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Govt 2305-Ch_5


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Govt 2305-Ch_5

  1. 1. Civil Rights Chapter 5
  2. 2. What are Civil Rights?  Protections and privileges given to all U.S. citizens by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights  Positive actions of government that seek to make constitutional guarantees possible for all citizens
  3. 3. History of Civil Rights in America  Constitution (1787) – States are granted rights via the 10th Amendment  Bill of Rights (1791) – Citizens are granted rights and guaranteed protection of certain rights  What defines a citizen at this point in history?  Civil War (1861-1865) – Slaves are freed and black men are given voting rights  13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments  Were these provisions really enforced?
  4. 4. History of Civil Rights in America  Civil Rights Act of 1871  Provided enforcement of the 14th Amendment  Provided freedmen protection from Ku Klux Klan violence  Civil Rights Act of 1875  Equality in public accommodation
  5. 5. History of Civil Rights in America  Civil Rights Cases of 1883  Invalidated the previous Civil Rights Acts by citing the enforcement clause in the 14th Amendment  “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens” was limited to correcting actions by states in their official acts  Basically, the 14th Amendment applied to state-related discrimination, not discriminatory acts purported by private citizens  As a result, future legislation, voting restrictions, and extralegal violence continued until the early 1950s
  6. 6. History of Civil Rights in America  Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)  Supreme Court concluded that the 14th Amendment “could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social equality”  Essentially, segregation alone is not unconstitutional  This established the “separate but equal” doctrine  Separate but equal facilities do not violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment
  7. 7. History of Civil Rights in America  Era of Voting Barriers (1877-1944)  After the Civil War, Southern politicians regained control of state governments and used various measures to deprive minorities the right to vote  White Primary – state primary election that restricts voting to whites only; ruled unconstitutional per the 15th Amendment in 1944 (Smith v. Allwright)  Grandfather Clause – restricted voting to those whose grandfathers had voted before 1867; essentially disenfranchised freedmen
  8. 8. History of Civil Rights in America  Era of Voting Barriers (1877-1944)  Poll Tax – special tax that must be paid as a qualification for voting  In 1964, the 24th Amendment outlawed the poll tax in national elections  In 1966, the Supreme Court declared poll taxes unconstitutional in state elections  Literacy Test – test administered as a pre-condition for voting  Potential voters asked to read, recite, or interpret complicated texts such as state constitutions
  9. 9. History of Civil Rights in America  Literacy Test Example  Constitution of the State of West Texas (1868); Article IX: Land Office and Lands  Sec. 2 – The Legislature shall provide rules for ascertaining the genuineness of land certificates and titles to lands issued by the State of Texas, previous to the separation of this State, and owned or located within this State, and in relation thereto, the Legislature may enter into such arrangements with the other State, or States, within the limits of the former State of Texas, as may be just or proper. The Land Certificates, or Scrip, issued by the (so-called) authorities of the State of Texas during the late rebellion, are declared null and void; Provided, that where any of these Certificates, or Scrip, are now owned in quantities of six hundred and forty acres or less, by any actual settler on the public lands of this State, the same shall be considered valid.
  10. 10. Check my SlideShare page (rfair07) for more lectures Lectures posted for:  United States History before 1877 / after 1877  Texas History  United States (Federal) Government / Texas Government  Slide 10 of 22  To download a full copy of the full PowerPoint presentation, please go to:  10