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488-503 notes - Chapter 16 488-503 Civil Rights Before the...

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Chapter 16: 488-503 Civil Rights Before the 20 th century: o An initial absence of civil rights: There is no listing in the constitution or bill of rights of what we call “civil rights”; the word “equality” does not appear in the constitution at all. Prior to the Civil war Africa-Americans were slaves and women had little if any rights. This is a clear outline of an unjustly unequal society; however, that would change after the civil war. Not all felt that inequality was right (abolitionists) and they risked their lives to save slaves and entered the political game to try to change the minds of the country as a whole. o The Civil War Amendments: 13 th amendment: Outlawed slavery throughout the U.S., settling the divisive issue at the root of the Civil War 14 th amendment: Reversed the Dred Scott case, making all people who are born or naturalized in the U.S., black or white, citizens both of the U.S. and of the states in which they reside. 15 th Amendment: Guaranteed African-American men the right to vote Undermining the civil war amendment: They were passed into law, but not accepted for around 20 years following the end of the civil war. Plessy v. Ferguson was passed an allowed for even state level discrimination, which helped establish the Jim crow laws of the south; until the brown v. the board of education of Topeka went to the supreme court where they found racial segregation to be hugely unconstitutional. They used poll tax for African America, which they could not afford and imposed a literacy test, which white people could get out of if one of their ancestors vote following 1867. Women and the 15 th and 19 th amendments: 15 th amendment:
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o Women were extremely angry that they were very active the abolitionist movement, but were excluded from the right to vote. o The Supreme Court decided minor v. Happersett (1874)—women’s suffrage was not an inherent right in the national citizenship guarantees of the 14 th amendment.
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