Assess the Importance of Congress in the Advancement of African American Civil Rights During the Period 1865-1941?

Topics: American Civil War, African American, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 2 (625 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Assess the importance of CONGRESS in the advancement of African American Civil rights during the period 1865-1941?

Congress were very important in the advancement of African-Americans however they were not the most important factor, the Supreme Court and the presidents were also important during the period of 1865- 1941.

Immediately after the civil war, and the emancipation proclamation black people had expected to gain rights. In 1866 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which stated that African- Americans were full citizens even if they had previously been slaves. This shows advancement on a massive scale because they now have citizenship, which is something that looked very unattainable prior to the Civil War, but now they have advanced and become American citizens. However on the other hand Congress also passed a Military Reconstruction Act in 1867, which declared that the South be divided into 5 regions and each region had a choice of who could vote, this included the African-Americans. In 1875 Congress also passed another civil rights act which made clear that blacks had equal rights in public places such, however this was not enforced and even though it shows that congress are willing to help the advancement of black people, they did not progress from it.

The Supreme Court had a role in the advancement of African- Americans, however it was not always a positive one. In 1873 there was the slaughterhouse case, which resulted in the Supreme Court saying that the rights of citizens should stay under federal control and that the fourteenth amendment only protected an individuals rights and not the individuals civil rights, this was under the discretion of the state. This was the start of negative results for black people as far as their civil rights were concerned. In 1896 the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson proclaimed that segregation was constitutional and in this instance Plessy was decided against eight to one. This shows massive...
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