History Paper Response

assignment 1.

Based on the article, please answer the three questions at the end of the page.

assignment 2.

Did you ever wonder what did people use for soap before modern times? For extra credit please click on this video link here to see a brief video about medieval soap. After viewing the video write a brief response to this questions: What were some of the materials that people used for soap in pre-modern times? 

Write your response using complete sentences. You don’t need more than 3-4 sentences.


I have attached the youtube link too.

The Civil Rights Era, Part 2


8. Public School Desegregation in the South after 1954


After Brown v. Board, many public schools in the southern states rolled out an array of measures designed to resist the ruling.


Some schools created extra layers of administrative delays designed to stop implementation of the ruling.


Other schools suddenly transferred public property to newly created, all-white private academies.


A group of southern states–Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia–resurrected pre-Civil War era laws and passed state resolutions declaring their right to interpose their authority between the people and the US government.


The president of the United States, a Republican named Dwight D. Eisenhower, did not make any public endorsement or comment about the court’s ruling.


But this soon changed when the governor of Arkansas publicly declared that he would oppose the Supreme Court’s ruling about school desegregation.


In September of 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the governor of the state decided to impede the desegregation order by ordering the National Guard to block the entrance of 9 African American high school students to the local high school.


After several weeks of this tense standoff, President Eisenhower sent 1000 soldiers from the 101st Airborne, an elite unit of Army paratroopers, to enforce the desegregation ruling in Little Rock.


Although Eisenhower had remained silent on the ruling earlier, he now defended his actions by delivering a televised address to the nation saying that federal authority had to be enforced over state authority.


Many historians have commented that events in Little Rock in 1957 had a Cold War context too.


This was because during the tense standoff Eisenhower also stated publicly that the “enemies” of America, by which he meant the Soviet Union, were “gloating” over the situation in Little Rock because it was an example of inequalities in our system.


President Eisenhower was the first American president to use armed troops to support African American Civil Rights since Reconstruction after the Civil War.


9. Martin Luther King Jr. and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience


In 1956 one year before the standoff at Little Rock, Martin Luther King Jr. had entered the national spotlight after he organized a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, that had lasted 381 days.



King, who was a Baptist pastor, and several other leaders of the African American community in Montgomery had mobilized African American residents to boycott the city bus lines after Rosa Parks (who was a secretary for the local chapter of the NAACP) was arrested and fined after refusing to surrender her seat on a city bus to white patrons.


After the 381-day boycott, the bus lines in Montgomery had agreed to desegregate passenger buses.


Martin Luther King Jr. was from Atlanta, Georgia and his dad had been the leader of a large Baptist congregation in the city with ties to the middle class.


King attended and graduated from Morehouse College, then completed a PhD in philosophy and theology at Boston University.


Early in his university studies he had become interested in the writings of early twentieth-century Christian social activists in America, as well as Ghandi in India and South Africa.


Through his studies, King became interested in the idea of “non-violent civil disobedience.”


King was heavily influenced by the life of Ghandi, who had used non-violent civil disobedience to force the British Empire to relax some of its segregation policies in India and South Africa during the 1940s.


King also looked to his Biblical belief in peaceful, non-violent resistance to oppressors.


He recognized the applicability of these forms of protests to change segregation laws in the United States.


He eventually came to believe that if citizens were to deliberately antagonize the authorities, meaning police, the government, even the military, in a non-violent manner then the actions of the authorities would demonstrate the oppressive nature of the system.


But participants in this type of civil disobedience had to risk injury, even death, while promising not to return force with force.


These aspects made King’s philosophy extremely popular and at the same time unpopular with many people.


10. King and the SCLC


On a national level it made his approach to racial issues extremely attractive because King always advocated replying to hateful behavior with peaceful, non-violent methods.


This was the center of his approach during the Montgomery bus boycott…protest thru effective but non-violent means.




After the success of the Montgomery bus boycott, King brought together over 100 southern churches and community organizations to establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), whose only purpose was to use King’s philosophy of non-violent civil disobedience to combat segregation.


After the Montgomery bus boycott, King’s most well-known Civil Rights victories were in Birmingham, Alabama, and the march on Washington DC, in 1963.


These two events helped to bring the African American Civil Rights movement into the homes of the average American because the events were broadcast on national TV.


TV helped change public opinion in favor of King’s approach to asserting African American Civil Rights.


In both instances King and the SCLC organized the demonstrations.


11. King in Birmingham


Using techniques based on non-violent civil disobedience and capturing the attention of the media, King was able to capture the attention of most Americans outside the southern states.




In April of 1963 King and the SCLC arrived in Birmingham with their list of demands focused on banning segregation in public spaces; their main strategy was to fill the city’s jails with peaceful protestors.


They also organized a city-wide boycott to end segregation in businesses and in public spaces.


King and the SCLC chose Birmingham because it had a reputation as one of the most segregated cities in America.


King himself was jailed for several days, where he managed to write his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” which outlined the moral and social issues of the movement.


After King was released from jail, the protests in Birmingham picked up speed and the national media began to pay attention.


Millions of Americans watched on TV as peaceful African American protestors in Birmingham were attacked by police with clubs, police dogs, and high-pressure fireman’s hoses.


In the summer of 1963, after President John F. Kennedy spoke on national TV in favor of King and the protestors, Birmingham city officials agreed to begin carrying out desegregation; in the end, more than 15,000 protestors had been arrested.





12. King in Washington DC


At the end of that summer, in August of 1963, the SCLC and several other Civil Rights organizations helped organize a march on the nation’s capital.


More than a quarter of a million people including over 50,000 white Americans, gathered at the Lincoln and Washington memorials in Washington DC, to support Civil Rights legislation.


After a week of speeches by various prominent activists, Martin Luther King Jr. provided the closing comments with his stirring speech about his dream for an America free from racism.


After the march on Washington DC, King had become the voice and face of the national Civil Rights movement.


13. The Civil Rights Act of 1964


King’s successful campaign in Birmingham and the march on Washington DC put pressure on the federal government to pass Civil Rights legislation.


President Kennedy had spoken out in support of Civil Rights legislation, but it was his vice President, Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) who proved to be a more forceful supporter of sweeping Civil Rights legislation.



Johnson had been a senator in Texas during the Great Depression, and before that he had worked as a schoolteacher with African American and Mexican school children in South Texas.


During the Depression Johnson became a devout follower of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal programs.


When Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 Johnson became president.


Johnson embarked on a campaign to exploit all his political skills to cajole, flatter, and threaten members of Congress to pass Civil Rights legislation.


The result was that in July of 1964 Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


It prohibited discrimination in most public spaces in America; it banned discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and it gave broad powers to the Justice Department to pursue investigations into allegations of discrimination on the state and federal level.


One of the unintended results of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was that it gave legal foundation to the assertion of equal rights for women and other minorities.


By the early 1970s, the Justice Department was receiving over 100,000 complaints of gender and racial discrimination mostly in the workplace every year.


14. The Voting Rights Act of 1965


One year later, after King organized another non-violent protest in Selma, Alabama that turned violent, resulting in the deaths of several protestors, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed literacy tests and other discriminatory tests that had been used to prevent African Americans from voting in southern states since the 1890s.


It also authorized federal supervision of voter registration in the South and anywhere that discrimination was suspected.


As a result of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the number of African American voters in the south grew from 1 million to 3.1 million by 1968.


Both Civil Rights laws represented a high-water mark of national interest in Civil Rights, and they rendered unconstitutional decades of discrimination in the south.


Another unintended consequence was a political re-alignment of the Democratic and Republican parties in America.


Both Kennedy and Johnson were Democrats.


After 1965 many southern Democrats left the party and either formed separate political parties or joined the Republican Party.


This political realignment eventually transformed the south from a solidly Democratic region into a solidly Republican one.

























Responses: Final Exam (due Monday May 11)


In 2-3 sentences briefly explain why WW II was a key factor shaping the African American Civil Rights Movement?



Who was Emmet Till?



What was the SCLC and why was it important?