved by the late 1960s.

Although segregation was perceived to occur in the South, the origins of the modern civil rights movement can be tracked back to the movement of those millions of African Americans to the North. By 1964, 1965, and 1968 the congress passed a new and strong civil right laws that ended the racial discrimination everywhere in the country. Since that time, blacks have began to make progress in the social life and hold sensitive positions. Best example, we are witnessing today, the arrival of the first black American to the presidency, Mr. Barack Obama.

Works cited

Wexler Sanford. "An Eyewitness History of the Civil Rights Movement". Checkmark Books.1999.

Microsoft. "Segregation in the United States", Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2009

2nd Draft History of Segregation in the United States

Societies have always had different classes of economic status and political standing. In the United States more than 200 years before the Civil War, the sense of superiority among some white people created the concept of segregation; the legal or social practice of separating people based upon their race or ethnicity. Although segregation was perceived to occur in the South, the unjust concept was found in every section of the United States at one time or another. In United States, De Jure Segregation was a major obstruction, while its protesters were faced a harsh violence actions before the Civil Rights law took place by the late 1960s to end legal discriminations.

De jure segregation, or segregation by law, is when the local, state, or national laws necessitate racial separation which became widely used after the war. Although de jure segregation in the United States is mostly associated with the south, segregation were in everywhere in the country. According to Wexler Sanford, blacks in the South faced segregation or outright exclusion from schools, taverns, and other public places (42). In the south, after the civil war, legislatures, former confederates, passed laws known as the black codes, which intensely limited the rights of blacks and segregated them from whites. The codes varied slightly from state to another, but they all limited property owning and included vagrancy laws under which blacks could be forced to work for whites if they were considered unemployed (Sanford 43). For example, in 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that blacks could never be citizens of the United States. At the time, Mississippi prohibited blacks from renting property in towns or cities and applied penalties for those blacks who did not sign labor contracts to work for whites. By the time the United States entered the World War I, the south was totally segregated society. Every public space (school, train, waiting room, water fountains, elevator, church, hospital...) was either for withes or blacks, but never for both. Segregation had gone to an irrational level when they had to have two Bibles to swear on in courtrooms, one for whites and other for blacks.

By Violence, Protesters against discrimination were faced. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a group founded in 1865 to 1866 a hate group organizations in the United States whose avowed purpose was to protect the rights of and further the interests of white Americans by violence and intimidation, and other organizations were founded and followed the same path of directing their violence toward blacks to keep their movements down. According to Sanford, during reconstruction in the south, the KKK, the knights of white Camellia, and other organizations murdered thousands of black landowners, politicians, community leaders, and even some whites who supported the racial equalities in order to prevent them from voting and participating in public life (121).In addition, lynching was one of the terrorist tactics used to control and threaten the blacks. During six years after 1884, white mobs lynched more than 2,000 blacks only in the south. They burned them alive, shot theme, or beat them to death. During the World War I, lynching decreased slightly, but many blacks were lynched for any violation of the code of southern race relations, such as, talking to a white woman, attempting to vote, or just seeming to make trouble.

Nevertheless, there were several attempts for blacks to protest against those discriminatory laws before it ended up on 1968 by the Civil Rights law. Blacks fought in courtrooms, ballot box, and through organizations. Black activists met in Niagara Falls, Canada, in 1905 to plan strategies to fight racial equality. By 1909 they were called the Niagara Movement, which led later to find the NNACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Blacks held meetings everywhere. Frederick Douglas, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr., were the most important southern civil right abolitionists who left their footprints on the human rights in United States. They were giving speeches at large protest meetings throughout the nation. As a result, before World War II, there were some valuable victories through the nation. Guinn v. the United States (1915), Buchanan v. Warley (1917), Hollins v. Oklahoma (1935), and Gains v. Canada (1937) were only a few, but a significant signs that increased the ambition for the change. During and after the World War 2, the challenges to segregation became more and more successful. Add to that, the great migration in 1940s and 1950s of blacks from the South to the North and West, which dramatically increased the black urbanized population and gave enough voting power to elect public officials. In the North, where there was no barriers to voting, blacks helped elect and defeat those who supported or opposed civil rights advances. Therefore, the political landscape changed by the power of urban black voters, which was another factor that accelerated the pace of civil rights. And thus, through the combined efforts of many individuals and organizations, the goal of civil rights to end legal discriminations had been achieved by the late 1960s.

By 1964, 1965, and 1968 the congress passed a new and strong civil right laws that ended the racial discrimination everywhere in the country. Since that time, blacks have begun to make progress in the social life and hold sensitive positions. Best example, we are witnessing today, the arrival of the first black American to the presidency, Mr. Barack Obama.


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