Civil Rights Civil Liberties " protect individual citizens against improper government action. -So, protections against government power. Civil Rights " protect individual citizens from each other. -So, protections provided by government. African Americans faced two major obstacles in securing rights. -Constitution reserves authority to the states separation of powers makes it difficult for national majorities to control federal government -Politics based on self-interest government controlled by men not angels Reconstruction (18651877) Civil War Amendments -Thirteenth (formal emancipation) -Fourteenth (granted citizenship) -Fifteenth (guaranteed the right to vote) Republicans dominated Southern legislatures for a few years: -Ended when white Democrats won back control of Tennessee and Virginia -By 1877 all former Confederate states had reverted to white Democratic control African Americans began to lose power -Vigilante violence (KKK and other groups) -Commitment from northern Republicans waned passed laws, but provided no enforcement -Reconstruction officially ended with the election of 1876 -1877 all federal troops pulled out of the South Jim Crow / Segregation (18771933) Jim Crow laws -disenfranchise and segregate African Americans institutionalized segregation Electoral laws to limit blacks from voting white primary poll tax literacy tests grandfather clauses provided to protect poor and illiterate whites Supreme Court: Plessyv. Ferguson(1896) -separate but equal doctrine Emergence of Civil Rights FDR and the Great Depression -The New Deal evenhanded treatment of the black community government assistance rooted out racial discrimination in the distribution of relief aid appointed 100+ black administrators Justice Department rejuvenated its civil liberties division Wooing of black voters by the Democratic Party -Shift from the party of Lincoln to the party of Roosevelt -Truman in 1948 openly courted black votes integrated armed services and introduced other initiatives -1948 Democratic National Convention Dixiecrats bolted due to strong civil rights platform Strom ThurmondStates Rights Party Truman won reelection Emergence of Civil Rights NAACPs litigation strategy -Sweattv. Painter(1950) Court unanimously agreed that UT law schools separate black-only facility was patently unequal -Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka(1954) trumped the Plessy decision [clip from SC doc (vol3)] Civil Rights Act (1964) -authorized the national government to end segregation in: public education public accommodations -Partisan shift in Congress Republican Party traditionally more supportive of Civil Rights 1964 Republican party chose Barry Goldwater, of Arizona as presidential candidate. Goldwater opposed the 1964 civil rights bill outcome was a landslide win for the Johnson and the Democrats Voting Rights Act (1965) Authorized Justice Department to suspend restrictive electoral tests in southern states that had a history of low black turnout. -could send federal officers to register voters directly -states had to obtain clearance from Justice Department before changing their electoral laws -the law achieved its goals quickly -h
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