Part III: Extending Equal Rights to All Citizens. 1791 - present. December 1791. The states have established their independence from Britain, and have become one nation. The U.S. Constitution has been ratified by all 13 of the states. A bill of rights, in the form of amendments
1791 - present
1 – 10, has been added to the U.S. Constitution.
- Who benefits fully from these rights and the right to self-determination (civil and political rights)?
1787: compromises made in the U.S. Constitution just pushed back the decision
1789 - 1850s: efforts focused on keeping “balance” between slave and non-slave states and territories through laws and “compromises” deeper passions on each side
1830s – 1850s Abolitionist movement grew but…
1857: Sup. Court decision in Dred Scott case:
- Congress cannot outlaw slavery in the territories
No, instead the U.S. went to war (Civil War).
executive order, by A. Lincoln)
13th Amendment is passed.
Rebel states required to ratify it.
Sections 2-4 were to resolve issues left by Civil War:
2: how will population be recounted without 3/5ths compromise; who can vote; what happens if an eligible person is denied suffrage
3: who can run for office
4: whose war-related debts are legitimate
5: Congress has the power to enforce this!
- 1896: Sup. Ct decision in Plessy v. Ferguson: “having
separate but equal” facilities for racial groups does not
violate the rights of people of color (non-whites)
- Rise of “black codes” and “Jim Crow” laws
- Failure to ensure “equality” in public
- Failure to prosecute “vigilante” justice
(attacks, lynchings) and white supremacist
NAACP, writings by W.E.B. DuBoisand others,
anti-lynching movement led by Ida Wells-Barnett
“separate” is never equal; segregation in
public education is unconstitutional because it
denies equal protection under the law to children
who are not white (contrary to 14th Amendment);
Plessy v. Ferguson is overturned
1955 – mid 1970s modern civil rights
movement picks up momentum
1955: Montgomery bus boycott (followed in 1956 by Supreme Court decision outlawing segregating seating on buses)
1957 – 1963: resistance to desegregation of schools and transportation, non-violent protest, violence against civil rights leaders and citizens, incl. children
1963: March on Washington, MLK “Dream” speech, assassination of JFK
1964: Civil Rights Act (against discrim.employment + public accommodations)
24th Amendment (poll taxes)
1965: Selma to Montgomery march for voter registration
Voting Rights Act: federal gov’t allowed oversight of elections
Malcolm X assassinated
1968: Civil Rights Act (against discrimination in housing)
RFK and MLK assassinated
1971: Supreme Court rules that federal courts can order busing of children in
order to desegregate schools
1970s – 1980s: continued efforts to desegregate schools, neighborhoods, etc.