Civil Rights and the Second Reconstruction

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Civil Rights and the Second Reconstruction The Civil Rights era was one of the most tumultuous times in American history. The country appeared at once to be striving forward for social progress and, simultaneously, coming apart at the seams. It is exactly this contradiction which drives our discussion the period known as the Second Reconstruction. Named in reference to the original Reconstruction era which succeeded the Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the South, the Second Reconstruction was akin to its namesake in the intended advance of racial equality and its concurrent effect of retrenchment of white supremacist ideologies. These opposing forces would define a period in American history rightly associated with a violent realization of long-simmering cultural conflict. In many ways, the ball would begin rolling for true Civil Right reform several decades before meaningful reform could be achieved. However, as early as the period immediately following a World War II conflict distinguished by the horrific excess of its ethnically motivated atrocities, the United States began to reexamine its own record. Accordingly, Black American in Congress (BAIC) (2012) report, "During the 1940s and 1950s, executive action, rather than legislative initiatives, set the pace for measured movement toward desegregation. President Harry S. Truman 'expanded on Roosevelt's limited and tentative steps toward racial moderation and reconciliation.' Responding to civil rights
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