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THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AN ANALYSIS OF THE PROGRESSION OF THE EARLY CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE CONDITION AND LEGAL RIGHTS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS THROUGH US SUPREME COURT CASES FROM 1849 TO 1974 America holds itself to be a pillar of democracy and freedom offering equality to all individuals This essay questions that belief The American Civil war 1861-1865 ended slavery in the South but by no means gave African Americans the same equal rights and privileges as white males The struggle for equality under the law continued for more than a century after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 freeing all slaves Over the years several cases came before the US Supreme Court that addressed the constitutionality of laws put in place to segregate the races The oppression of the African American people after Reconstruction was mainly through legalized racism known as Jim Crow laws The constitutionality of these laws was reviewed and questioned in the Supreme Court It is interesting to see how as the times changed and progressed the opinions and rulings of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of certain laws changed as well The general views of the American white society are mirrored through the rulings and justifications made by the Supreme Court when faced with the issue of segregation integration and exclusion By viewing the changing of opinions on the bench it is also possible to see the evolution of the social situation and rights of African Americans and society in general The transition from a slave based society and economy to 8 million new citizens 4 million freed slaves was a shock not only to the South but to the whole nation The country was unprepared for this sudden change which inevitably caused a backlash against integration that lead to successful efforts to preserve old traditions With the protection
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