Desegregation of Little Rock, Causes and Consequences

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The racial integration of Little Rock, Arkansas high schools, from 1957 to 1972, was caused by a multitude of factors and consequently affected the nation locally, nationally and internationally: The idea of racial segregation goes back to the American Civil War and Plessey vs Fergusson case, the national move for desegregation came as a result of the Brown vs Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas court case, and the State Governor’s unwillingness to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision of said case resulted in the event being the catastrophe that it was. As a result of this, President Eisenhower had to intervene and posted the 101st airborne division to guard the black children attending. In response the Arkansas State Governor, Orval Faubus, closed all of Little Rock’s high schools in a bid to escape integration. Despite this stubbornness, Little Rock was fully integrated by 1972. The American Civil War, and the ‘Restoration’ period (1966-1977) that followed saw many of the Southern State’s de jure segregation repealed, however as quickly as they had disappeared, they began to re-emerge after the North’s troops were sent home. The first major act against racial segregation came in 1896, in the Plessey vs Fergusson case, where the Supreme Court stated that ‘separate but equal’ facilities did not violate the 14th Amendment, which stated that all American citizens were to be treated equally. After a time, in 1950, segregation was challenged, again, this time by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Peoples). In the court case that followed, several families from Claredon County took the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas to court. After a state court claimed it was outside of its jurisdiction, the case was taken to the Supreme Court. After four years of debate, in 1954 the Supreme Court decided that ‘separate but equal’ facilites were

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