Was violent or nonviolent protest more effective in the context of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement?
Was violent or nonviolent protest more effective in the context of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement? It seems like a simple question, but on further examination it is a challenge to discern. The nonviolent work of Martin Luther King unarguably made significant strides in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but later legislative change may have been caused by the mass rioting after his death. So which was more effective at achieving the movement's goals, such as laws protecting civil rights and the repeal of segregation ordinances? Similarly, either form of protest might be seen as ineffective if it provokes significant backlash, such that communities lost more than they gained.