The right to vote from the fifteenth amendment to the voting rights act of 1965
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The Right to Vote : From the Fifteenth Amendment to The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Teaching American History Project April 2006 Mr. Azevada Laguna Creek High School. Standard. 11.10 – The students will analyze the developments of federal civil rights and voting rights. . Today’s Objective.

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The right to vote from the fifteenth amendment to the voting rights act of 1965 l.jpg

The Right to Vote: From the Fifteenth Amendment to The Voting Rights Act of 1965

Teaching American History Project

April 2006

Mr. Azevada

Laguna Creek High School


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Standard

  • 11.10 – The students will analyze the developments of federal civil rights and voting rights.


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Today’s Objective

  • Analyze, discuss, and trace the history of voting rights from the passage of the 15th Amendment up until the Voting Rights Act of 1965


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The Fifteenth Amendment (1870)

  • “Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

  • “Section 2. The Congress shall power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

  • How effective was the 15th Amendment in the late 1800’s?


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The End of Reconstruction 1877

  • Voting by freed African-Americans changes the political climate in the South

    • Black candidates won seats in Congress

  • President Hayes orders the removal of federal troops in the South hoping that this would bring the North and South together

    • With no more federal oversight, many blacks lost voting rights


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Supreme Court Upholds Literacy Tests 1898

  • Williams v. Mississippi

    • Literacy test do not violate the U.S. Constitution as long as they apply equally to all applicants


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Grandfather Clauses are Unconstitutional 1915

  • Guinn v. U.S.

    • U.S. Supreme Court ruled that grandfather clause in Oklahoma is a violation of the 15th Amendment


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Poll Taxes are Permitted 1937

  • Breedlove v. Suttles

    • Supreme Court rules that Georgia’s use of poll taxes does not violate either the 14th or 15th Amendments because they are applied to all races


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White Only Primary is Ruled Unconstitutional 1944

  • Smith v. Allwright

    • Supreme Court ruled that primary elections are subject to the 15th Amendment

    • This ruling overturned the 1935 case Grovey v. Townsend which limited participation in primaries to whites only


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Literacy Tests ruled Unconstitutional 1949

  • Davis v. Schnell

    • Supreme Court ruled that literacy tests in Alabama were intended to deny African-Americans the right to vote, therefore making this a violation of the 15th Amendment


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Civil Rights Act 1957

  • President Eisenhower proposes the first civil rights act since Reconstruction. This law creates a commission to investigate discrimination.


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Civil Rights Act 1964

  • “Prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, unemployment, education, and governmental services.”

  • It also strengthens the 15th Amendment (prohibited discrimination in voting)


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Poll Tax Ratified 1964

  • 24th Amendment

    • Illegal for states to charge poll taxes

  • Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections 1966

    • This expands poll tax bans to state elections, stating a violation of the 14th and 24th Amendments.


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Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Outlaws any racially discriminatory act that prevents African-Americans from voting

  • This suspends literacy tests


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Present Day Challenges

  • Florida 2005 Johnson v. Bush

  • The issue was that there is a Florida law that does not allow convicted felons the right to vote.

  • US Supreme Court upholds the law on the grounds that the law applies to all felons

  • Is this justified?


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Resources Used

  • Images.google.com. Various Photographs. 7 Apr. 2006 <http://images.google.com>.

  • Ritchie, Donald A, and JusticeLearning.org. Our Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.


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