The Civil Rights Movement's Impact on America


The Civil rights Movement was very important to the history of the United States, and it brought with it a lot of social, economic, and political change. The civil rights movement of the 60s, specifically having to do with increasing the rights and freedoms of African Americans, was a catalyst for changing the way our country thought about rights and how it decided what laws were appropriate to pass. It resulted in a new amendment to the constitution and civil rights legislation. Not only did it change laws, it changed society. It created long-term social change, and more importantly changed the way we think about rights.

The immediate impact of the Civil Rights Movement is highly apparent. There was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which expanded rights to all citizens, as well as other laws that removed other times of discrimination. First, employers had to follow the Equal opportunity act, which required companies to hire people of all races, and Jim Crow and other oppressive laws were repealed. School was integrated, famously at Little Rock High School in Arkansas first. This was from the court ruling from Brown vs. Board of Education. So legally, if not de facto, racial minorities are on equal playing ground when it comes to the law. However, not all laws are applied equally, so there is still a lot of work to do.

The Civil Rights Movement, in addition to any direct affect it had, had a number of indirect impacts. Part of this is changing the way the country thinks about Civil Rights. Consider the abolitionist movement. Many of the people who wanted to ban slavery thought slavery was immoral, but that did not mean that they saw blacks equal to whites. These people would have strongly rejected say, African Americans voting. Not all, but this was a common belief. Each civil right was a new thing the country gave a particular minority when it seemed fit. Now, we educate children about the Civil Rights movement. We attempt to give people, each person in the nation, the same amount of rights.

This desire and new way of looking at things enable other right's movements. It helped with labor rights, and the rights of disabled people. We have special end programs in schools and wheelchair ramps in public spaces. The movement also enabled such things as the Gay Rights Movement, and allowed people eventually to come forward to demand rights for sexual, gender, and religious minorities in turn.

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