Brown v. Board of Education
Oliver Brown v. Board of Education
(angry parents) v. (stubborn school board)
Background: Topeka,KS 1951
An African American father, Oliver Brown,was fed up with having his
daughter walk six blocks to her school bus stop, only to catch a bus for
another mile for school, while a white school was only 7 blocks away
from their house!
13 other parents tried
enrolling their 20
students into white schools in Topeka...and
were rejected because of race.
Oliver Brown v. Board of Education
-Through a unanimous (9-0) decision in Warren’s Court, it was
decided that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
-Segregation was psychologically harmful to African American
students and unconstitutional.
This ruling cancels out Plessy v. Ferguson’s “separate but equal”
clause of 1806.
Short Term Effects
Multiple desegregation attempts ensued after the ruling;
1957 Nat’l Guard blocking 9 African American students
from entering Little Rock High School, and a handful of
governors created literal obstacles.
Kansas high school’s did integrate student’s effectively.
Long Term Effects on Society
-grew civil rights
-equal opportunity especially through education
-inspired women’s suffrage (indirectly)
-opened minds and practiced constitutional
-Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia under his owner, Emerson.
-The two moved to the Wisconsin territory, a free state, where Emerson sold
Scott’s work illegally, violating the 1820 Missouri Compromise.
-Scott married, and went with his new family to work under Emerson and his
wife in St. Louis.
-After Emerson’s death, the wife refused to let Scott buy his freedom.
-Scott sued Emerson’s wife for his freedom in Scott v. Emerson, but during the
process, the Scott’s ownership got transferred to Emerson’s brother, John
-Scott v. Emerson case ruled that they were still slaves, so Scott sued again for
his freedom in Federal Court in Scott v. Sanford.
-Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (immense slavery advocate) and the majority (7-
2) ruled that all blacks, slaves or free, were not citizens of the US, and therefore
had no right to even sue.
-The 1820 Missouri Compromise was outlawed and slavery became permitted
throughout the nation.
“[Blacks] had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the
negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” ~Taney
-Abolitionists were appalled, and disdain grew in the North.
-Helped fuel the Civil War 4 years later.
-It raised awareness as to how serious of a problem slavery
-indirectly led to 14th Amendment
-infuriated Civil Rights activists
-society now practices equality
-equal opportunity is prominent among citizens
-greatly expanded Civil Rights indirectly
Roe v. Wade Jan. 22nd, 1973
~The decision that divided the nation’s view on
Norma McCorvey was a single mom in Texas,
pregnant for a third time. She did not want to bear
the child and looked to abort it legally (by declaring
rape), but she could not prove it.
Texas law prohibited abortion unless it involved rape or incest.
Under the alias of Jane Roe, she filed a lawsuit for violating her constitutional
right toT pexriavsa lcayw. prohibited abortion unless it involved rape or incest.
Under the alias of Jane Roe, she filed a lawsuit for violating her
constitutional right to privacy.
Warren Burger along with the rest of the Supreme Court ruled in favor 97-2) of
a woman’s right to privacy and control over one’s body.
It guaranteed the right of women to terminate pregnancies.
As Burger said, “[the] right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept
of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the district court
determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to
encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."
-It prompted an ongoing national debate.
-It divided most of the nation into either “pro-life”
-Calls into question the definition of “life.”
-Different stances on ethics are taken.
-Abortion is now legal.