civil rights in america

Essay by zameer97High School, 12th gradeA-, November 2014

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In the Period 1877-1917 To What Extent did the Federal Government block the Advancement of Civil Rights?

Defining Civil Rights as the freedom of all citizens to political, social and economic freedom and equality, in the period 1877-1917 the Federal Government blocked the advancement of civil rights to a great extent. The steps taken by the Supreme Court to class African Americans below White Americans in the political and social hierarchy had been show on many occasions such as the Supreme Court declaring the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional, "Plessy v Ferguson" (1896) and "Mississippi v Williams" (1898). This being said, in the later stages of this time period, the Federal Government did take some steps to try and improve civil rights for African Americans in political terms, as shown as the Grandfather Clause being declared unconstitutional in 1915. During this period in time, the Federal Government did not do much to help or hinder economic inequality.

By Far, the government blocked the advancement of social equality the most during this period. This is shown firstly in the Supreme Court ruling of 1883 declaring the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional. The civil rights act had forbidden discrimination in public places such as in hotels and on public transport. Declaring it unconstitutional was a huge hindrance to the advancement of Civil Rights as it legalised segregation. This decision alone authorised on a federal level unjust segregation and discrimination. Furthermore, it meant that segregationist practises such as "Jim Crow Cars" were okay.[1:]

The Federal Government blocking the advancement of social equality was shown again in "Plessy v Ferguson" (1896). The Federal Government chose to uphold the rule of "separate but equal" which was inherently racist. The case was simple. Homer Plessy, an Octoroon boarded a...