Poly Sci Chap 4 - Civil Rights The Logic of American...

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Civil Rights Chapter Four  The Logic of American Politics
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What Are Civil Rights? Civil rights. Represent those protections by government power. They require governments to act, whereas civil liberties are well served when government does nothing. Things that government must secure on behalf of its citizens.
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Civil Liberties We classify as civil liberties the Constitution’s protections from government power. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to privacy. Typically, violations of these liberties occur when some government agency, at any level, oversteps its authority.
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Modern-Day Civil Rights Modern-day “civil rights” include safeguards against any effort by government or dominant groups in a community to suppress another group and take unfair, mostly economic, advantage of it. Also include the rights of individuals in their relation with others: To enter into contracts and own property. To have access to businesses that serve the public. To enjoy equal educational opportunities and more.
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The Height of Slavery: 1808-1865 1807 saw the passage of a law ending the importation of slaves. Economic interests would soon emerge as cotton once again became the focus of the South’s economic prosperity. For every new slave state, a “free” state was also admitted to the Union.
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The Height of Slavery: 1808-1865 The Missouri Compromise In 1819 citizens of Missouri petitioned Congress for admission as a slave state. Most had emigrated from Kentucky and Tennessee, both slave states. Thus slavery appeared to be expanding beyond the southern region. The plan matched Missouri’s entry as a slave state with Maine’s entry as a free state. Maintained a balance in the Senate between free and slave states. The South also agreed that Missouri’s southern border would serve as the northern boundary beyond which slavery could not extend in the future.
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The Wilmot Proviso In 1846 Rep. David Wilmot of Pennsylvania introduced a bill in the House that would have gutted the compromise by banning slavery in the recently acquired territories. The presence of slaves depressed wages for white labor. Passed twice in the House, but lost in the Senate. Introduced new allies to the abolitionist movement – Free Soil Party ran Martin Van Buren in 1848. Managed to scare the two major political parties. Six years later they broadened their coalition and became the Republican Party.
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Missouri Compromise of 1850 In 1849 California applied for admission to the Union as a free state. This would throw off the South’s ability to use its power in the Senate to “veto” legislation. Compromise: allowed California to enter, but required passage of the Fugitive Slave Law.
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