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The Most Turbulent Period in Modern America History - Research Paper Example

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Perhaps one of the most significant and turbulent time periods in American history was the 1960’s. The 1960’s marked a drastic change in how America dealt with race, culture, and foreign policy. …
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The Most Turbulent Period in Modern America History
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Download file to see previous pages In terms of racial inequality, no other time period has come to match the 1960’s in terms of turbulence and instability. This decade saw the uprising of African Americans who were fighting back against the widespread racism and inequality. These series of protestations came to be known as The Civil Rights Movement(Brunner, 2007). Although it began in prior decades, the movement grew in terms of size and effectiveness during this particular time period. Segregation was one of the forefront issues for those seeking equality. Segregation was the separation of African American and Caucasian peoples. This meant that the two races had separate schools, separate restaurants and bathrooms, even separate water fountains. The 1960’s featured the African Americans fighting back and demanding for segregation to be outlawed. Martin Luther King became an important figure and leader throughout this tumultuous time period and often spoke of the importance of peace in regard to the multitude of riots which occurred as a result of these protests.
The American government was compelled to react to the racial inequality as the voices of the African American people—and those who stood with them—grew louder. One such change took place in 1964 when the 24th Amendment was created which abolished the poll tax(Brunner, 2007). The poll tax was originally created in the mid to late 1800’s with the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. The poll tax made it so that people had to pay a specific tax in order to vote. This Jim Crow law made it virtually impossible for African Americans in the south to be able to vote as they often did not have the funds necessary to pay the tax. By abolishing the tax in 1964, one particular road block was removed for the African Americans who had been deterred from exercising their right to vote prior to this(Brunner, 2007). Another important change in terms of how America dealt with race relations also occurred in 1964 when President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Trueman, 2010) This important piece of legislature became one of the most significant events in American social policy. The basic premise of the Civil Rights Act prohibited discriminating against anyone based on race, color, religion, or creed(Brunner, 2007). Perhaps President Johnson was convinced to sign the legislature due to the fact that around the same time, the Freedom Summer occurred where both African Americans and Caucasians traveled down to the south in order to convince other African Americans to register for voting(Trueman, 2010). A great deal of violence, threats, and even murder occurred during this short time period which could have been a deciding factor for Johnson since the Civil Rights Act originally was conceived of four years earlier. It also made it possible for the government to end segregation(Brunner,2007). Schools slowly had to integrate African Americans into the student population and often times these instances were met with a great deal of protest from racist Caucasians and media attention. Not only did America experience many important changes in racial equality, the country also began to experience an important shift in its culture. The cultural changes occurred because of the American youth in the 1960’s. Literature, music, and education were particularly impacted during this time period and reflected the evolving mindset of the decade. Some of the more influential books that were published included “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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