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To What Extent Was the Federal Government Responsible for Improving the Status of African Americans in the United States in the Years 1945-64? (30marks)

In: Historical Events

Submitted By MDelgado
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To an extent the Federal Government was responsible for the change of status of the African Americans in the period 1955-63, but there were other factors, such as civil rights groups and important figures such as Martin Luther King, which contributed to this change, and therefore it would be wrong to say that the Federal Government was the main reason behind the change.

To a small extent the Federal Government’s actions did bring about a change in the status of African Americans as it provided legalisations being passed which in turn meant that they did want equality in America. The first president, which started the transformation of African Americans status in society, was President Truman. He wrote a report known as ‘To Secure these Rights’, which highlighted the problems Africans Americans were facing, and it also attracted publicity. Also Truman appointed William Hastie as the first black federal, which obviously showed a change in their status. Not only did their status improve but it also gave confidence to African Americans and showed that there were opportunities available for them. However, this didn’t bring any direct de jure change and so therefore wasn’t effective in the long term. Moreover, despite Truman stating solutions to all the problems he did very little in practice and his ideas were seen as too radical and wasn’t supported Congress.

In the years 1955-1964, many civil rights leaders began to become more known, and took direct action in order to bring about change for the African Americans. One significant figure during this time was Martin Luther King, who was the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) and was also an active member of the NCAA. His most successful protest was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, and it was also the first peaceful protest, which actually brought about de facto change. The African Americans…...

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