Federal Legislation And Court Decisions Aided And Encouraged The Civil Rights Movement

1868 Words Feb 10th, 2016 8 Pages
Federal legislation and court decisions aided and encouraged the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Racial turmoil was building in the early 20th century, illustrated clearly by racial riots nationwide. The Civil Rights Movement was sparked by the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. Deeming the decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson unconstitutional, “separate but equal” was no longer allowed, and a foreseeable end to the harsh years of segregation became plausible. This decision caused a societal upheaval reminiscent of the years following the Civil War. The growth of the Civil Rights Movement correlated with the demand for federal legislation to protect and enforce the rights of African Americans. The first obstacle tackled by governmental legislation was segregation. The verdict of Brown vs. Board of Education led to the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, aimed at destroying all segregation based on race. The act became the first strong civil rights bill passed since the Reconstruction time period ("Civil Rights Act"). The next obstacle was enfranchisement. Election officials had, for nearly a century, denied African Americans the right to vote through devious methods such as forced literacy tests, to which failure was inevitable as a result of oppression and poverty, and difficult “prerequisites”, including the recitation of the entire Constitution, which was enforced entirely based on race, lest few whites would have been permitted to…

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