There was once a time when blacks were only slaves in America, they had no rights and no freedom. Nowadays segregation has been abolished, racism and discrimination have been broken down and blacks are now able to live their lives free as equal citizens in the American society. Blacks in America did not get these civil rights overnight; it was a long and hard fought path to freedom. There were many important events, which helped to give blacks civil rights and abolish segregation. One historical event that was important for the civil rights movement was the Montgomery bus boycott that started in December 1955 and finally ended in June 1956 when the courts ruled in favour of the blacks. In this essay the causes and consequences of this event will be described.
There were several factors which caused the ‘Montgomery Bus’ boycott. Many of the civil rights battles blacks had to fight were due to the case ‘Plessy vs. Ferguson’ in 1896. In this case a “separate but equal” standard was set down. This meant that segregation between blacks and whites could be enforced, but the segregation had to be equal between the races. From this case the ‘Jim Crow’ laws were established. This system of laws and customs enforced racial segregation and discrimination throughout the United States, from the late 19th century through to the 1960s. These laws were applied everywhere; segregation on buses was one of the places. This is a main cause for the ‘Montgomery Bus’ boycott as without Plessy vs. Ferguson segregation wouldn’t have been enforced on buses and therefore there would have been no boycott.
The issue of segregation on buses came to head when black women, Rosa Parks, refused to give up her seat to a white person. This event sparked off the modern direct action civil rights movement, which helped change the history of the United States of America. The arrest of Rosa Parks gave what many leading blacks in Montgomery were looking for;