Essay Sample on Concept of Freedom

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611 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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The concept of freedom entails many different aspects for which one may feel liberated by gaining the power to act, think or speak with no restraint or hindrance. However, it also implies the absence of subjection to domination, imprisonment or enslavement. This is a concept that can be attributed to the American History for which there have been so many transitions that have taken place over the decades. Jim Crow was discrimination and segregation system that was practiced in the south and some of the Border States after the cessation of the civil war. The legislative branch of the government saw to the implementation and the enforcement of the discriminatory laws.

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The 1877 compromises led to the controversial presidential election that went through a series of discussions behind closed doors between the Congress and the private sector groups. Eventually, the federal government failed to enforce the 14th and the 15th amendment that would see to the liberation of the blacks. A law had been passed initially against the discrimination against the blacks in a Civil Rights Act in 1875 but was later nullified by the Supreme Court in 1883. The North and the South started to seek reconciliation based on acquiescence on the part of the northern liberals and some of the government officials with the motive of institutionalizing the discriminator and the racist tendencies of the South.

In the early 20th century the Congress and the presidents collaborated to reduce the number of federal appointments to the blacks while they ensured that the southern federal officials remained sympathetic with white supremacist while oppressing the blacks from airing their voices of opinion or desires. Between 1913 and 1917 during the administration of Wilson, the Democratic Representatives ushered in legislations that were more racist than any other that had been presented before that. The blacks were subdued by the discrimination, and not many voted in those early years that led to an increased indifference from the Republicans and the Democrats on the black vote.

The legislation was passed later that aimed at protecting the interests of the blacks and the Democrats convinced the Republicans to join in the disregard for the law on the suffrage and the rights of the blacks. The oppression of the blacks continued as some moves on attempting to liberate the blacks proved futile, for instance when Congressman L.C. Dyer presented the anti-lynching bill in 1922; it was shelved while the Southern Senate was threatened to be filibustered by the Southern Democrats. The efforts by the few congressmen to pass protective legislations for the blacks were blocked while the Republicans subdued to the pressure.

This was until the late 1930s, when a ray of hope shone for the freedom of the blacks; when President Roosevelt through resistance passed laws that were more liberal and less deferential. The southerners continued defiantly against adoption of the laws that gave liberation to the blacks by blocking any legislation that Congress aimed at enforcing. The civil rights of 1964 imposed more power and barred any discrimination against the backs while also providing general access to schools and hospitals for the blacks. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was the very first law that granted the blacks their freedom against the Jim Crow laws. This was legislation that showed the commitment of the legislative and the executive branches collaborating towards the liberation and the freedom of the blacks since the reconstruction era and the end of the Civil War. In 1965 was the year where the African Americans fully gained their freedom as the Voting Rights Act was passed and they could now exercise their right to vote; however, there were other minor adversities that they faced, but freedom had finally come.

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