This Historical Context of Black Insurgency 1876-1954

Topic: LawImmigration
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Last updated: March 6, 2019

Despite the fact that the classical and resource mobilization models suggest severe structural strain in the immediate pre-movement period, which is the cause of insurgency the political process, model suggests a broadened timeframe to include the entire span of time in which the factors facilitating the insurgency are developing. In the case of black insurgency it is the quarter century preceding 1954.One of the major setbacks for the blacks in the late 19th Century was the denationalization of Negro Freedom Issue in 1876. This was due to the compromise between northern Republicans and southern Cotton elite planters to gain southern support for Republican presidential candidate. According to the compromise the Republicans relaxed the issue of federal reconstruction of the South.

The main factor was also to insure the supply of cheap cotton to the northern industrialists from the south which was impossible without cheap forced labor i.e. black Negroes. Thus the flow of cheap cotton continued to the Northern Textile Industry. Any possibility of political uprising of the Blacks during the Populist movement was eliminated by the disenfranchisement and depriving the majority of the Black population from vote. The number of Black register voters decreased to the minimum.

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Thus the Black population lost all of its political influence. Not only disenfranchisement but also Republican withdrawal from Reconstruction efforts was the main factors. But the Republicans strategy of gaining white support in the South was a failure and they disappeared from the South.Black discrimination increased not only on the federal level in the Supreme Court but legislative and executive actions against Blacks were also recorded during this period. By the turn of the Century federal noninterference policy actually supported the white supremacist oppression in the South.

Bills for segregation of Blacks were proposed as well as ban of further Black immigration. But after 1930 the situation changed. The decline of Cotton as a primary product decreased its cultivation and resulted in a massive black movement not only towards North but also to the urban centers in the South.

In north Blacks gained political importance due to their decisive vote power in election. Blacks vote shifted to Democratic Party resulting in dramatic change in party’s policies. Post War era made situation more favorable for blacks.

In south Black insurgency was founded its roots in Black Church, Colleges and NAACP. All three institutions were not in viable conditions prior to 1930, but became increasingly active after that.Before the fall of Cotton King cotton tenancy acted as a system of control for the entire southern Black populous. In late 19th Century 91% of blacks lived in rural areas.

In the early 20th century 71% were farmers. The inability of any black insurgency during this period was due to severe dependency and economical and social vulnerability of the black population. Lynching was a common practice during these days. Southern Black Church and Black Colleges were unable to stand against white dominance due to lack of financial aid and manpower. NAACP has not yet established itself in the southern states.

After the 1930s all these three institutions gain organizational strength. Southern churches in urban areas played major role in social issues. Black colleges gained level of accomplishment and accreditation nationwide. NAACP became the strongest organizational entity representing the southern black population.

Recent black insurgencies can be perceived as a result of widespread pessimism among the black population. Marcus Garvey’s separatist movement widespread support is also an example of this pessimism. Now blacks are capable of producing results through political actions. Thus the roots of black insurgency lies in a long development sequence not a short classical or resource mobilization interpretation.Questions:Q1: Why did the Black population lost all the political influence in the late 19th Century?Q2: How did Black population gained organizational strength after the 30s?


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