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  • How far were the forces opposed to civil rights responsible for the failures of the civil rights movement in the 1960's?
    • Responsible
      • Most southern schools were still segregated as late as 1968. This was because of the determination of southern resistance.
      • The civil rights- or Fair Housing- Bill of 1968 was diluted  by Congress so that it couldn't be enforced effectively.
      • White sympathy was in decline in 1965 after a combination of riots, Black power, the cost of relieving black power and the opinion that civil rights were already achieved.
      • Kennedy was hesitant to fully support civil rights as he knew most (60%) Americans disapproved of cases like the Freedom Riders in 1961. He would lose support.
      • The KKK opposed civil rights openly, especially in attacking Freedom Riders, bombing Church Street Baptist Church in Birmingham '63 and murdering 3 CR activists in Mississippi '64
      • Mayor Daley divided the black community and appeared to support civil rights whilst he obstructed their progress to avoid overt police violence. He outwitted MLK along with Pritchett.
      • Sheriffs in the south- such as Pritchett in Albany, Connor in Birmingham and Clark- attempted to obstruct CR campaigns.
      • Johnson also stopped his support of the CRM when MLK openly criticized the Vietnam War.
    • Not responsible
      • The growing violence and extremism of the Nation of Islam, Black Power and the Black Panthers provoked a decline in white support for CR.
      • Part of MLK's tactic was to provoke violence from the opposition. Therefore, the extremists worked to MLK's advantage. The media picked up the violence and led to the CRA of 1964 and the VRA in 1965.
      • Riots from Watts (1965) onwards led to a decrease in white support for the movement.
      • The situation in Chicago was misjudged by the SCLC. They  were out of touch with the black youths of the northern ghettos, being a southern church based organisation.
      • MLK made mistakes. He was outwitted by clever opponents like Pritchett and Daley. He lost Johnsons support after coming out about his opinions on the Vietnam War.


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