Asses the importance of the Federal Government in the Advancement of African-American Civil Rights 1865-1918

Topics: African American, Martin Luther King, Jr., Southern United States Pages: 4 (1459 words) Published: November 1, 2013

Assess the Importance of the Federal Government in the Advancement of African Civil Rights1865-1918. The Federal Government can be defined as a system of government in which powers and responsibilities are divided into national levels to address national and regional needs. The Federal Government can be split into three branches; President, Congress and Supreme Court and each section had a major role to place in the advancement of African American Civil Rights. However, one believes that the Federal Government weren't the only factor to advance African American Civil rights, I also consider that World War One and other inspiring African Americans such as Booker T Washington, Marcus Garvey and Du Bois played a role in the advancement of African American Civil Rights. But what exactly are Civil Rights? Well, it can be defined as the personal rights of a citizen categorised into political, social and economical rights. Personally, I think that the Federal Government had a major role in advancing the African American political civil rights from 1865-1918. This can firstly be demonstrated by the impeachment of President Johnson 1865 after the Republicans in Congress saw that Johnson was not going to advance black civil rights. This led to the 'Congressional Reconstruction' which led to the famous signing of the 15th Amendment in 1865. This amendment, guaranteed the right to vote to all male citizens irrespective of race, colour and previous conditions of servitude. However, although the amendment did advance the political civil rights of African Americans, it was very poorly worded and the Supreme Court exploited this through the Reese Decision in 1876. In effect, it opened the way for blacks to be excluded from the vote on grounds other than race for example poll tax, literacy tests and the grandfather clauses. This clearly demonstrates that although the Federal Government did enhance African American political rights, they also hindered them . While the...
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