Presidents - what they did for the civil rights act and blacks.

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  • Presidents - what they did for the civil rights act and blacks.
    • Truman  1945 - 1953
      • September 1946, Truman established a liberal civil rights committee to investigate increasing violence against blacks.
      • 1948, Truman suddenly issued executive orders to end discrimination in the armed forces and guarantee fair employment in the civil service
      • Progress under Truman. Awareness of the need for greater equality had increased and there had been a few concrete advances such as the CGCC and decreased discrimination in federal employment and contracts.
      • Pressure on Truman
        • NAACP and CORE put pressure on Truman. CORE organised sit-ins and Freedom Riders such as the 1947 'Journey of Reconciliation' through boarder states, which tried to ensure the enforcement of the 1946 Supreme Court ruling against segregation on interstate buse transport.
        • NAACP  lawyers were working on 'separate but equal' in the law courts and gained some success
          • Supreem court made three civil rights decisions that set important precedents for future years. it held that
            • Segregation on railway dining cars was illegal. A black student could not be physically separated from white students in the UNI of Oklahoma  A separate black Texan law school was not equal to the University of Texas Law school to which the black petitioner had therefore to be admitted
              • PLESSY v. FERGUSON was thus almost overturned.
                • In the dying days of Truman, the administration intervened pro-Brown in BROWN v  BOE which proved vital in the supreme court reversal
    • Eisenhower 1953 - 1961
      • President Eisenhower called for a combination of publicity, persuasion and conscience to help end racial discrimination
        • When forced into action he could he helpful to blacks but for the most part he was far less inclined than Truman was to propel the USA towards racial equality.
      • Why was Eisenhower not helpful to blacks?
        • Eisenhower was born in an all white town in the south and spent much of his time in southern states and in the segregated armed forces
          • he shared the typical fears of miscegenation (the interbreeding of different races)
          • he feared the 'great emotional strains' which would arise from desegregating schools
          • As a republican, he was ideologically opposed to a large-scale federal intervention in any great issues
          • There were good political reasons for inactivity. his republican party had seen the damage inflicted on the Democrats by disagreements over civil rights.
      • BROWN ruling
        • Despite Eisenhower's opposition, Warren's supreme court struck a great blow against segregated schools with BROWN
        • Eisenhower refused to use federal power to enforce the BROWN decision, until forced by events at Little Rock
          • Eisenhower's public silence was widely interpreted as signifying his lack of support for BROWN
    • John F. Kennedy 1961 -1963
      • Black vote
        • Kennedy realized that the black vote was an important one, but that many black people were too scared to vote or didnt want to
        • Realizing the black vote was vital, he spent to much of the period around 1959/1960 trying to get his own way
      • JFK proposed the Civil rights bill
        • Civil rights activists felt that Kennedy was a great disappointment
      • JFK directly took on the civil rights issue and addressed the population for the first time about it after the events that happened at Birmingham Alabama
      • President Kennedy was assassinated during the time he was formulating the civil rights bill and so Lyndon Johnson was appointed
    • Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 - 1969
      • Decided to force through Kennedy's civil rights bill even though he was afraid of losing southern support
      • Johnson signed the civil rights bill in July 1964
        • It prohibited discrimination in public places, furthered school desegregation and established an Equal Employment Commission
      • Elementary and Secondary Education Act 1965  would help children out of ghettos.
        • Poorer states like Mississippi benefited greatly from the federal funding
        • His Higher Education Act 1965 was more successful. it gave significant aid to poor black colleges
      • The Voting Rights Act 1965
        • Johnson's Voting Rights Act disallowed literacy testes and 'constitutional interpretation tests' and established federal registars



A really well organised mindmap which organises civil rights developments between 1945-1968 by president. It covers key issues and legislation / court cases and uses colour coding well. Very user friendly with concise and accurate information.

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