How Far Did Us Presidents Hinder Rather Than Help the Development of African American Civil Rights in the Period from 1865-1941?

Topics: American Civil War, Southern United States, African American Pages: 4 (1634 words) Published: January 5, 2011
How far did US presidents hinder rather than help the development of African American civil rights in the period from 1865-1941? During the period 1865 to 1941, there were as many as 18 presidents in office and in one way or another, they would’ve had to deal with the ongoing issue of black civil rights, whether that be improving them or reversing them. 1865 was the year of the end of the civil war, which has been a war over the question of whether slavery should be allowed. The South was defending the right to keep slavery within their confederate states, and the north was opposed to any extension of slavery. This was a key point in the fight for African American civil rights. 1865 was also known for the introduction of the 13th amendment, which abolished and prohibited slavery. This was a significant turning point for African Americans in the USA, however it was debatably the most significant improvement for blacks for a long time. Those presidents who were fighting for the civil rights of African Americans wish for both social and political equality for their race, whereas those who hindered the progression of their rights believed in white supremacy and continued to support the continuity of slavery. The presidents in office during this period made actions which both hindered and helped the development of African American’s rights, this essay will look at certain individuals and their actions. Abraham Lincoln was very controversial and his help towards the development of black civil rights is extremely debatable. Although Lincoln served in office before 1865, just two years before the end of the civil war he introduced an important piece of legislation. During his presidency, he openly accepted slavery and believed that whites were the superior race. He famously, during a speech to an audience of which the majority were black, said that no man of their race is of equal status of the white race. Due to his opinions, he not only supported slavery, but also...
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