16-Civil Rights - What Government Does Civil Rights Civil...

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Unformatted text preview: What Government Does Civil Rights Civil Rights z Refers to the equal treatment by government of all citizens and guarantees that all citizens are able to participate as equals in the practice of democratic life z Positive freedoms (remember civil liberties are negative freedoms) z Government guarantees of political equality Civil Rights z Government guarantees of equality for all people in the U.S. regarding z The exercise of political rights z Judicial proceedings z Treatment by public officials z Access to and enjoyment of the benefits of government programs Civil Rights Before the 20 th Century z Initially absent in spite of the ringing rhetoric of the Declaration of Independence z The word equality does not appear in the Constitution z Through the antebellum years, citizens were more concerned with being protected from the government rather than guaranteeing political rights through the government Civil Rights z Civil Rights & Democracy z Political equality is one of the three pillars of democracy ( What are the other two?) z It has not been a high priority for much of our history z The advances in civil rights since the end of World War II have enriched American democracy and have forced us to take seriously the promises in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution z Many areas of American life still remain highly unequal and unrepresentative Civil Rights Before the 20 th Century z Civil War (or Reconstruction) Amendments z 13th: abolished slavery z 14th: defined citizenship z Equal protection of the laws to all people z Prohibited states from abridging the privileges and immunities of citizens z Guaranteed due process z 15th: outlawed discrimination in voting based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude` Civil Rights Before the 20 th Century z Effectiveness of Civil War Amendments? z Supreme Court used the 14 th Amendment to protect property rights, not the rights of blacks, women or Indians z The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) decided that the 14 th Amendment protected only the rights of citizens of the U.S. z Denied citizens equal protection against abuses by the state government Civil Rights Before the 20 th Century z Effectiveness of Civil War Amendments?...
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16-Civil Rights - What Government Does Civil Rights Civil...

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