Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer who is considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all time. He was born in Bonn. Beethovens fathers harsh discipline and alcoholism made his childhood and adolescence difficult. After his mothers death, at the age of 18, he placed himself at the head of the family, taking responsibility for his two younger brothers, both of whom followed him when he later moved to Vienna, Austria. In Bonn, Beethovens most important composition teacher was German composer Christian Gottlob Neefe, with whom he studied during the 1780s.

Neefe mostly used the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach in his instruction. He later encouraged his student to study with Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whom Beethoven met briefly in Vienna in 1787. In 1792 Beethoven made another journey to Vienna to study with Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, and he stayed there the rest of his life. Having begun his career as an outstanding improviser at the piano and composer of piano music. Beethoven went on to compose string quartets and other kinds of chamber music, songs, two masses, an opera, and nine symphonies. Perhaps the most famous work of classical music in existence is Beethovens Symphony No.9 in D minor op.

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125. Like his opera Fidelio and many other works, the Ninth Symphony depicts an initial struggle with adversity and concludes with an uplifting vision of freedom and social harmony. Yet just as his success seemed assured, he was confronted with the loss of that sense which he depended on, his hearing. This impairment gradually put an end to his performing career. However, Beethovens achievements did not suffer from his hearing loss but instead gained in richness and power over the years. His artistic growth was reflected in a series of masterpieces, including the Symphony No.3, Fidelio, and the Symphony No.5. These works were from his second period, which is called his heroic style. Beethovens fame during his lifetime reached its peak in 1814.

The enthusiastic response from the public to his music at this time was focused on showy works, such as Wellingtons Victory. During the last decade of his life Beethoven had almost completely lost his hearing, and he was increasingly socially isolated. Plagued at times by serious illness, Beethoven nevertheless maintained his sense of humor and he often amused himself with jokes and puns. He continued to work at a high level of creativity until he contracted pneumonia in December 1826. He died in Vienna in March 1827.

Beethovens music is generally divided into three main creative periods. The first, or early. Period extends to about 1802, when the composer made reference to a new manner or new way in connection with his art. The second, or middle, period extends to about 1812, after the completion of his seventh and Eighth symphonies. The third, or late, period emerged gradually; Beethoven composed its pivotal work, the Hammerklavier Sonata.


Beethoven BEETHOVEN, Ludwig van (1770-1827) The composer of some of the most influential pieces of music ever written, Ludwig van Beethoven created a bridge between the 18th-century classical period and the new beginnings of Romanticism. His greatest breakthroughs in composition came in his instrumental work, including his symphonies. Unlike his predecessor Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, for whom writing music seemed to come easily, Beethoven always struggled to perfect his work. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, and was baptized on Dec. 17, 1770. (There is no record of his birth date.) His father and grandfather worked as court musicians in Bonn. Ludwig’s father, a singer, gave him his early musical training. Although he had only meager academic schooling, he studied piano, violin, and French horn, and before he was 12 years old he became a court organist.

Ludwig’s first important teacher of composition was Christian Gottlob Neefe. In 1787 he studied briefly with Mozart, and five years later he left Bonn permanently and went to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn and later with Antonio Salieri. Beethoven’s first public appearance in Vienna was on March 29, 1795, as a soloist in one of his piano concerti. Even before he left Bonn, he had developed a reputation for fine improvisatory performances. In Vienna young Beethoven soon had a long list of aristocratic patrons who loved music and were eager to help him.

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Onset of Deafness In the late 1700s Beethoven began to suffer from early symptoms of deafness. The cause of his disability is still uncertain. By 1802 Beethoven was convinced that the condition not only was permanent, but was getting progressively worse. He spent that summer in the country and wrote what has become known as the Heiligenstadt Testament. In the document, apparently intended for his two brothers, Beethoven expressed his humiliation and despair. For the rest of his life he searched for a cure, but by 1819 his deafness had become total. Afterward, in order to have conversations with his friends, Beethoven had them write down their questions and replied orally. Beethoven never married.

Though he had many friends, he seemed to be a lonely man. He continued to appear in public but spent more and more of his time working on his compositions. He lived in various villages near Vienna and took long walks carrying sketchbooks in which he would write down his musical ideas. Scholars who have studied these sketchbooks have discovered the agonizingly long process that the composer went through in order to perfect his melodies, harmonies, and instrumentations. Three Periods of Work Most critics divide Beethoven’s work into three general periods, omitting the earliest years of his apprenticeship in Bonn. Although some pieces do not fit exactly into the scheme, these divisions can be used to categorize the composer’s work. The first period, from 1794 to about 1800, consists of music whose most salient features are typical of the classical era. The influence of such musicians as Mozart and Haydn is evident in Beethoven’s early chamber music, as well as in his first two piano concerti and his first symphony.

Beethoven added his own subtleties, including sudden changes of dynamics, but in general the music was well constructed and not far from the sensibilities of the classical period. The second period, from 1801 to 1814, includes much of Beethoven’s improvisatory work. His Symphony No. 3, known as the Eroica, and the ‘Fourth Piano Concerto’ are fine examples of this period. The final period, from 1814 to the end of his life, is characterized by even wider ranges of harmony and counterpoint. The last string quartets contain some of the composer’s most vivid new ideas.

Beethoven created longer and more complicated forms of music. In his symphonies and string quartets, he often replaced the minuet movement with a livelier scherzo. He also used improvisatory techniques, with surprise rhythmic accents and other unexpected elements. Many critics and listeners regard Beethoven as the finest composer who ever lived. His music was unique and emotional.

Never before had instrumental music been brought to such heights. He also made great strides with chamber music for piano, as well as for string quartets, trios, and sonatas. His works include nine symphonies, 32 piano sonatas, five piano concerti, 17 string quartets, ten sonatas for violin and piano, one opera (‘Fidelio’), the ‘Mass in C Major’, ‘Missa Solemnis’, and other chamber music. Beethoven died in Vienna on March 26, 1827. His funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners. The bicentennial of his birth and the sesquicentennial of his death were celebrated with new performances and recordings of all of the master’s works.



Seth Cox

English Research Paper
Ludwig Van Beethoven, thought by many to be a sort of demi-god, a man of
otherworldly genius. Beethoven has had such titles as: Beethoven the Creator,
Beethoven, the Man who Freed Music, and Beethoven, Life of a Conqueror,
(Internet source, roughguides 1). These typical images created of Beethoven have
been around since the composers day, extracting the astounding character from
the his astounding music. True excellence does not come from on category, to
discover his true source of excellence, his life, time and hardship must be

Beethoven is believed to be the ultimate product of German idealism and the
very personification of an age of revolution. Beethovens music declared his love
for humanity, but in fact he hated most people. Beethoven put with people for
one sole reason, himself, the people paid his way, and he needed the money.
Beethovens music was loved by all, and wanted by many, and he was capable of
selling scores to six or seven different publishers. Beethoven was a man who
wanted money, he didnt care about ideas or principles, so he sold his music to
anyone. Beethoven asserted his independence and self-expression by stating,
What is in my heart must come out, and so I write it down (Internet source,
roughguides 1)
From the time of its composition, his music has been celebrated as western
civilizations most powerful expression of its innermost experience. Beethoven
has been renowned as the greatest, most respected pianist of the day. He was able
to improvise at length upon any theme, and capable of technical feats, that stump
and confuse even trained musicians nowadays, making them impossible to
duplicate. Beethovens technique came as a shock to many people, he would raise
his hands above his head and literally smash the keys with such force that he
regularly broke the strings. Beethoven was so mad at himself for not being able
to reproduce the sounds in his head, he punished the keyboard for not allowing
him greater freedom.
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770. He was not the first in his
family to deal with music, his father and grandfather were musicians at the court
of the Elector of Colongne. His father recognized his sons talents; and his efforts
helped Beethoven to develop to his fullest extent. Beethoven started to take
lessons for the piano, violin and possibly the viola with his father as his teacher.
In 1778, Beethovens father arranged a public concert in Bonn. After the concert,
his father realized that he must look elsewhere to teach his son.

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Beethoven soon began to take lessons from a man named Christian Neefe.
During Beethovens time of development, Neefes teachings were vital, and also
through him, Beethoven gained a firm musical grounding. With Neefes
teachings, Beethoven was encouraged to look beyond Bonn, so in 1787, he set out
for Vienna, but had to return on account of his mothers sickness. When
Beethoven returned from Vienna, he was appointed assistant organist and was
also a viola player in the court orchestra. In the winter of 1788, Beethoven was
engaged to
play in a theater orchestra that the Elector had organized. Beethovens work at
court gained him valuable experience of orchestral practice and composition. In
1790, Beethoven met a man named Haydn, and in 1792 Beethoven decided that
he would go to Vienna and study with this man Haydn.

A few month after arriving in Vienna, Beethoven received word that his father
had died. His fathers death left Beethoven much pain and dispare, as well as
financial problems. His salary was guaranteed by the Elector because of his
friends at home, and even Haydn tried to help. Along with financial problems,
Haydn, who was giving Beethoven lessons, decided that he could no longer help
Beethoven, and left on a trip to London. This loss of lessons didnt affect
Beethoven much, as it turned out his lessons had not been much of a success.
After this, Beethoven decided that he should stay in Vienna and try to make a
career for himself.
In 1801, Beethoven began to notice a change in his hearing. At first, he
suffered day and night from a terrible buzzing in his head, but before long, he lost
the ability to distinguish pitch, and by 1803 he was virtually stone deaf. During
this time, Beethoven not once complained that he had become creatively impaired
because of his deafness, in fact, he went on to compose the most adventurous
piano music ever written. During this time of hardship, he went on to compose
such work as his Third Symphony and Eroica.

The decade after he completed Eroica, he produced masterpieces of great
succession. He produced such work as his opera Fidelio, the Rasumousky string
quartets, the violin Concerto, the fourth and fifth piano concertos, symphonies
four to eight, and many of his piano solos, including the Waldstein and
Appossionata sonatas.

Beethoven took great interest in the French Revolution, and he admired its
leader, Napoleon. He admired the leader so much that he dedicated his Third
Symphony, Eroica to him. Eroica was a landmark in the development of
symphonies, and it was twice as long as anything similar by Mozart or Haydn.
However, when Beethoven heard that Napoleon had crowned himself emperor, he
was disgusted and changed his dedication. Form then on, Beethoven seemed to
hate anything French, and later was compelled to hate it even more. The invasion
of Vienna, by Napoleons army in 1805 happened to occur at the same time as the
first performance of Beethovens opera, Fidelio. It wasnt until 1806 that
Beethoven revised it, and then it wasnt until 1814 that he revised it again and it
finally gained its deserved success.

As 1808 came to a close, Beethoven presented several major works, all in the
course of one evening. On the 22nd of December he gave a concert at the Theater
an der Wien, which included the Fifth Symphony, the Choral Fantasia, the Piano
Concerto in G, and various movements of the Mass for Prince Esterhazy. In may
1808, Haydn had died, and there was now no one to challenge Beethovens right
to be the musical king of Vienna.

At the end of 1813, the Seventh Symphony was performed for the first time.
The premiere of the Seventh Symphony together with Wellingtons Victory or the
Battle of Victoria, gave Beethoven the public recognition he wanted. But his
success was soon to be spoiled. In 1815, his brother Caper Anton Carl died and
left his son Karl to Beethoven as his legal guardian. Also Beethovens increasing
deafness made it impossible for him to conduct his work, or even perform any

Beethovens last years included illness and worry on one hand, but on a higher
hand, he had some monumental masterpieces. His achievements in the last years
of his life included such work as: The Diabelli Variations, the last piano sonatas,
the last six string quartets, the Mass in D major, Miss Solemnis, and the Choral
Symphony No. 9.

In 1824, Beethovens fame had grown so far the his name and music were
international in a way that not even Mozarts had been, and he had finally been
accepted in Vienna as the way he should be. The Viennese were fond, and even
proud of the eccentric man in their midst.

In the fall of 1826, Beethoven returned to Schwarzspanierhas in Vienna, it was
there that Beethoven was to die. It was recorded thought, that on the day
Beethoven died, there was a terrible storm that raged in Vienna and the dying man
had shaken his fist at the heavens as thunder and lightning struck the town.

(Internet source, roughguides 3)
Beethoven was a man that had to deal with excruciating problems, his life was
not some walk in the park. I believe that he was given a great gift, a gift so great
it was perfect. But that was the problem, nothing in this world is perfect, so
Beethoven was given many problems to compensate for the gift he had received.
With all these problems though, Beethoven over came them, he looked pain and
anguish in the face and went past them. Now once someone has overcome such
odds, and uncovered their weaknesses and problems, it is then that true excellence
can be given. So in my response, I think that Beethoven was a miss understood
man, he was brilliant and powerful, but people thought to much of him, and it
provided allot of added pressure to his life.

Bibliography Page
Internet source: Ludwig Van Beethoven,
Internet source: Biography of Beethoven,
Book Source: Beethoven and his World, by Alan Kendall


Beethoven There resounds a proverbial question, If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound as it falls? Capricious as this query may appear I have had occasion to entertain just such a notion when, as a youth, I found an exploratory journey down a deep woods path abruptly halted by the greeting of an enormous fallen tree. The colossal obstacle lay across my path and presented itself a motionless, silent guardian that protected that which lay beyond from my further intrusion. What a monumental disturbance must have been witnessed by the forest as this giant came crashing down! I wondered how the tree came to be there in the first place or what of the countless forms of life that had sprang forth from its protective purview over the decades of the trees history. I wondered what might have led to the demise of the strong anchoring system that had so obviously sustained the uprightness of this tower for so long. Not to mention what a scurry for life itself must have taken place by the multitude of creatures that were no doubt within the danger zone as tons of falling wood rushed earthward.

Notwithstanding the magnitude of this event and the obvious lasting effects that resulted, I still wondered if the falling tree had made a sound? When the life of Ludwig van Beethoven first encroached upon my path, much the same sensation was experienced. No doubt I had heard of the composers name, but then so had I foreknowledge of trees, both fallen as well as standing ones. However, what of this particular composer. Had I ever entertained conversation with him? Had I known of his particular work, achievements, or failures? What difference had been made by this long extinguished life, at least where I was concerned? So here I stood. Yet another fallen giant before me in an apparently posture of complete silence leaving me to contemplate what, if any, true sound had been made as it fell.

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Every inquiry has its beginnings and Beethovens began in Bonn, Germany on December 16, 1770 (Cross 45). Though he had somewhat of a musical heritage with both his father and grandfather being performers themselves, it appears to have been that the emotion of greed more probably served as the conduit for molding of the youth. Johaan Beethoven, Ludwigs drunkard father, had become aware that his son possessed musical talent. Though apparently not particularly moved to enrich the young childs life, Johaan saw Ludwig as a potential Mozart style child prodigy of which could be capitalized on for financial gain. It is ironic that the same greed over Mozarts success inspired the creation of one genius, Ludwig Beethoven, yet aided in the demise of another, Wolfgang A.

Mozart himself. It was this greed that enticed a drunken Johaan to pull young Ludwig from his bed in the middle of the night and then force hours of practice on the violin with abusive beatings being the corrective measure for mistakes the exhausted child might make (Cross 46). Johaan felt that if Mozart could be so successful at such a young age, then so could Ludwig. Consequently, it was precisely this same envy over Mozarts ability that motivated adversaries of the likes of Salieri to continually undermine the potential advancement of Mozarts work, and thus, contributing to his poverty and ultimate premature poppers funeral (Cross 522-23). Johaans greed took the form of envy while Salieris took that of fear. However, both were greed in its purest form and most likely had equal effect on Beethoven.

Johaans greed resulted in abusive, yet not unproductive, practice. The final product of this was technical ability as well as much emotion, both of which furthered Beethovens compositions. On the other hand, Salieris greed contributed to Mozarts early death. In his later years Beethoven greatly feared that he too would face a premature death as his idle, Mozart, had done. This pushed productivity out as Beethoven constantly felt a sense of urgency to make his destined contribution to the musical world. Beethoven had made his concert debut at the age of eight and had already tenured as a performer in the Electorate Chapel in Bonn when the famous composer, Haydn, found opportunity to view Beethovens first (though long unrecognized as such) masterpiece, Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II (Kolodin 21-24).

This resulted in an invitation by the master for Beethoven to come to Vienna to study under Haydns tutelage. Beethovens way was made possible by the Elector and though the relationship with the master composer did not prove to be long-lived, the stay in Vienna did. This ultimately placed Beethoven in the midst of powerful music loving personalities and undoubtedly enhanced his musical future. By the age of thirty-one Beethoven recognized that he was growing deaf and began withdrawing further from social events. This culminated by 1812 when, essentially completely deaf at the age of forty-two, Beethoven had become a total recluse and entered into a five-year slump during which little writing occurred (Cross 50-53). In 1824, at the age of fifty-four, Beethoven appeared for the last time in a public performance of his Ninth Symphony.

The piece ended, but Beethoven, being completely deaf as well as several measures off, continued conducting as the crowd applauded from behind. In the end, Beethoven was turned around by Carolyn Unger to face the crowd. This brought to light the true reality of his condition and the crowd was said to have exploded with sympathy and admiration (Cross 53). On March 26, 1827, Beethoven died. His last wards confirmed his belief in God and his last act confirmed his belief in the triumphant human spirit.

Most sources seem to agree that Beethovens work can be divided into three distinctive categories or periods as follows: 1) Up to 1800: Somewhat conforming to the established rules of composition, but with a visible departure of emotion that reflected his feelings toward the heavy hand of authority, most likely that of his father. 2) 1800-1817: Growing deaf. More intense personal feelings and more noticeable departure from the traditional rules of harmony, tones, rhythm, and use of instruments. 3) 1817-1827: Totally deaf. Break with the traditional way of doing things more sharply defined than ever before.

Ninth Symphony composed, demonstrating for the first time in history the use of voices with the orchestra. A symphony which Beethoven himself never heard. Though there can be found a certain diversity in the articulation of these periods, there is one thought that seems to be without scholarly contradiction. Beethoven ushered in a new way of treating musical composition. Prior to his time, the composers did not use music as a medium for expressing strong emotion.

Beethovens life of sorrow had not only left him full of such emotions, but his later condition left him with few alternative means by which he could exchanges those feelings. Music was the obvious choice and a new musical era was the historical result. In retrospect, as I look back at the fallen tree in the forest in juxtaposition with the life of this truly extraordinary man, I find a remarkable lesson to be learned from both. It is most aptly illustrated by Jesus as He concluded in the parable of the four soils. .

. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. I think not that Jesus entertained the thought that His lesson would have lacked purpose or effect had there been no ear willing, and thereby incapable, to hear. This was still the Word of God being spoken, an eternal thing of great substance that does not gain its power from the person who it is meant for (the world). To the contrary, I consider that sound is simply that name given to the difference made to an individual when his ear transposes the environmental changes (sound waves) produced by a particular event.

From this perspective the real question appears to be not whether a difference occurred, but was a difference made. In the case of the tree, a lasting difference definitely occurred at the time of its falling. Animals no doubt scurried for cover and sun-light, no longer blocked out, reached new areas of the forest floor, resulting in a host of new life being brought forth from the decaying carcass of the wooden giant. Until I encountered the tree, no difference had been made to me. Yet now, as I could not pass by, the course I took was now forever altered.

From this perspective I can truly say that, though I was not present at the time of the event, either in the case of the life of Ludwig van Beethoven or in the falling of the great tree, I am now aware and thus truly affected by both. Bibliography Milton Cross and David Ewen (1962). Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc. Alessandra Comini (1987).

The Changing Image of Beethoven: A Study in Mythmaking. New York, New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. Irving Kolodin (1975). The Interior Beethoven: A Biography of the Music. New York, New York: Alfred A.

Knope. Alfred Einstein (1969). A Short History of Music. (4th ed.) New York, New York: Alfred A. Knope.

Felix Greissle, eds. The International Library of Piano Music. (Album 14) New York, New York: The University Society, Inc.


Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven was, and remains today, a Legend in the history of classical music. His influence on music is unequalled. Perhaps no other composer in history wrote music of such exhilarating power. No other composer did so against the trials and hardships that he had went through. He beat the odds to become who he was. A Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770.

His father, a music enthusiast, dreamed of molding his son into the next Mozart. Beethoven never showed the same characteristics that Mozart had shown when he was young, but was unusually talented, learning the piano, organ and violin at an early age. At 14, he was already proficient enough on the organ to receive a professional appointment. His family life was chaotic, his father was an alcoholic, and his mother died suddenly when he was only 17. After that tragedy, his situation at home worsened even more, and this condition, combined with support from Haydn, compelled him to leave home in 1790 and travel to Vienna to study composition. In Vienna, Beethoven first studied with Haydn, but eventually became frustrated with that great composer’s teaching methods, moving on to study with other composers.

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He performed frequently in salons of wealthy nobility, but strangely enough, did not perform in public until he was 25. But from this point onward, both the common folk and the aristocracy of Vienna loved him, so much so that he never had to rely on court appointments or private patrons for his livelihood. He did receive pay from admirers and friends, but he remained independent of the shackles of conditional patronage that frustrated so many of his contemporaries. Beethoven was lucky in one way, he rose to greatness in the musical world at a time when social status were becoming more flexible, and the rising power of the middle class provided him many opportunities for performances of his music for public audiences. This, combined with lucrative publishing arrangements, allowed him to live relatively well.

He knew of the benefits of aristocratic support, however; throughout his career, he cultivated a romantic, moody image with the upper class and leveraged this persona to achieve a social status equal to the Viennese nobility. Beethoven was a master symphonist, the master symphonist in the eyes of most musicians and composers. His compositions for orchestra were revolutionary in his day; while he stuck to Classical musical forms, his melodies and orchestration were of such unprecedented power and beauty that they astonished even the most hardened listeners. Only his music achieved the unique combination of primal force and spiritual elevation that remains legendary to this day. In other forms music for solo piano, violin sonatas, string quartets, and one opera, Fidelio, the same qualities prevailed.

Always profound, inspiring and essentially tragic, his music defined the limits of human expressiveness in sound. Early in the 19th century, as his career was reaching its zenith, Beethoven began to realize that he was growing deaf. This sad and frustrating affliction advanced quickly, throwing him into deep depression and making him increasingly unable to conduct and perform his works. He shortened his public appearances and communication, eventually resorting to a notebook to communicate with his inner circle of friends and colleagues. His desperately agitated mind began to produce music that alarmed and terrified his peers.

By 1820 he was completely deaf, and he had become a recluse. Beethoven was a fascinating composer for so many reasons; among them the method with which he composed. Unlike Mozart, he did not write completed works in his head he slaved over each composition, filling innumerable sketchbooks with his struggles to produce perfection. For this reason, combined with his lifelong policy of taking only the best commissions, he was far less prolific than Mozart. Regardless, the music he did leave us, from solo to chamber to orchestral works, is the most substantial and profoundly moving expression we may ever hear. Music Essays.


The Civil Rights Movement The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a political, legal, and social struggle by black Americans to gain full citizenship rights and to achieve racial equality. The Civil Rights movement was first and foremost a challenge to segregation. During the Civil Rights Movement, individuals and organizations challenged segregation and discrimination with a variety of activities, including protest marches, boycotts, and refusal to abide by segregation laws. Many believed that the movement began with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and ended with the Voting Rights act of 1965. However, there has been debate about when it began and whether it has ended yet. The Civil Rights Movement has also been called the Black Freedom Movement, the Negro Revolution, and the Second Reconstruction. There were three main tenets to the Civil Rights Movement, the Post Civil War Period, the Educational Period, and the Social Movement. Following the Civil War, the 13th 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution were passed. The 13th amendment made all blacks citizens of the United States. The 14th amendment granted them equal protection under the law. The 15th amendment gave black citizens the right to vote. After the outlawing of slavery, a new form of slavery developed in the South called sharecropping. This Debt Peonage tied the sharecropper to the land. By this system a black family farmed the land owned by whites. The blacks were allowed to keep about 10-15% of the profit and the rest went to the landowner. The blacks were kept in debt through their purchases at a General Store owned by the landowner. The blacks purchased things on credit, which kept them in debt. The story To Praise Our Bridges, by Fanny Lou Hamer, depicts the life of sharecroppers. It explains how the sharecroppers were kept in debt, and how they were sabotaged if they started to come out of debt. Black Codes or Jim Crow laws, were put in place to limit the movement of blacks’ rights and to enforce segregation. Many of these laws were put in place specifically to hinder black voting. This was done because the blacks outnumbered whites in the South and they feared that given the chance, the blacks would attempt to take control. These laws included such things as the Grandfather Clause. This stated that if your grandfather was able to vote in 1864 than you could vote. This was very effective because at that time no blacks would have been allowed to vote. Also Poll taxes were passed. These were taxes for the right to vote and had to be paid in the February prior to voting. The rationale was that the people would either not be able to afford the tax or they would lose their proof of payment by November. Also literacy tests were required in many areas before one could vote. This was effective because prior to 1864 it was illegal to teach black slaves to read and write. To Praise Our Bridges reveals how effective the White Power Structure of the South was at keeping blacks from voting. It was not until 1962 that the author even learned that she could vote. Most of these practices came to an end with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1896 came the landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson. The Supreme Court, in this case, upheld the legality of racial segregation. At the time of the ruling, segregation between blacks and whites already existed in most schools, restaurants, and other public facilities in the American South. In the Plessy decision, the Supreme Court ruled that such segregation did not violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. This coined the phrase “Separate but equal” and set the way of life for almost the next sixty years. The second phase of Civil Rights Reform came about through the educational system. The public schools were funded by property taxes. Since few blacks actually owned property, and that which was owned by blacks was of little value, the schools in black neighborhoods were always of lower quality than those in white neighborhoods. The banking industry hindered advancement. The industry engaged in


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