The United States has seen numerous upheavals over the years as people banded together to insist that the state treat them similarly to all wealthy citizens. These large-scale marches became known as civil rights demonstrations. Many civil rights protests have been launched, with demonstrators demanding fair justice for African Americans, women, and members of the LGBT community. This paper would look at three major civil rights campaigns, their parallels, and their effect on American democracy. Integration Civil Rights Movement for Equality
One of the most successful civil rights movement in the history of the United States is the Integration civil rights movement for equality that was spearheaded mainly by African Americans in the 1960’s (Hall 1245). The emancipation of African American slaves occurred during the civil war when basic rights were granted to them. This was as a result of the 14th and 15th amendments passage. However, the freed slaves still were discriminated against and were not accorded federal protection given by the Constitution. African Americans in the south still were segregated against other races. The African American protestors, however, gained their breakthrough during the reconstruction era, when a legislation citing equal rights accorded them freedom from segregation, among other liberties.
Among the major civil rights movements, another successful protest was the gender-equality movement, started by the league of women voters in the 1920’s so as to protest for the large-scale inclusion of women into the voter population. The movement also called for equal opportunities for women as were given men and the equal treatment of both genders in the workplace (Crawford, Jacqueline and Barbara 26). The protests were led by Emma DeVoe and Carrie Chapman. They were accorded the right by the 19th amendment. Since then, many women were registered as voters. However, the female voters lacked the knowledge of how to positively contribute to and impact the nation. Thereby, the league of women voters sought to encourage more women to take part in the country’s public affairs. Although the movement was first started as an outfit to emancipate the woman voter, men were allowed into the league’s ranks during the 1970’s.
Chicano Civil Rights Movement
The third major civil rights movement in the United States was the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. It was most active during the 1970’s after being started in the 1960’s. It was inspired by the civil rights movements started by African Americans and sought for social inclusion and political and economic empowerment (Rosales 43). It was powerful since it was based on an issue plaguing the social landscape of the United States during that time; the inequality inherent by culture. The movement was based on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. They proclaimed nationalism in the sense that, following the treaty, Mexicans were already conquered and thus became Americans by default.
Similarities and Differences
The three movements all have certain similarities and differences. For example, all three movements were in the quest for the humane ideal of social equality. The integration movement sought equality of black people to white people. The gender-equality movement tried to equalize the genders in the eyes of the law. Lastly, the Chicano movement tried to have Mexican Americans treated as white Americans. However, apart from the goals that each movement had, they had other differences. Firstly, the Chicano and integration movements fought for the end of racial segregation. However, the gender-equality movement sought for the end of injustice that spanned many races. The later therefore gained more sympathy across races that the first two. Gender inequality moreover was a predicament that plagued the whole world, thereby, the racial discrimination movements cannot be said to span global scales.
Successes and Failures
The three movements additionally had successes and failures. For example, the integration movement resulted into the drafting of the equal rights law during the reconstruction era. The movement was also inspirational to countries in Africa who saw it as a call to fight for their independence from European colonialists (Hall 1252). However, the movement led to the deaths of many African American as they were engaged in violent altercations with whites and the police (Bardes, Mack and Schmidt 72). The gender equality movement also was successful in the sense that it saw the signing of a legislature that allowed women to vote. Failure to initially includes men into their ranks made it contradictory to its cause of inclusion (Crawford, Jacqueline and Barbara 29). The Chicano movement was successful in the fact it formed the Mexican American Political Association that helped elect John F. Kennedy as president and in the process making themselves recognized as a major voting bloc which was awarded seats in the president’s administration. However, the movement suffered brutality from the police leading to many deaths and the stereotypic association of the race with violence (Rosales 67).
Contribution to Pluralistic Democracy
The effect of the civil rights movements on the furthering of a pluralistic democracy is unparalleled. Mainly because the idea of democracy is only possible when the whole population is included in policy making decisions. This can only be achieved when all people are treated as equal before the law, both in theory and practice. Thereby, in promoting social equality, the civil rights movements inadvertently promoted the existence of pluralistic democracy. An example of such a democracy is so pronounced in the US that is composed of a varied population with multiple races, religions and genders recognized by the Constitution.
Civil rights movements all over the world have been carried out by oppressed minorities so as to achieve complete social equality. In the United States, the struggle for equality started in the eras of the civil war, where the state emancipated African American slaves. Since then, people have pushed for reforms in the legislature that allow inclusion of minorities such as women, African Americans, Mexican Americans and the LGBT community.
Bardes, Barbara, Shelley Mack and Steffen Schmidt. American Government And Politics Today Essentials 2016. Nelson Education, 2015.
Crawford, Vicki L, Anne Jacqueline and Woods Barbara. Women in the civil rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers, 1921-1975. Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1990. Print.
Hall, Jacqueline Doyd. “the long civil rights movement and the political uses of the past .” the Journal of American history (2005): 1233-1263. Document.
Rosales, F. Arturo. Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. Los Angeles: Arte Publico Press, 1997. Print.