Siteseen Logo

Atlanta Compromise

Grover Cleveland

Atlanta Compromise: 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.

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.

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

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

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era
Atlanta Compromise Speech

ⓒ 2017 Siteseen Limited

First Published

Cookies Policy


Updated 2018-01-01

Publisher Siteseen Limited

Privacy Statement