The Legacy of a President: An Analysis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Maldonado Jr., Jose
June 2011
Journal of US-China Public Administration;Jun2011, Vol. 8 Issue 6, p704
Academic Journal
This paper analyzes the genesis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President John F. Kennedy brought national public awareness to the increasing need for new civil rights legislation during his presidency. Almost half a century has passed since this landmark legislation effectively ended years of segregation in the United States. In the immediate aftermath of his assassination, the nation looked to President Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to bring strong civil rights reform to his new administration's goals. The combination of key political figures, constituent pressure on congressional representatives and Senator Everett Dirksen's involvement in the lawmaking process eventually helped establish what became known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The essence of the Act truly changed the country and made discrimination illegal throughout the country. This case study examines the process leading up to the Act's ratification and the immediate repercussions of its passage. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a momentous achievement for the American Congress, and it helped establish President Kennedy's legacy as a forerunner for citizens' equal rights.


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