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Posted by lednum on April 25, 2007

How successful was the civil rights campaign between 1950 and 1965Context:
Apartheid segregation had been the way of life for Black African Americans living the
Jim Crow laws
kept white and black people separate and ensured that black Americans were prevented from voting.
Literacy rates were introduced and as the majority of blacks had no basic education they faced discrimination within the electoral system.Brown Versus Board of Education:
In 1952 Oliver L. Brown from

Kansas took the Topeka Board of Education over which school he could send his daughter to.
The 1954 Brown decision outlawing public school segregation was one of the most sweeping and controversial decisions rendered by a U.S. Supreme Court.
Authorities were insisting that she attend a school that was further away from her home and less well maintained than closer schools which were intended for white children only.
This concludes that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
However, despite the fact that Brown had won a very victory for the civil rights movement there were concerns on how to enforce desegregation.
Montgomery Bus Boycott:
In December 1955, Rosa Parks, a black women refused to give up her seat in a segregated city bus to a white man as the law demanded and was subsequently arrested.
The custom for getting on the bus for black persons in

Montgomery in 1955 was to pay at the front door, get off the bus, and then re-enter through the back door to find a seat.
NAACP was eager to launch a high profile campaign with the ultimate aim of challenging

Alabama’s segregation laws and therefore combined power with Rosa Parks.
Some customs regarding the laws of the bussing system in

Montgomery were humiliating, and this one was intolerable since blacks were the majority of the ridership.

Montgomery blacks won a year-long boycott of the segregated city bus line, achieving the first victory over segregation in a
Deep South city.Sit Ins
On February the 1st, 1960 four black students sat down and attempted to order some food at a ‘whites only’ lunch counter in a Woolworths store in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The boys were refused service, however, each day the boys would return with more support.
Similar demonstrations took place across the U.S.A until 54 cities in 9 states were taking part.
National television coverage highlighted the deeply ingrained racist attitudes of many southerners, whilst the courage and commitment of the demonstrators won the black community much admiration throughout the country.
By the summer of 1960 many lunch counters in the south had desegregated.

Freedom Rides:
In May 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sent a group of Freedom Riders to challenge the Jim Crow laws in the southern states.
Freedom rides were created to publicise the sit-ins which it effectively did, however these freedom riders were not so successful in
South Carolina as an angry mob attacked the peaceful protesters.
Resistance to the freedom riders spread throughout the U.S.A, as further complications were met in

Anniston, Alabama.

Little Rock
High School:
Southern states tried to ignore the Supreme Courts decision to end segregation in schools.
Due to this Federal Intervention took place, for example the Federal court ordered that nine black students be admitted to the

Little Rock
High School in
State Governor of Arkansas ordered the National Guard to prevent the nine black students from entering the high school.
National Guard did soon withdraw as told so by President Eisenhower and the students were able to enter the school.
An angry white mob had gathered outside Little Rock High School which therefore gave President Eisenhower no choice but to send in 1000 Federal troops to protect the black students.
“I have today issued an Executive Order directing the use of troops under Federal authority to aid in the execution of Federal law at

Little Rock, Arkansas.”


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Why did the U.S.A become increasingly hostile towards immigrants

Posted by lednum on April 22, 2007

 In order to assess why the U.S.A became increasingly hostile towards immigrants in the late 1920’s, we need to critically examine the following factors.  Firstly, we must look at the fear of communism that may spread from Russia and Eastern Europe to the U.S.A.  We must also consider racism and the attitude of Americans towards immigrants and the fact that America became isolationalist.  Jobs and housing is another factor in that immigrants made jobs and houses more to difficult to find and the last issue we must consider is crime.  These are all important factors as to why immigrants treat immigrants with such hostile attitudes. However, before moving on we must place the issue in its historical context.  For example immigration was ‘part and parcel’ to the existence of America.  However, the population of America grew by 105 million between 1901 and 1902, 15 million of which were immigrants and 80% were from Eastern or Southern Europe.  During this time America became a multi ethnic nation, a ‘melting pot’ as described by Woodraw Wilson.  People immigrated to America in the hope of finding the ‘American dream’, which was the belief that everyone has equal chances of success in America.  America had adopted an ‘open door’ policy towards immigration for many years; this meant that almost anybody could enter the country.  The earliest people to enter the U.S.A were the White Anglo Saxon Protestants (W.A.S.P’s), who were mainly upper class people who were well educated.  In 1921 the ‘open door’ policy ended and quotas were introduced; only 3% of each nationality and by 1923 only 150,000 immigrants per year were allowed.  Historians out it to us that this system was favoured by the W.A.S.P’s, the Dillingham Commission was set up in 1907 that composed of literacy tests which made it difficult for ’inferior’ immigrants to get into the U.S.A. Some historians argue that the ‘red scare’ was a significant factor as to why the U.S.A became more hostile towards immigration.  For instance, they feared that the communist revolution would spread to the U.S.A especially after the Russian Revolution in 1917.  It can be argued that the Russian Revolution was the beginning of the spread of communism.  Historians maintain that the increasing numbers of immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe were communists, or ‘reds’ as they were also called.  Therefore, the fear of communism was known as the ‘red scare’, which was a reason that the U.S.A was hostile towards immigration of Eastern and Southern people. Other historians put it to us that racism was a key factor towards the hostility towards immigration.  It can be argued that many immigrants were disliked simply because simply because they were different and had a different culture.  Some historians contend that the people of America had an intolerant attitude towards immigrants and blamed them for the social ills of time.  Other historians put it forward that the W.A.S.P’s from Northern Europe dislike the immigrants from Southern Europe because they were poor and often illiterate. Historians argue that the isolationism of America increased the hostility towards immigrants.  For example the people of America were opposed to anything which that had the potential to drag America into another World War as they did not want a repeat of World War One.  Historians highlight that during the 1920’s America kept herself to herself and wanted nothing to do with the rest of the world, especially Europe, she also isolated herself in terms of trade to protect the American industry.  

 Furthermore, historians contend that the sacricyt of jobs and housing was a significant factor as to why immigrants faced increasingly hostility.  Historians put it to us that in 1919 there were many strikes across the U.S.A and high number sof unemployment after the Great War.  It can be argued that immigrants were employed to do the jobs of the strikers and would work for less money and longer hous than W.A.S.P’s, and they would earn more money in their own country.  Therefore, the immigarnts gained the name ’strike breakers’.  Also historians maintain that immigrants created pressure in the scarce housing in the poorer areas of cities.

The last factor to consider is the spread of crime that the immigrants were blamed for.  Historians argue that there was an increase in the amount of crime and many politicians therefore choose to blame the immigrants.  Astold by historians in the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, who were two anarchists from Southerrn Europe that were trailled for robbery and murder because of their ethnic origin.  Therefore, america was hostile towards immigrants because they were often linked to crime.

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To what extent are pressure groups a threat to democracy?

Posted by lednum on April 5, 2007

Example Of Beef Exports

Beef imports angered British farmers (National Farmers Union)
They had already been hit with a beef ban in the UK
Congregated at ports to prevent the import of beef, high measures had to be taken to prevent violence.
Eventually, a package of aid was given

Petrol Taxation

Taxation of petrol angered many small businesses
Blocked exit and entry of petrol
Finally gave up as public turned against them
After many discussions, the price of fuel was eventually reduced

Anti-Animal Testing Groups

Have been known to send letter bombs to those responsible
Use extreme, illegal tactics which can result in death
This results in uproar within communities and therefore, is a threat to democracy


May Be Of Help…

Can work with the Government on bills
Influence an MP that has been awarded the Private Member’s Bill to introduce a bill that supports their views
They can sponsor MP’s
This shows that pressure groups can help a democracy by voicing their issues within parliament.

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Critically examine the impact of the private health sector in recent years

Posted by lednum on April 5, 2007

Growth Of Private Health Care In Recent Years

Since 2001, PHC has provided £15 billion in health care from three main providers – General Health Care Group, BUPA and

20% of all non-urgent surgery, one-third of all hip replacements and a half of all abortions.
3,000 pay beds on NHS.

Growth Of Private Health Care In

Nine private hospitals in
Scottish Executive block booked beds to cut waiting times in NHS, allowed 500 people to have operations.
Scottish Executive bought a former private hospital to cut waiting times.
Government is becoming more willing to get involved with private sector.

Increase In Number Of People Receiving Private Health Care

Due to increasing waiting times in NHS.
40% rise in people turning to private hospitals for surgery in 2004, followed by a further 25% rise in 2005.
Between 2002 and 2005, 60% rise in people buying PHC.
Shows that people are unwilling to wait for treatment.

Change In Policy Of Government

See private hospitals as ideal for taking weight off of NHS during busy periods such as winter.
However, public sector would have to decrease as both sectors rely on the same pool of staff.

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Why Democracy…

Posted by lednum on April 5, 2007


Government was an oligarchy, a Government that had not been voted in and did not represent working masses.
“bourgeoisie” (middle-class) began to grow and demanded political representation.
E.P Thompson developed class consciousness – the understanding of the different groups and their differences.
“bourgeoisie” had respect but did not have the vote.
Great Reform Act (1832) gave “bourgeoisie” the vote but forgot working class.
Great unrest between working and upper-classes

Social Factors E.P Thompson

Urbanisation – the movement of people from countryside to towns and cities; increase in the working class.
Poverty – the working classes were tired of being oppressed, they needed help which would come from political representation.
Gender – the women’s push for the vote through the suffragettes movement may have pushed the Government to increase the electorate.

Political Factors John Cannon

Government was an oligarchy. New reform acts meant they now needed the public’s vote.
The emergence of class consciousness helped classes to see their situations.
Trade Unions were fighting for the working class to get the vote.
2nd Reform Act (1867) didn’t franchise 2/3 men. Working classes were angry at the lack of political representation.

Economical Factors Pat Thane

Industrial revolution – created the skilled working class and the bourgeoisie. They all demanded political representation.
Trade Union movement – lead to a demand for representation from the working class. Labour Party was created to find a place for the working class within the political system of

External Factors Norman Gash

French Revolution – showed British what could be done.
Democratic changes in
Italy and
USA encouraged
Britain to do similar.

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Why Liberals..

Posted by lednum on April 5, 2007


Edwardian era, self-help was still the Government’s policy
1870 Education Act- first signs of Government intervention
Henry Mayhew (social commentator) abandoned self-help and claimed bourgeoisie were becoming complacent
Philanthropists started donating money to charity
Laissez-faire had to be abandoned

Poverty Reports (Gertrude Himmerflab)

1889, Charles Booth produced a report on London, London was in chaos, life expectancy was 33.
Seebohm Rowntree conducted a similar report in
York, 28% of people in
York were in extreme poverty, this was shocking as
York was an average city.
Political ends or genuine concerns?

New Liberalism (G. R. Searle)

Self-help had to be abandoned
MP’s had a responsibility to help the poor
Political ends or genuine concerns?

National Efficiency (Clive Beehag)

Britain’s Industrial Revolution came long time after other countries
No longer “Workshop of the World”
Britain’s health getting worse so industrial power would weaken further without Government intervention

Political Pragmatism (Robert Pearce)

Working class had been enfranchised, so Liberals had to change their views to gain their vote.
If Liberals were seen to be unsympathetic they would lose votes

National Security (Roger Stearn)

Boer War in 1899, 25% of all applicants rejected on the grounds that they were not fit enough
Worried that Britain couldn’t handle major conflict
Reforms had to be made

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Why did the U.S.A’s open door policy change?

Posted by lednum on April 5, 2007


before 1920 immigration was part and parcel of

“Melting Pot” theorem by Woodrow Wilson
By 1920 population in

America had reached 105,000,000
between 1901 and 1920 14.5 million immigrants had entered the

. 80% were from Eastern and Southern Europe
Immigrating to America had been problem free and anyone was able to fulfil their American Dream

Fear of Revolution Maldwyn Jones

Russian Revolution of 1917- aimed to be the first in a chain of workers revolutions to spread communism under the slogan “workers of the world unite”
A high number of immigrants came from eastern Europe and Russia which people believe made the threat of a revolution inevitable.
Many immigrants suspected of being Anarchists or Socialists were arrested, illegally. By January 1920 6,000 suspects had been illegally arrested, many of whom were deported without their families being told.

Racism J.Bonasia

Many Americans disliked immigrants as they were different
Being blamed for many of America’s social problems
Americans claimed they were being swamped by the influx of new immigrants
The 1921 quota only allowed 3% of each nationality to enter the USA; in 1924 this was reduced to 2%

Jobs and Housing George Brown Tindall

Workers wanted better working conditions after World War One however, Italian and Polish immigrants took their jobs as they were willing to working for less and longer hours.
Immigrants created more pressure on housing in poor areas of cities

Crime E.Y. Mayer

Crime was increasing in 1920’s and politicians chose to blame immigrants
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti arrested as they had strong radical revolutionary ideas and were executed.
Contended that they were executed because they may have been communist and wanted to change the USA political system

Isolationism Donna Gabbacia

After great war, America wanted to be isolated from Europe
In 1919 they didn’t join the league of nations even though Woodrow Wilson was in favour of the idea
Need to stop immigrations of Europeans into the USA.

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critically examine the effectiveness of government polcies to rduce wealth inequalities?

Posted by lednum on March 27, 2007

Introduction: The government has attempted to reduce wealth inequalities by targeting those most vulnerable, for example the elderly and the unemployed.  This essay will examine the effectiveness of these policies.

The New Deal:

  • Introduced to get the unemployed back into work or into training or skills development that will eventually lead to work.
  • Appeared to be effective as by 1999, figures showed that 155,000 young people got jobs.
  • Before the New Deal there had been more than 62,000 who had been jobless for more than a year, but by 1999 the figure had dropped to 9,000.
  • In
    Scotland the New Deal helped cut youth unemployment by 60% and overall long term unemployment by 40%.
  • On the other hand however, some believe that this policy was not effective and that the unemployed would have got jobs anyway due to the strength of the economy.

National Minimum Wage:

  • This was introduced to set a base level of hourly income for low paid workers.
  • In 2005 the (NMW) was set at £5.05 per hour, this policy was effective as around 2 million workers benefited.
  • This particularly improved the wages of women, as 72% of women whom worked part time in industries such as hospitality, security and the cleaning, but mainly retail saw an increase in their income.
  • On the other hand however, trade unions argue that the value of the (NMW) has fallen from 39% in 1997 to 36% in 2005 of the average hourly earnings.

Pension Credit:

  • This was introduced to try and eradicate wealth problems, any single pensioner with an income below £114.05 per week would receive pension credit to make up the difference.
  • This policy was effective as from 1995-1997, 27% of pensioners in the UK had an income less than 60% of the national median whereas by 2002 this had fallen to 21% –this helped improve the financial situation of today’s pensioners

Winter Fuel Payment

  • Pensioners would receive money in the winter to help meet the costs of keeping their homes warm
  • However, this policy failed to improve the lives of elderly people as in the winter of 2004, 21,500 people over the age of 65 died as a result of the cold in England and wales.

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Educating Rita

Posted by lednum on January 8, 2007

In educating Rita, one of the main characters, Frank, deals with several issues including jelousy, love and depression. Frank, one of the protagonists in willy russels play ‘Educating Rita’ , is shown to wrestle many different strong feelings such as depression, jelousy, failed ambition and possibly even love. Frank ‘copes’ with his emotins by drinking heavily. Although this endears him to Rita, inititially, it seems to bring about Franks self-destruction or possible re-birth at the ambigous ending of the play. By emaximing the word choice and actions of Frank and Rita and looking at the themes within the play, i hope to explore the way in which Russell deals with these strong feelings.

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Growth of democracy Reasons for change

Posted by lednum on January 5, 2007

Social change

In mid-Victorian Britain, the electoral system which had been put in place by the 1832 parliamentary Reform Act was coming under increasing pressure. Society had undergone and was undergoing important changes. There was increased urbanisation and industrialisation throughout Britain and in general, society was experiencing significant change.

However, despite such change, the government of the country was still carried out by the middle and upper classes and was elected by a small minority of the population. As British society changed and developed, the question arose as to who had the right to control that society and whether there should be changes in the political system.

By the mid-1860s, pressure for political reform was building up in Britain and the years after 1850 saw the growth and expression of the working class voice in politics. There was a distinct drift of power to urban Britain from the rural areas and with this shift came the decline in power of the old land-owning aristocracy and the latter’s power declined further with the spread of new political ideas and the changing political ideology of the country.

By the mid 19th century, political ideas of the right of individuals to express their opinions freely and the rights of adults to choose the government which ruled over them were becoming increasingly popular.

In the United States and Europe, the Italian states for example, struggles were taking place for liberty and for the people having a greater political say in the running of their country.

The American Civil War of 1861 to 1865 provided a stimulus to reform and renewed the debate of political rights in Britain. Popular enthusiasm for democratic sentiment grew with support for the Northern cause in the war. As the British government tended to support these moves elsewhere it seemed logical that such moves in Britain should also be supported.

political change

According to the historian D G Wright in his work Democracy and Reform which was published in 1970, “Parliamentary reform was largely a reflection of changes in the economic and social structure of the country.” So, what were the reasons why Britain became more democratic between 1867 and 1928?

Political recognition

In 1864 Gladstone, the future Prime Minister, became a focus for attention when he declared that “Every man who is not presumably incapacitated by some consideration of personal fitness or of political danger is morally entitled to come within the pale of the Constitution, provided this does not lead to sudden or violent or excessive, or intoxicating political change.”

Public figures that supported political reform became very popular and caught the public imagination. The generally peaceful behaviour of skilled workers, their interest in political matters and their educational achievements were noted by Gladstone in 1866 when he stated that it would be unwise for Parliament to ignore the “increased fitness of the working class for political power”.

Reform movements

In 1864 the National Reform Union was formed to promote the idea of common interests between the middle and working classes. It argued that the political aims of the two classes were similar and that they could work together in the field of politics. The organisation campaigned for the secret ballot, equal seat distribution and votes for all ratepayers, amongst other things.

Also founded in 1864 was the Reform League which was a much more radical movement, working for manhood suffrage and a secret ballot. The League attracted many followers, ranging from trade unionists, socialists and former Chartist sympathisers.

Within the Liberal Party, radicals believed that before further political reforms could be made Parliament would have to be changed.

By the end of the 19th century the trade union movement was gaining pace. Many Liberals saw the unions as direct competition for the support of the working classes. As membership of the trade union movement grew, some Liberals thought the only way to win back this support was through democratic reform.


By the 1870s, many trade unionists supported a new ideology called socialism which appeared to offer a brighter future for the working class. Socialists believed that industrialisation had made life better for the rich but worse for the poor people. Marxists and some of the more militant socialists believed that the only way this unfair system could be changed would be by an act of violent revolution.

As such, socialism was seen by many landowners and businessmen as a real threat to their interests. If large numbers of people were denied the vote then they might be attracted to such new dangerous political ideologies. Thus, by including more of the working class in the political system they might be more easily controlled and less likely to support such revolutionary ideas.

The Labour Party

By the end of the 19th century, trade unions recognised that they needed a voice in Parliament if they wanted to change the political nature of Britain. A series of anti-union laws had been passed which weakened the position of trade unions and in 1900 the unions agreed to use some of their funds to set up a new organisation called the Labour Representation Committee, this being named the Labour Party after 1906.

The party was initially set up to represent the interests of the trade unions and their members in Parliament. During the early years of the 20th century the Labour Party grew steadily in influence. In the 1906 general election it had 29 MPs elected to Parliament. Four years later it managed 42 MPs. After WWI, the Labour Party changed from being purely the political wing of the trade unions to being a broader political party along the lines of the two other parties – the Liberals and the Conservatives. By 1922, the Labour Party had successfully become the Opposition party to the Conservative government.

World War I

World War 1 influenced the growth of democracy in Britain also. There had been plans to change the rules about voting as they applied to men during the war and it was suggested that some women might be included in the proposals. Further, during the war Herbert Asquith was replaced by David Lloyd George as Prime Minister, the latter being more sympathetic to votes for women. It can be argued that the war acted as a catalyst towards democratic reform in Britain.


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