Explain what were the social and political ramifications (consequences) of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board? Did these complications affect experiences with integration?

After World War II, the United States experienced numerous changes in foreign policy, politics, the economy, and society. Some citizens embraced these changes, while others rejected them entirely. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, African Americans insisted on equal treatment, including the integration of baseball, the military, and society in general. On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling on the case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, stating that separate was not equal. In doing so, the Supreme Court set in motion the integration of public schools all across the United States. The ruling also set the precedent for dismantling Jim Crow segregation. In the past, historians have viewed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board as the springboard for the Civil Rights Movement, culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The source material required for the completion of the assignment is posted on the course’s Blackboard site. Read the documents thoroughly, analyzing the documents and arriving at conclusions about the material. Then, write an argumentative essay of at minimum 1000 and maximum 1600 words, that includes at least five documents and strives to answer the following question:

What were the social and political ramifications (consequences) of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board? Did these complications affect experiences with integration?

Think about the following questions when shaping the essay:

How did some Americans view the Supreme Court’s ruling?

Did race and racial animosity factor into people’s responses to desegregation?

Did questions of citizenship, nationalism, and equality under the law influence citizens’ perspectives on the integration of American public schools?

How did politicians react to school integration?

What effect did actions both for and against students integrating various schools have on the students themselves?

(Not all of these specific questions must be answered in your paper – they are given as an example to stimulate thinking about the documents and their messages.)

*Nota bene: Remember to think about the context associated with this time period (think about material covered in the textbook and in class lectures).


The required sources for this assignment are posted on Blackboard, and no other resources are required to complete the assignment. References must be cited to specific documents by using the author’s last name or document title in a parenthetical reference. For example,

While some Americans supported the integration of public schools across the country, others disagreed, arguing that the Supreme Court overexerted its power and that education was not included in the Constitution or any amendments to that document. (Southern Manifesto)

Direct quotes must be cited, but also ideas taken from the sources even though they would not be quoted directly (e.g. paraphrasing must be cited).

Papers must be double-spaced and in 12-point type with no extra spaces between paragraphs. Papers also must be in Times New Roman font with standard 1-inch margins. Pages must be numbered. A hard copy must also be turned in during class that day. The Blackboard submission and the hard copy are both required for the assignment turned in. Both copies must also be the final draft, and points will be lost if the Blackboard submission is an earlier version of paper. No late papers will be accepted.

Suggestions: Please keep the following suggestions in mind when writing.

1. Consult the Suggestions for Good Writing attached to the syllabus (and posted to Blackboard).

2. Each paragraph should open with a topic sentence that clearly articulates the main idea of the paragraph that follows. A topic sentence should be an idea rather than a fact. “Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860,” is not a sufficient topic sentence, while “Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency in 1860 resulted in secession,” is. A quotation is not a sufficient topic sentence either.

3. Avoid lengthy quotes. Quote only sparsely, and be sure to limit the length of quotes to no longer than two full lines of text. Do not use block quotes (or quotes so lengthy that they compose the majority of a paragraph).

4. Papers should use specific examples and quotations from the excerpts found in the primary documents. Other assigned readings, including the textbook, and course lectures may inform students’ essays, but these materials should not constitute the majority of the evidence presented. No outside sources should be used.

5. Papers should use only third person, unless directly quoting the source.

GRADING RUBRIC: The following rubric will be used to assess your essay.




Uses required number of sources. Skillfully selects evidence to advance thesis and gracefully introduces them into the text. Analysis of evidence is critical and original. 26-24

Uses required number of sources. Evidence advances thesis, but could be better selected or more gracefully introduced. Analysis of evidence is present and convincing. 23-21

Uses required number of sources, but provides too few anecdotes and quotations. Analysis of evidence is present but occasionally unconvincing. 20-18

Uses required number of sources, but casts doubt on the care with which they were consulted. Analysis of evidence is largely absent. 17-0

Does not use required number of sources. Does not provide evidence or provides evidence that has little to do with the thesis.




Thesis is easily identifiable, plausible, novel, insightful, and explicitly tied to the prompt. Argument is clear and persuasive throughout. 26-24

Thesis is promising, but may be slightly unclear, or lacking in insight or originality. Argument is clear but not always persuasive. 23-21

Thesis contains vague terms or lacks originality. Argument is occasionally muddled or contradictory. 20-18

Thesis is difficult to identify, fails to provide a roadmap for the essay, and is only vaguely tied to the prompt. Argument is largely absent. 17-0

Thesis is not identifiable or not relevant to the assignment. Argument is absent or not relevant to the assignment.




Evident, understandable, and logical. Excellent transitions. Paragraphs contain solid topic sentences. Thesis provides clear roadmap. 17-16

Generally clear and appropriate, although may wander, have some unclear transitions or lack some topic sentences. Thesis provides clear roadmap. 15-14

Generally unclear, tends to wander and jump around. Few or weak transitions, few topic sentences. 13-12

Unclear, lacks transitions, confusing order of paragraphs, lacks topic sentences. 11-0

Little or no evidence of planned structure.




Sentence structure is clear and organized. Correct word usage, grammar, punctuation, and citation of sources. Formatted according to instructions. 17-16

Strong sentence structure and grammar despite occasional errors. Punctuation and citations generally correct. Some generally minor errors. 15-14

Some sentences unclear due to word choice or grammar. Multiple errors in punctuation or citation. 13-12

Sentence structure, word choice, and grammar sometimes interfere with comprehension. Many errors in punctuation or citation. 11-0

Very difficult to understand due to major problems in mechanics. Failure to cite sources.

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