The Role of the Supreme Court, Government, Economics, and Protests in the Civil Rights Movement

Essay by diavola8University, Bachelor'sA, December 2002

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There were four different elements that contributed to the success of the Civil Rights Movement: the Supreme Court, the Government, the economic situation of the time, and the protests of the movement. The role, which the Supreme Court's played in the success of the civil rights movement, was essentially one of neutrality. The Supreme Court ordered the segregation of schools and other public facilities, known as the policy of separate but equal. But the Supreme Court, also, declared the separate but equal laws unconstitutional and ordered desegregation. The different parts of the United States government played different roles. John F Kennedy and the executive branch helped to protect the nonviolent protesters from violent acts against them as well as issuing executive orders, such as banning employment discrimination. Congress helped by passing laws in favor of the black, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one of the great victories in the Civil Rights movement.

The economics of the day placed many blacks in ghettos in the north, this situation allowed them to organize themselves to protest segregation. The protests of the movement showed the country how the black were treated and that all they wanted was to be treated fairly, the protests also allowed them to make themselves a nuisance for the police and government to deal with.

The Supreme Court made some of the major decisions that instituted segregation in the late 1800s and some of the major decisions that brought about integration in the 1950s. In 1896, with the court case of Plessy v Ferguson the Supreme court decided to segregate "intrastate railcars" between white and black (Constitutional). "This decision legitimized the segregation of American society under the 'Separate but Equal' doctrine" (Constitutional). Then in 1954 with the court case of Brown v Board of...