What Part Did the Federal Government Play in Helping or Hindering the Development of Black Civil Rights from 1865-1900

866 Words4 Pages
What part did the federal government play in helping or hindering the development of black civil rights from 1865-1900? The federal government helped more than they hindered in the development of black civil rights through the Amendments and Bills that were passed through congress. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendment set a solid foundation to improve civil, political and social position of former slaves. Racial discrimination was outlawed and institutions were set up to help black development. Although the Supreme Court countered the advancements that were trying to be made through cases such as Plessy vs. Ferguson, and their slack enforcement of the southern states implementation of the Civil Rights Laws; as a whole a strong foundation was set for the development of black civil rights. Firstly the American Civil War helped the development of black civil rights as the external factor prompted government in a great chain of beneficial events that were to follow. It caused congress to pass the 13th amendment, the abolition of slavery which was the first step and was a large one as previous slaves now had freedom. This along the 1866 Civil Rights Act which soon became the 14th amendment gave African Americans legal US citizenship and equal protection under the law. This meant that a black man had just as much say as a white man in a court of law and was protected from prejudice and racial segregation as of the 1875 Civil Rights Act. These developments caused by the Civil War were helped by presidents Lincoln and Johnson. Lincoln believed in equal racial rights and the abolition of slavery, as did Johnson; except when Johnson became president he hindered the development of black Civil Rights because although he encouraged the 13th amendment; he was a white supremacist and was not in support for equal racial rights and in 1866 tried to veto the Civil Rights Bill. This
Open Document