Assess the View That Divided Leadership Was the Most Important Factor in Preventing the Advancement of African-American Civil Rights Between 1865-1914

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Assess the view that divided leadership was the most important factor in preventing the advancement of African-American civil rights between 1865-1914 After the end of the civil war, there was much optimism amongst African-Americans that they would finally have civil rights after decades of slavery in the South. However, there were many problems facing the advancement of civil rights for blacks. Firstly, people in the south were still very hostile towards them as they still saw them as slaves. Also, segregation was a key issue because it highlighted the fact that there was no equality between blacks and whites. The failure of a common goal between African-American leaders did not help solve these issues, but it was not the main problem facing blacks and was not the most important factor preventing advancement of civil rights. Leaders like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B du Bois did have ideas about how to improve conditions for African Americans, but none of their ideas would have worked due to factors such as the lack of ambition from the Presidents during this period and how people in the South still were intolerant of blacks. The leadership towards equality was divided however, and at that time, it did make the idea of equality seem even more unreachable. The main example of division between the African-American leaders is with Booker T. Washington and W.E.B du Bois. They were both educated black men but came from very different social backgrounds. Washington was a freed slave from the south, while du Bois was born free in the North. They were the two men who gained the most recognition during this time for their work for civil rights, but they both have very different aims. Washington knew that total equality was too optimistic and had no realistic chance of succeeding at this time. He favoured the approach of ‘Accommodation’ where he accepted that blacks and
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