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The Springfield Race Riot of 1908: what were the causes and/or effects? essay sample



The US immigrants were not particularly cherished by local people in many states, especially when their arrival was marked with some nasty crimes. Such a case occurred in August 1908, in the town of Springfield, Illinois. Two white women were reported to be assaulted by black men in their homes. The local community did not trust African Americans and quickly reacted to the incident. A mob gathered at the Springfield police department to lynch the two men accused. One of them was a local factory worker, and another one turned out to be a vagrant.


Having discovered the intentions of the mob, police officers moved suspects to a safe location where people would not get them. The investigation was ahead, and the police could not allow the main suspects to be assaulted. The furious mob could not allow black criminals to come clean, and instead lynched two other African Americans who were present in the area. But that was not enough for these people. They turned their fury at the homes and businesses of black families, destroying everything that belonged to African Americans.


After the mob had finished their reprisals against black people in Springfield, six African Americans were killed, two more lynched, and losses over the destroyed property reached hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nearly 2,000 black people moved out of Springfield to ensure safety to their families. The Springfield riot was the first race riot in the North of the US. It drove reformers and civil right activists to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.