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Flashcards in Civil Rights Deck (34):

Define Civil rights 

the protections by government or that government secures on behalf of its citizens


What are the two major obstacles faced by African Americans in securing rights?


•reserves authority to the states (voter eligibility)

•separation of powers (difficult to strike against intrastate tyranny)

–Politics based on self-interest

•government controlled by “men” not “angels”


In what year did congress pass the law ending the importation of slaves?



What was the Missouri Compromise?

– Missouri petitioned Congress for admission as a slave state

– Congress matched with entrance of Maine as free state

– Tensions as North attempts to fence in slavery and South realizes only matter of time until no longer keep veto power in national policy


What was the Wilmot Proviso?

– Proposed banning slavery in recently acquired territories

– Slavery depressed wages for free, white workers

– Introduced twice in House and passed both times, but failed in evenly divided Senate


What was the Missouri Compromise of 1850?

– South complaining of unreturned runaway slaves, North disgusted with slave auctions in DC

– California petition for admission as free state, which threatened South veto power

– Fugitive Slave Law


What was the Fugitive Slave Law 

• Compelled northerners to honor the southerners’ property claims to slaves

• Allowed residents of territories to decide for themselves whether to apply for statehood as free or slave state


Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

– Supreme Court (7-2) determines national government cannot prevent slavery in the territories

– Lower courts attempted to extend decision to rule that state laws banning slavery was unconstitutional

– Whole nation would be open to slaveholding


What happens when Republican Abraham Lincoln wins 1860 presidential election?


– “Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men” slogan

– Republican, antislavery control of House and narrow majority in Senate

– Lincoln announced that the national government would not tolerate “the minority [South] over the majority”


Describe the Civil War

– South seceded (SC first in 1860), with 10 more by 1861

– First shots fired April 12, 1861 off Fort Sumter (Charleston, SC)

– Claimed more than 600,000 soldiers


What were the civil war amendments?

– 13th Amendment (formal emancipation; 1865)

– 14th Amendment (granted citizenship; 1868)

– 15th Amendment (guaranteed the right to vote; 1870)


What began to happen with the republican loss of power in southern legislatures? 

African Americans began to lose power 

– all former Confederate states had reverted to white Democratic control by 1877

– vigilante violence (eg. Ku Klux Klan)

– Waning commitment from northern Republicans

•passed laws, but provided no enforcement


When did reconstruction end? 

with the election of 1876

• Republicans pledged to end Reconstruction to win election

• federal troops pulled out of the South in 1877


What were the Jim Crow Laws

–focus to 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


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

• upheld systemic segregation as constitutional

• separate but equal doctrine


What ended Republican dominance in national actions?

The Great Depression 


What arose from FDR and the Great Depression?

(Describe the New Deal)

• evenhanded treatment of black community

• government assistance

• rooted out racial discrimination in the distribution of relief aid

• appointed more than one hundred black administrators

• Department of Justice rejuvenated its civil liberties division


Who introduced a federal civil rights bills prohibitting discrimination and lynching (and provided voting rights)? 

Truman; openly courted black votes

  • committee on Fair Employment Practices made permanent 


What happened during 1948 Democratic National Convention

  • Dixiecrats bolted due to strong civil rights platform 
  • Truman won reelection
  • shift in party system 


Smith v. Allright 

Supreme Court tossed out all white primary laws 


Sweatt v. Painter

Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision, held that the University of Texas could not stave off desegregation at its law school by instantly creating a black-only facility


Brown v. Board of Education 

Chief justice Earl Warren opened that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal"


What happened with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1957?

Allowed African Americans to sue in federal court if their right to vote had been denied due to race 


What was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and what were they focused on?

focused on influencing judges rather than elected officials


Who led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference?

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 


What is de jure segregation?

racial separation that is required by law 


What is de facto segregation?

a situation in which legislation did not overtly segregate students by race,  but nevertheless school segregation continued 


Define affirmative action

a policy that recquires any employers, schools, or government agencies that have practiced past discrimination to compensate minorities (and women) by giving them special consideration in their selection 




  • campaigned for right to vote for women 
  • active in other policy areas, including abolition prison reform, public education, and temperance 


What amendment gave women the right to vote?

the 19th amendment 


What outlawed gender discrimination?

the Civil Rights Act of 1964 


What was the Civil Rights Act of 1991?

requires employers to show that unequal hiring and compensation practices do not reflect gender discrimination (and gives right to sue)


What civil rights act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in public accomodations?


Civil rights act of 1964

  • churches and nonprofits are exempt