Essay plan - civil rights, Eisenhower v. Truman

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  • 'Eisenhower achieved far less for African Americans than Truman achieved before him.'
    • Disagree
      • Civil Rights Acts 1957 and 1960
        • landmark legislation in civil rights movement
        • led to further landmark decisions under LBJ: Civil Rights Act '64 and Voting Rights Act '65
        • showed federal intervention
        • However, quite limited, only added an extra 3% of black voters to the electoral roll for the 1960 election
      • Eisenhower worked against discrimination in federal facilities and federal hiring
      • Truman was held back a lot because of Congress
        • He needed support for foreign policy - Korean War
    • Agree
      • Truman was the first president to address the NAACP
      • Executive orders showed his determination to progress civil rights
        • Desegregation of the navy - 1946
        • Desegregation of the armed forces in 1948
      • 'To Secure These Rights'
        • Released by the President's civil rights committee
        • Truman tried to carry out several measures demanded by the report
          • abolition of poll tax
          • make the FEPC a permanent feature
          • making lynching a federal offence
      • Truman showed clear resentment of racism
        • horrified by treatment of black soldiers returning from war
      • Eisenhower felt as though it was not the place of the federal government to enforce civil rights legislation
        • meant that white resentment in the south remained very strong as it wasn't challenged by the federal government
        • he only intervened at Little Rock in 1957 to maintain law and order, as a dangerous situation was beginning to break out
        • didn't comment on cases of Emmett Till and Autherine Lucy
        • Eisenhower believed it was not an issue that could be solved by court cases, the change must come naturally
    • Although Eisenhower achieved the civil rights Acts, which were landmark legislation, Truman achieved a lot more as he demonstrated the need for the federal government to get involved in all areas of civil rights. He was largely held back by Congress, however he showed his determination to help progress civil rights through executive orders and commitments he made to the NAACP, unlike Eisenhower who largely refused to communicate with black leaders and saw civil rights as a states' issue, not a federal one.


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