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Frq: Civil Rights Essay

One law passed by Congress that made discriminatory voting requirements such as poll taxes, the grandfather clause, and voting laws illegal was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act made it illegal and attempted to stop the discriminatory requirements and tests. The act prohibited states from imposing “voting qualification, prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure…to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color”. B. A constitutional amendment that addressed one of these practices that the Supreme Court strengthened and upheld during a court case/ruling was the 19th Amendment. The 19th amendment was established to give women the right to vote. This ended discrimination against women voting and state laws that didn’t allow women to vote. 2. ) African Americans litigated for their equal rights because they were often discriminated and treated unequally from whites. From 1890-1954, they pushed for equality. The court’s decision in Plessy V. Ferguson that blacks are separate but equal demonstrated inequality.

Jim Crow laws, custom beliefs in the society about blacks, called for separation of facilities, schools, and made blacks lower than whites. Later, African Americans fought for equality and rights by peaceful protests such as Martin Luther King Jr. , boycotting, refusing to whites, to violent approaches such as fights which involved police. Propaganda for exposing the evils of slavery and inequality were also used. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was about the evils of slavery sold 300,000 copies in 1852 opening people’s eyes. Blacks started challenging the authority of whites and their power to oppress them.

They took many cases to the Supreme Court such as the Dred Scott v. Sandford case in 1857 and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. They also formed a groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Another group that was treated discriminatorily and did not receive equal rights were women. Women were stereotypically referred as the stay home figure. She could not vote because men thought they were not capable of the responsibility. They feltthey were treated as second class citizens. They litigated for their equal rights by establishing groups such as the National Organization for the Women (NOW).

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They also joined groups such as the SNCC and the SCLC. They sought to inprove rights for women. Betty Friedan published the book The Feminine Mystique in 1963 which led women to question their status in society. Court cases such as Hoyt v. Florida defined the lines of women’s rights. Justice John Harlan said that the woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life. This decision was reversed in 1975. Presidential action was also involved when John F. Kennedy created the President’s Commission on the Status of Women headed by Eleanor Roosevelt.

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