Dans cet article entièrement en anglais, nous te donnons un aperçu des grands mouvements de protestation et de soulèvement qui ont eu lieu aux États-Unis. Tout d’abord, nous abordons les mouvements liés à la lutte pour les droits civiques. Puis, nous revenons sur les mouvements en faveur de la paix qui ont une importance toute particulière aux États-Unis. Enfin, nous analysons le combat pour les droits des femmes.
Lire en anglais est très efficace pour se familiariser avec les formulations et la langue, alors lance-toi ! Profite de la lecture de cet article pour noter quelques expressions idiomatiques ou dates importantes ! Elles te serviront en dissertation.
Protests model a country, its history, and its politics. The US has always been a place of protest and therefore we thought it would be a good idea for us to give you an overview of the most considerable of all of them. In this article, we will focus on some topics, whether it is protests linked to racial Justice, Women’s Rights, or wars. All of them have shaped in very distinct ways, America as we know it today.
Do not hesitate to write down some dates and names but also some idiomatic expressions, they will be very helpful for your essays!
The fight for racial justice
The abolition of Slavery didn’t happen overnight. Many people advocated and marched, risking their lives, to fight against slavery. This movement came to an end with the Abolition of Slavery passed on January 31st, 1865 by the American Congress. The well-known 13th amendment was born that same year:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereif the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
b/ The Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement might not be a discovery to you as it is most certainly known as one of the most important movement that ever occurred in the States. It aimed at ending the Jim Crow Laws dating back from the late nineteenth century. These laws were responsible for the racial segregation of the American society. Restaurants, clubs, theaters… but also transportation, schools, and toilets- all public spaces were concerned. This movement is usually said to have started with the Supreme Court’s ruling of Brown V. Board of Education which made segregated schools unlawful. Leaders like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks helped with organizations like the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) fought for more than 10 years, risking their lives and the ones of their loved ones. The Civil Rights movement was a success as it achieved to end the Jim Crow Laws in 1964.
c/ Black Panther
Black Panther is a movement that was born in the 60s and followed by the creation of a party named the Black Panther Party in 1966, in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. This far-left-wing political organization was advocating for black people’s rights.
d/ Black Lives Matter (BLM)
The movement of Black Lives Matter began in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting which killed African-American 17 years old Trayvon Martin. Indeed, this political and social movement shed light on police brutality against African-Americans in the States. Since then, it gained in coverage and importance, hitting a turning point in 2020 with the filmed-killing, which shocked the whole world, of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. According to estimations in June 2020, around 15 to 26 million people took to the streets, and around 67% of adult Americans supported more or less this movement (Pew Research Center, June 2020). BLM wouldn’t have had the same leverage without social media.
Dates to remember
1954: Brown V. Board of Education.
1955: Montgomery bus boycott.
1957: Little Rock Crisis.
1963: March on Washington and “I have a dream” speech by MLK.
1964: Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It banned discrimination based on « race, color, religion, sex or national origin » in employment practices and public accommodations.
1968: Assassination of MLK and Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, and national origin.
Wars and peace
Protests against war are said to have started during the Vietnam War because many thought it was a never-ending war in which the US wasn’t irreproachable. We can for instance think of the 1971 May Day protests which occurred in Washington D.C. and consisted of large-scale disobedience.
More recently, the war in Afghanistan also triggered protests across the country on the same basis as for the Vietnam War. This time, the movement reached a higher scale as protests took place in Europe or Australia.
Dates to remember
1955-1975: Vietnam War.
a/ The Right to vote for women
Women started asking for the right to vote in the 19th century but the claims of those that were starting to be called “Women suffragettes” became loud during World War I. In 1920, they achieved to obtain the Right to vote nationally with the Nineteenth Amendment :
« The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. »
In 1972, a Texan woman called Jane Roe took her case on anti-abortion laws all the way up to the Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the States. The well-known ruling of Roe V. Wade allowed for women to choose to get an abortion if ever they desired to do so. Since that symbolic win, the state of abortion rights in the US is very fragile and changing, as last week’s decision of the Governor of Texas to abolish all abortions made after 6 weeks underlines it very well.
c/ Me too
The movement MeToo is often defined as a social movement condemning violence made to women and calling for more justice. This name of movement was first used in 2006 by an assault survivor named T. Burke but it was widely reused by celebrities during Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse scandal. The Me Too movement became global.
Dates to remember
1920: Women obtain the Right to vote in the entire country.
1972: Roe V. Wade.
Tu es maintenant incollable sur les mouvements de protestation américains ! Pour mettre tes nouvelles connaissances en pratique, rendez-vous ici !