The Wilson administration (1913-1921) was a period of great social and political growth for African Americans. Despite the passage of several civil rights laws, including the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women’s suffrage, African Americans still encountered persistent racial discrimination and unequal treatment across the nation. The Wilson administration was particularly disappointing for African Americans due to its failure to desegregate federal agencies, enforcement of segregation by federal agencies in Washington D.C., and its refusal to pass anti-lynching legislation (Walker & Green, 2017).
One major disappointment during the Wilson administration was its failure to desegregate federal agencies. When Woodrow Wilson took office in 1913 he immediately segregated all non-military government offices along with military units that had remained integrated since Reconstruction days (Walker & Green, 2017). This action extended beyond simply assigning different jobs or duties based on race but actually reorganized some departments by race alone—in what became known as “vertical segregation” (Walker & Green, 2017). This meant that an entire department could be operated solely by one group regardless of their qualifications or skill sets; essentially relegating black workers into subordinate roles within this structure even if they were more qualified than white workers assigned to higher positions within these same departments (Branch et al., 2020).
What were some of the major disappointments for African Americans during the Wilson administration
Wilson also enforced segregation among employees at all Washington D.C.-based federal agencies where African American clerks were forced to use separate bathrooms, lunchrooms and other facilities from their white counterparts (Walker & Green, 2017). In addition to enforcing vertical segregation among agency personnel in Washington D.C., the Wilson administration implemented similar rules at post offices throughout America further highlighting his commitment not just domestic segregation but also international ones as well with regard specifically regarding labor related activities involving foreign countries like Africa or Haiti (Branch et al., 2020). Unfortunately these policies would continue long after President Wilson’s term ended thus making them particularly detrimental for future generations of African American citizens seeking access equal opportunities through public sector employment at any level domestically or internationally until Congress eventually passed legislation specifically addressing this issue many decades later in 1964 under Lyndon B Johnson’s Great Society Program initiatives which continued until present day reforms ensuring workplace equality irrespective race gender ethnicity religion nationality etcetera remains largely successful today albeit slowly due recent overt racial incidents witnessed throughout our current population(Barker & Joshi 2019) .
Another major disappointment during the Wilson era was his refusal to sign anti-lynching legislation despite repeated attempts made by various members Congress both Democrats Republicans alike who championed cause preventing such heinous crimes against humanity occurring almost exclusively targeting minority groups most notably people color whom often lacked sufficient protection legal system due pervasive racism endemic much power held certain sections society primarily law enforcement officials judiciary alike who turned blind eye towards perpetrators these atrocious acts(Zimmerman ,2020 ) . Such disregard existing protections afforded citizens basic human rights directly contradicted United States’ Declaration Independence enacted 1776 which explicitly stated every individual endowed “life liberty pursuit happiness” no matter color creed so forth yet President Wilson repeatedly vetoed proposed lynching bills claiming lacked necessary provisions required constitute legally binding document sadly leaving innocent victims vulnerable attacks