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This image portrays the NICRA organized marches held in protest for equality.

Civil Rights ==

General Overview

“The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law. In some situations it was accompanied, or followed, by civil unrest and armed rebellion” [1]. During the 1960s, the United States may have the most prominent movement; however, movements in Canada and Northern Ireland also took form.


Canada’s civil rights movement is known as the Quiet Revolution in which it “was a period of rapid change experienced in Quebec from 1960 to 1966” [2]. After the long reign of Maurice Duplessis, Jean Lesage was elected in the 1960 Quebec election campaigning under the slogan “It’s time things changed” [3]. Many changes included separation of religion from education and the health care systems while also creating new economic industries. These changes were a direct result from the formerly corrupted government led by Maurice that was heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. [4]

Northern Ireland

Primarily a result of social tension stemming out of a religious stereotype that placed Catholics in a second class citizenship, Northern Ireland struggled with civil rights [5]. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) formed in 1967 to demand political reforms that included “a one man vote, end gerrymandering, and to end discrimination in housing and public jobs.” The NICRA utilized political protest marches and often violent riots that were “organized in imitation of the contemporary protests against racial discrimination in the United States” [6]. There is still tension existing in corners of the province; however, laws and policies have been implemented into government offices and private businesses to ease the discrimination and civil rights issues.

United States

The civil rights movement in the United States during the 1960s is most widely known as the African American Civil Rights Movement. Following the creation of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) after World War II and legislative acts prohibiting segregation, social protests took place in the form of boycotting, sit-ins, and freedom rides [4]. Further political reforms took control under leader Martin Luther King Jr. in which nonviolent protests by means of equality speeches and campaigns worked to advance equal rights to African Americans. Contrary to MLK Jr., activist Malcolm X sought to achieve equal rights through force and violent means that led to the rioting against unequal treatment towards blacks [7]. The most notable legislative accomplishments were the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that had banned discrimination against “race, color, religion, or national origin in employment practices and public accommodations” or “in the sale of rental and housing,” and successfully restored and protected voting rights [1].

Global Significance

The world today is a direct visual representative of what has emerged from the past. The Civil Rights and Independence Movements of the 1960s (and prior) shaped individual countries political and social foundations to provide the deserving equality and proper treatment demanded. While reforms and protests in force of equal rights has not yet seized amongst the world in an entirety, the actions and progress seen by the United States, Northern Ireland, and Canada provide inspiring measures for other countries to provoke similar stances.

Sources 1. Wikipedia, Civil Rights Movement,

2. Canadian Encyclopedia, Quiet Revolution,

3. Wikipedia, Quiet Revolution,

4. Minnesota Historical Society, African American Civil Rights Movement,

5. Wikipedia, Northern Ireland Civil Right Association,

6. Culture North Ireland, Civil Rights Movement,

7. African American World, Civil Rights Era,