Civil Rights Act 1964

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Why was the civil Rights Act of 1964 passed?

The most important factor that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the March on Washington, which showed the strength of support both from the media and white Americans. Although this campaign was the most significant, the other factors and their significance cannot be overlooked as it was a combination of all factors that led to this historic legislation.

The March on Washington was a significant factor in the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The 1963 March on Washington drew a crowd of over 250,000people and it showed the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The significance of the March is that it was the largest civil rights rally up to that date in the United States; it was an unprecedented integrated campaign which demanded that the government enforce the laws equally to protect all its citizens regardless of race or colour. As a result of the March King and the others met with President John F. Kennedy at the White House, which allowed them to tell the president their views and speak privately with him on the problem of segregation. This event was described as a “catalyst for Change”, as Kennedy could no longer ignore the movement and the support of the movement. It showed the unity of the Civil Rights groups and their power within society but it also showed the strength of White support that was growing within America and internationally also as the media picked up on the dignity of which the Black Protestors acted with, whilst faced with the violence of the white extremists. This links in with the factor of Media attention which was also significant in the passing of this act.

The Media played a huge part in the civil rights movement. It showed people all over the world how African Americans were being treated by white extremists such as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). The March on Washington was one of the rare civil rights events that affected the people who watched it. The extensive media that...
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