Racial Equality And The Civil War Essay

Racial Equality And The Civil War Essay

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a. Derick Bell’s thesis that the progress that the progress that has been made toward racial equality has depended on the interest and aims of white society is correct. Starting from the 1890s Bells thesis is displayed through the ill-treatment of blacks in the South. The white interest during the 1890s was to suppress any opportunity for black people to take part in the political process. (Michael Klarman, Chapter 5: White Supremacy Ascendant p. 75) South Carolina was the only state, after the civil war not controlled by the democrats. (Id.) At this time, Republicans were pushing for the black vote and black people were able to vote and be elected into office. (Id.) As a result, the democrats in South Carolina launched a white supremacy campaign instructing other whites to kill or shoot black men on election day if they arrived at the polls. (Id.) Furthermore, as Congress lost interest in southern black people, black people in the sourth lost voting rights and their education system was dismantled. (Klarman, p. 78) Republicans stopped pushing for the black vote because they no longer needed it since they had control of the national government without much support from the south. (Klarman, p.81-82) This illustrates Bell’s thesis because the lack of interests from white society allowed this type of treatment to continue until the Jim Crow era was born.
b. Between the 1940s and 1950s school segregation was coming to an end in the north. After World War II and with the increased political influence from black people in the North after the Great Migration, racial equality and civil rights became more popular in the North. (Davison Douglass, Jim Crow Moves North p. 219) Furthermore whites in the North became more uneasy with overt and...


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... would prefer to shop at stores that had integrated countertops. (86) This shows how economics and business interacted with civil rights and demonstrates how a convergence of the two allowed for compromises and an ending of the protests in Charlotte. This same theme can be seen during the Montgomery bus boycott as well. When the white women in Montgomery needed their maids, they simply drove them instead of allowing them to take the bus. (Parting Waters 154) Although the women insisted that they did not support the boycott and only wanted access to their workers, the help the Montgomery bus boycott go long enough to hurt the bust companies economically. Once the bus companies felt economic loss, they were ready to discuss integration. Therefore, Mr. Bell’s thesis, that racial progress happens when it is linked with the aims and interest of white society is correct.

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