The Atlanta Compromise

Grover Cleveland

Definition and Summary of the Atlanta Compromise
Summary and Definition: The Atlanta Compromise was the name given to a speech made by Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) at the Cotton States and International Exposition at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia on September 18, 1895. Booker T. Washington that Reconstruction had failed by offering African Americans 'too much too soon' and in the Atlanta Compromise speech he urged racial cooperation and the acceptance of social segregation as the price for acquiring education and economic security.
The Atlanta Compromise was applauded for its political passivity and its accommodationist, conciliatory ideas in the era of deep racial prejudice. The Atlanta Compromise was equally criticized for seemingly accepting the principle of “separate but equal” that the U.S. Supreme Court would articulate the next year the 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson Case.

The Atlanta Compromise for kids
Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th American President who served in office from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889 and from March 4, 1893 - March 4,1897. One of the important events during this era was the Atlanta Compromise.


Booker T. Washington giving the Atlanta Compromise Speech

Booker T. Washington giving the
Atlanta Compromise Speech

Atlanta Compromise Facts for kids: Fast Fact Sheet
Fast, fun facts and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the Atlanta Compromise Speech given by Booker T. Washington.

What was the Atlanta Compromise? The Atlanta Compromise were the ideals expressed in a speech by its author, Booker T. Washington. The Atlanta Compromise was about progress since emancipation and about racial cooperation. 

Why is it called the Atlanta Compromise? The Atlanta Compromise is so called as the speech was made in Atlanta, Georgia expressing 'give and take' and finding a middle ground on the subject of racial cooperation.

What did the Atlanta Compromise do? The Atlanta Compromise urged African Americans to accept social segregation, by which different groups existed separate from each other, as the price for acquiring education and economic security

Facts about the Atlanta Compromise Speech for kids
The Atlanta Compromise speech was made on September 18, 1895, just 30 years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. It is important to take this fact into account when studying the Atlanta Compromise and to appreciate that the speech was delivered in
an era of deep racial prejudice. It is also important to take into account that Atlanta Compromise Speech was the first address ever to be given by an African American in front of a racially mixed audience in the South.

Atlanta Compromise for kids: What was the Atlanta Compromise speech about?
Booker T. Washington believed that African Americans would gain the esteem of white society and eventually full citizenship through hard work and hard-earned respect. The important elements suggested in the Atlanta Compromise Speech were:

● African Americans should not agitate for social and political equality such as making demands for the right to vote or retaliating against racist behavior such as segregation and discrimination
● In return, African Americans would receive free, basic education focusing on industrial training or vocational training, such as nursing or teaching, rather than Liberal arts education (classics, humanities, art, or literature)
● African Americans should participate in the economic development of the New South

Atlanta Compromise Quotes
Famous Atlanta Compromise quotes are as follows

Atlanta Compromise quotes: "When we were first freed we wanted to get into Congress rather than build a farm."

Atlanta Compromise quotes: "...cast down your buckets where you are."

Atlanta Compromise quotes: "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."

In the first quote Booker T. Washington is expressing his belief that political aspirations stopped African Americans from making economic progress. In the second quote he is talking about where to find progress, not by moving away but by developing good relationships with neighbors. In the third quote he is making reference to priorities, stressing it is as important to earn a good living, before spending time on higher education. Click the following link for the words and full text of the Atlanta Compromise Speech.

Why was the Atlanta Compromise important / significant?
The Atlanta Compromise was important / significant for the following reasons:

● It raised the profile of Booker T. Washington as a moderate leader of African Americans who was accepted by white Americans
It was significant because it seemingly accepted the principle of “separate but equal” that the Supreme Court would articulate the following year in the 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson Case

Impatient for change, militant Civil Rights activists founded black civil rights organizations such as the Niagara Movement and the NAACP

Atlanta Compromise: African American History
For visitors interested in the history of African Americans refer to the following articles:

Black History for kids: Important People and Events
For visitors interested in African American History refer to Black History - People and Events. A useful resource  for teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking projects for the Black History Month.

Atlanta Compromise for kids - President Grover Cleveland Video
The following Grover Cleveland video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 22nd and 24th President of the United States whose presidencies spanned from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889 and from March 4, 1893 - March 4,1897.

Atlanta Compromise

Interesting Facts about Atlanta Compromise for kids and schools
Summary of the Atlanta Compromise in US history
The Atlanta Compromise, a major event in US history
Racial Segregation and the Atlanta Compromise
Fast, facts on Atlanta Compromise
History, facts and information on this infamous 'Jim Crow Law'
The Supreme Court decision on the Atlanta Compromise for schools, homework, kids and children

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