American Gov1 - Research Paper Example

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The 1954 case of Brown versus the Board of Education dealt with the fact that African-American children in Topeka, Kansas were given equal school facilities as white students, yet they were still segregated. The equal but separate ruling had been agreed upon in a case undergone…
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Brown v. Board of Education The 1954 case of Brown versus the Board of Education dealt with the fact that African-American children in Topeka, Kansas were given equal school facilities as white students, yet they were still segregated. The equal but separate ruling had been agreed upon in a case undergone in 1896, but the plaintiffs, who consisted of thirteen parents of Topeka students, pointed out that being segregated was not equal. Therefore, the equal but separate law was a contradiction because the ‘separate’ portion made the ruling unbalanced. The group that made up Brown set out to prove this point and to have schools become integrated under the protection of the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution.
The ruling of Brown v. Board of Education was the integration of public schools. This decision was important because it redefined what was or was not equal in the eyes of the law. The case and the final outcome brought to light the ill-interpretation of the Constitution. The thirteenth amendment had originally been construed to mean that equality from the view of the law could still be met through equal but segregated facilities (Patterson 2001). However, Brown was quick to point out the inaccuracy of the interpretation. They did this by making use of the fourteenth amendment, which speaks of complete and equal protection under the law. This meant that segregated educational facilities went against this law. The thirteenth amendment had been interpreted specifically to meet the needs of one group, yet the fourteenth amendment helped to show how the interpretation was inaccurate.
Brown v. Board of Education impacted Americans as it meant that schools would no longer be segregated. America was slowly but surely becoming an equal and accepting country toward its own people, and the result of this case increased their efforts. Also, African-American children would be allowed to receive their education with students from other ethnic backgrounds. These students would get the exact same treatment and experience as their white counterparts. They were finally being treated with the equality that America had been boasting about for years.
Patterson, James T. Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Read More
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