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Assess the Role of Different Presidents of the Usa in Reducing Racial Discrimination Between 1861 and 1969

  • Date Submitted: 04/07/2014 11:51 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.6 
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‘No man can occupy the office of President without realizing that he is President of all the people.’ – Franklin D. Roosevelt, October 31, 1936
As clarified by Roosevelt, the President of the United States holds the most vital position in changing public attitudes and authorising society-changing acts. From Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to the moment Lyndon B. Johnson signed the civil rights bill in 1964; many Presidents of the United States of America have proved highly significant in reducing racial discrimination. In the near-hundred year period from 1861-1969, America had undergone a massive transformation in terms of race relationships and the rights of blacks. This has been, in part, due to the role of US Presidents, who in the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is said to preside over a whole country, combating race issues which were ever-present between 1861 and 1969. On the other hand, not all US Presidents’ role can be assessed to be ground-breaking at all during this period, challenging the concept that the Presidents played the most crucial role in reducing racial discrimination.   An area of debate between historians comes from analysing the amount done by each president in this period; whether or not the president advanced black progress in belief that racism should be reduced, or for their own benefit. Taking into account the context of when each president was serving is a key issue into the judgement of impact of each president, being a huge factor into whether or not a president takes action. By analysing primary and secondary sources, the widely accepted conclusion that many presidents made huge impact through their dedication to the black cause can be both supported and challenged, showing that the influence of America’s leader, though critical in many cases, could be much more significant. For example, Abraham Lincoln’s heroic status as ‘The Great Emancipator’ can be debated as holding external purposes.   Presidents...


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