American Domestic Policy After The Civil War Essay

2612 Words Nov 30th, 2014 11 Pages
Civil rights were an extremely controversial aspect of American domestic policy after the Civil War. The need for legislation protecting and ensuring te rights of African Americans was evident to many, but some still resisted integration and fought to keep the country segregated. The John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society are reflective of this rift between the two divides and can both be attributed to aiding the civil rights movement. However, the two programs were not created alike. Although Kennedy paved the way for civil rights legislation, Johnson and his “Great Society” were more significant to the success of the civil rights movement than Kennedy and his “New Frontier” because Johnson was able to accomplish what Kennedy ultimately could not: ratification and wide acceptance of civil rights legislation. As a result of the Civil War, four million enslaved African Americans were emancipated and were granted citizenship. However, this is not to say that the black population obtained all the rights and privileges as their white counterparts. The Reconstruction Period (1865-1877) focused primarily on eradicating such inequalities, and utterly failed. Ironically, this period served to solidify preexisting discrimination and further alienate the African Americans. Southern legislatures passed “black codes” and enforced “Jim Crow laws” to maintain the racial hierarchy. Abandonment of the Reconstruction in 1877 had left the Negro population…

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