Brown v Board of Education

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Brown v. Board of Education: 

Brown v. Board of Education Elementary Institute Kenneth Holland June 7, 2005

Slavery and the American Revolution: 

Slavery and the American Revolution The Patriots rebelled against King George III because he was a tyrant. They fought in the name of liberty. Seven of the 13 original states abolished slavery during the Revolution. Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence said:

Declaration of Independence: 

Declaration of Independence “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Journal Write #1: 

Journal Write #1 What do you think Jefferson meant by the phrase “all men are created equal”? What does these words mean to you today? Was Jefferson a hypocrite?

Northwest Ordinance: 

Northwest Ordinance “The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 is considered one of the most important acts of the United States Congress in the period from 1781 to 1788, when the government was functioning under the Articles of Confederation. The ordinance addressed the governance of the area later known as the Old Northwest (present-day Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota). This law set forth the process by which new states would be added to the United States and provided that new states would have the same powers as the original 13 states. The ordinance also prohibited slavery in the Old Northwest.” Encarta Encyclopedia

Cotton Gin: 

Cotton Gin “Machine used to separate the fibers of cotton from the seeds. The American inventor Eli Whitney is generally credited with inventing the cotton gin in 1793. Before the invention of the cotton gin, seeds had to be removed from cotton fibers by hand; this labor-intensive and time-consuming process made growing and harvesting cotton uneconomical. The cotton gin allowed the seeds to be removed mechanically and rapidly from the cotton fibers, making cotton production economical and leading to dramatic growth in the United States cotton industry. This expansion contributed to an increase of slave labor in the United States.” Encarta Encyclopedia

Louisiana Purchase: 

Louisiana Purchase “A vast region in North America purchased by the United States from France in 1803 [for $15 million] . More than 800,000 sq mi in area, the territory comprised present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, nearly all of Kansas, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River but including the city of New Orleans.”

Missouri Compromise of 1820: 

Missouri Compromise of 1820 Law enacted by Congress to regulate the extension of slavery in the United States. Missouri was admitted as a slave state and Maine was admitted as a free state. This deal kept an even balance between free and slave states (12 each). The law prohibited slavery in territory north of Missouri’s southern border (36° 30’).

The Mexican War 1846-1848: 

The Mexican War 1846-1848 Conflict between the United States and Mexico. The war resulted in a decisive U.S. victory and forced Mexico to relinquish all claims to approximately half its national territory. Mexico had already lost control of much of its northeastern territory as a result of the Texas revolution (1835-1836). This land, combined with the territory Mexico ceded at the end of the war, would form the future U.S. states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, as well as portions of the states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.

Journal Write #2: 

Journal Write #2 Do you agree with the statement that it was the “manifest destiny” of the American settlers to conquer the North American continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans? Was the land seized by the United States from Mexico in the 1840s justly or unjustly taken?

Wilmot Proviso 1846: 

Wilmot Proviso 1846 “It moved to exclude slavery from the territory acquired from Mexico and was approved by the House on August 8, 1846. The U.S. Senate adjourned without considering the measure and, following a second approval by the House on February 1, 1847, the bill was rewritten by the Senate to exclude the amendment. Because it brought into sharp focus the differences then existing on the slavery question, the proviso was the subject of widespread controversy that resulted in increased hostility between the northern and southern states. The principle of the amendment became the basic policy of both the Free-Soil Party and the Republican Party.” Encarta

Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854: 

Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 “U.S. law authorizing the creation of Kansas and Nebraska, west of the states of Missouri and Iowa and divided by the 40th parallel. It repealed a provision of the Missouri Compromise (1820) that had prohibited slavery in the territories north of 36° 30', and stipulated that the inhabitants of the territories should decide for themselves the legality of slaveholding. The passage of the act caused a realignment of the major U.S. political parties and greatly increased tension between North and South in the years before the American Civil War.” Encarta

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): 

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Scott was born a slave in Virginia in 1800. His owner sold him to an Army doctor, John Emerson, stationed in St. Louis. Emerson took Scott in 1834 to Illinois and in 1836 to Minnesota Territory. In 1846 Scott sued in Missouri state court to claim his freedom under the “once free, always free” rule of English law.

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): 

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) In 1850 an all-white jury found him to be free, but the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the verdict, citing the insults hurled at Southerners by Northern abolitionists. In 1854 Scott sued in federal court in St. Louis, filing as a citizen of Missouri against his owner, John Sandford, a citizen of New York. Judge Robert Wells ruled that he was still a slave. Scott appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): 

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Chief Justice Roger Taney, speaking for 7 justices ruled: The “once free, always free” rule is not mandatory. Each state is free to decide whether to observe it. The Congress has no power to exclude slavery from the territories. The 5th Amendment protects the right of a slaveowner to take his property into the territories of the United States.

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): 

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Even freed blacks can never become citizens of the United States. Whites founded the United States for the benefit of whites. Persons of African descent are not members of the American political community.

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857): 

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) The framers of the Constitution viewed blacks as “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” -- C. J. Roger Taney

Civil War Amendments: 

Civil War Amendments 13th Amendment (1865) abolished slavery. 14th Amendment (1868) granted blacks citizenship and legal equality with whites. “No state shall deny to any person the equal protection of the laws.” 15th Amendment (1869) granted blacks the right to vote.

Civil Rights Cases (1883): 

Civil Rights Cases (1883) The Civil Rights Act of 1875 affirmed the equality of all persons in the enjoyment of transportation facilities, in hotels and inns, and in theaters and places of public amusement. The Supreme Court declared this law unconstitutional because the 14th Amendment only prohibits racial discrimination by states, not by private persons or companies.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): 

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) The state of Louisiana enacted a law that required separate railway cars for blacks and whites. In 1892, Homer Adolph Plessy--who was seven-eighths Caucasian--took a seat in a "whites only" car of a Louisiana train. He refused to move to the car reserved for blacks and was arrested.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896): 

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) The majority, in an opinion authored by Justice Henry Billings Brown, upheld state-imposed racial segregation. The justices based their decision on the separate-but-equal doctrine, that separate facilities for blacks and whites satisfied the Fourteenth Amendment so long as they were equal.

Journal Write #3: 

Journal Write #3 What is the mission of the NAACP? Are you a member or have you considered joining? Does the NAACP have as much support from the African-American community today as it did in the 1950s and 1960s? Why or why not?


NAACP Organization founded in 1909 in New York City for the purpose of improving the conditions under which black Americans lived at that time. Sixty people, black and white, convened on Abraham Lincoln's birthday to form the NAACP. The principal publication of the NAACP is The Crisis, a magazine founded in 1910 by American writer and sociologist W. E. B. DuBois.

Black Leaders in the Struggle for Civil Rights: 

Black Leaders in the Struggle for Civil Rights Frederick Douglass Booker T. Washington W. E. B. DuBois Charles H. Houston Thurgood Marshall Martin Luther King, Jr.

Frederick Douglass 1817-1895: 

Frederick Douglass 1817-1895 Douglass, whose original name was Frederick Augustus Bailey, was born in 1817 in Talbot County, Maryland. The child of a slave, Harriet Bailey, and an unknown white man. In September 1838 Frederick obtained papers supplied by a free black seaman and, dressed as a sailor just back from sea duty, took a train from Baltimore to New York.

Frederick Douglass 1817-1895: 

Frederick Douglass 1817-1895 Douglass began to read the antislavery weekly The Liberator, published by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and soon joined Garrison’s followers in New Bedford, Mass. He became the most prominent African American orator, journalist, and antislavery leader of the 19th century.

Booker T. Washington 1856-1915: 

Booker T. Washington 1856-1915 Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in Franklin County near Roanoke, Virginia in 1856, and moved with his family just after the Civil War to Malden, West Virginia, where Washington worked in the salt mines. By the 1890s, Washington was the most prominent African-American in the country, and a number of Presidents, as well as business leaders, relied on Washington as an advisor.

Booker T. Washington: 

Booker T. Washington Washington's autobiography, Up From Slavery, published in 1901, followed the American tradition of the self-made man's account of his success. He taught blacks to accept their inferior condition for the present and to raise themselves through vocational training and hard work.

W. E. B. DuBois 1868-1963: 

W. E. B. DuBois 1868-1963 Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. At Fisk University in Nashville he saw discrimination in ways he never dreamed of, and developed a determination to expedite the emancipation of his people. Consequently, he became a writer, editor, and an impassioned orator. And in the process acquired a belligerent attitude toward the color bar. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard, the first black man to do so.

W. E. B. DuBois: 

W. E. B. DuBois He became a vocal critic of Booker T. Washington. He helped form the NAACP and was editor of The Crisis for 25 years. DuBois believed in the higher education of a "Talented Tenth" who through their knowledge of modern culture could guide the American Negro into a higher civilization.

Charles H. Houston 1895-1950: 

Charles H. Houston 1895-1950 He graduated from Harvard Law School. He became vice-dean of Howard University in Washington, DC, where he trained black lawyers. Houston criticized DuBois’ preference for radical action and advocated the pursuit of slow change through litigation.

Activity #1: 

Activity #1 Divide up into groups of 4. Make a list of five African-American heroes. Rank-order them. Choose a spokesperson to explain why your group selected its number one choice.

Journal Write #4: 

Journal Write #4 Is it important for African-American children to have heroes? What are the challenges in persuading students to admire particular individuals as heroes? Does our society have fewer heroes now than in the past? Why or why not?

Missouri ex rel Gaines v. Canada (1938): 

Missouri ex rel Gaines v. Canada (1938) State of Missouri offered to pay Gaines’ tuition at any out-of-state law school. The Supreme Court, in a case brought by Charles Houston, ruled that Missouri had to establish a law school for blacks, under its reading of Plessy v. Ferguson’s separate but equal doctrine. The state must admit Gaines to the University of Missouri law school until it opens a black law school.

Sipuel v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents (1948): 

Sipuel v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents (1948) Argued before the Supreme Court by Thurgood Marshall. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that entitled Ada Lois Sipuel to secure a legal education afforded by a state institution and that it be provided for her as soon as it would be for any other class of citizens. Oklahoma established a black law school, which Ms. Sipuel refused to attend.

Sweatt v. Painter (1950): 

Sweatt v. Painter (1950) In 1946, with the support of the NAACP, Heman Marion Sweatt applied for admission to The University of Texas School of Law.  The University registrar rejected his application because Sweatt was an African American and UT was a segregated institution.  Sweatt, with NAACP counsel, sued.  Although Sweatt lost in state court, the United States Supreme Court in 1950 ordered the integration of The University of Texas School of Law. This was the first time the Court ordered a state to admit a black person to an all-white educational institution. The Court emphasized intangible differences.

Gunnar Myrdal 1898-1987: 

Gunnar Myrdal 1898-1987 He graduated from the Law School of Stockholm University in Sweden in 1923 and began practicing law while continuing his studies at the university. He authored An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy in 1944. Cited by C. J. Warren in Brown to document the harm done to blacks by segregation.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954): 

Brown v. Board of Education (1954) “The Supreme Court unanimously declared that it was unconstitutional to create separate schools for children on the basis of race. The Brown ruling ranks as one of the most important Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century. At the time of the decision, 17 southern states and the District of Columbia required that all public schools be racially segregated. A few northern and western states, including Kansas, left the issue of segregation up to individual school districts.” Encarta

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