Civil Rights Timeline

  • Dred Scott v. Stanford

    Dred Scott v. Stanford
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    The thirteenth amendment abolished slavery and indentured servitude unless a punishment for a crime. The thirteenth amendment did not end discrimination against African Americans but it finally provided an answer to the legality of slavery. It also prevented any future U.S. states or territories from having slaves or indentured servitudes something that the Emancipation Proclamation did not do.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    The 14th Amendment says that all citizens of the United States are subject to the jurisdiction and rights granted by the constitution. It also makes it so that states can not revoke rights granted by federal law to its citizens such as the rights of life, liberty or property without due process of law. States have to respect individual’s rights.The 14th amendment is used in court in modern times to contest state legislation that deals with gun rights, abortion, and the legalization or marijuana.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The 15th amendment protects citizen’s right to vote. The government can not deny a citizen’s vote on the basis of race, color or if they previously were not freed people specifically indentured servants or slaves. This amendment is revolutionary in the sense that a huge percentage of the American population previously bounded by race can now have a voice in government and elect officials that are progressive thinkers who want to protect their rights.
  • Poll Taxes

    Poll Taxes
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    In Plessy V Ferguson, Plessy bought a ticket to a white only train car and was arrested after he refused to leave. The Supreme Court ruled that Separate but equal facilities such as black and white train cars were constitutional. The court declared that protections of African Americans under the 14th amendment only applied to political and civil rights. Plessy v. Ferguson upheld the idea that segregation was constitutional under the Separate but equal doctrine.
  • White Primaries

    White Primaries
    Beginning in the late 1890s White primaries were held in the south to select a presidential candidate. Since the South was almost completely democratic, whomever candidate won the white primary had a high chance of winning the general election. Like poll taxes, white primaries prevented African Americans from having their constitutional right to vote as granted by the fifteenth amendment.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote including African American women and women in other racial minorities. Women’s suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton provided the outline for the 19th Amendment but the government did not ratify it until 41 years later. Women could now vote in large enough numbers to swing the results of an election.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
  • Affirmative Action

    Affirmative Action
    Affirmative action was instated to increase representation of minorities in education and employment. Employers have to meet a certain percentage of minority employees in order to receive government grants and aid. Affirmative Action can also provide scholarships and aid to minorities so they can gain access to higher education opportunities. Affirmative Action intends to end the discriminatory practices and historical trends by assisting groups previously discriminated against.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    The Civil Rights Act ended segregation in all public places as a result of race, sex, and religion. Employers could no longer deny a person a job because of their race, sex, and religion. Later the Civil Rights act would outlaw discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation. People of all races and origins now had access to all public facilities and employment opportunities.
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    The 24th amendment says that all United States have the right to vote in all elections including primaries or any other election without paying a poll tax. The 24th Amendment also gave Congress the power to enforce this amendment. The 24th Amendment allowed disadvantaged U.S. citizens who could not pay a poll tax including African Americans, women, and members of other minority groups to be able to influence government.
  • Voting Rights Act

    Voting Rights Act
    The Voting Rights Act aimed to end the voting discrimination against African Americans such as high poll taxes and white primaries. The Voting Rights act outlawed literacy tests before voting and made it so states had to get approval for new voting practices or required procedures. The Voting Rights act helped enforce the 14th and 15th amendments,After this legislation, African Americans slowly but sure surely were able to gain seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Reed v. Reed

    Reed v. Reed
    In Reed v. Reed the Supreme Court Ruled that giving preference of one sex over another is unconstitutional by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In Reed v. Reed, the Idaho Probate code said that males must be chosen over females when appointing administrators of estates. Sally and Cecil Reed were both named administrators of their son’s estate but because of Idaho Probate law, Cecil was chosen to be the administrator and Sally challenged this decision in court.
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Equal Rights Amendment
  • Regents of The University of California v. Bakke

    Regents of The University of California v. Bakke
    In Regents of The University of California v. Bakke, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of a rigid racial quota in admissions processes violated the Equal Protection Clause but if a school used race as one point of criteria amongst several other factors than that was Constitutional. This case is significant because it upheld Affirmative Action and as result increased racial diversity in places of education.
  • Bowers v. Hardwick

    Bowers v. Hardwick
    In Bowers v. Hardwick, the court ruled that acts of sodomy were not protected by the Constitution. The court was divided and the dissenters argued that the Constitution protected rights no explicitly stated in the Constitution. The majority opinion said that protecting individual rights to sodomy would be classified as “judge made constitutional law” and would make future rulings of the Supreme Court illegitimate.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    The Americans with Disabilities Act outlawed discrimination of Individuals based on their disabilities. It required employers and government agencies to provide people with disabilities the same benefits as other employees. Transportation services and non-profit services now to have the public accommodations so people with disabilities could access their services.
  • Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence v. Texas
    In Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court Ruled that the Texas statute outlawing certain sexual practices violates the due process clause. It was ruled that John Lawrence and Tyron Garner have the full right to engage in their conduct without government intervention. Lawrence v. Texas protects American Citizens right to privacy and paved the way for same-sex couples to gain more rights.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges

    Obergefell v. Hodges
    The 24th amendment says that all United States have the right to vote in all elections including primaries or any other election without paying a poll tax. The 24th Amendment also gave Congress the power to enforce this amendment. The 24th Amendment allowed disadvantaged U.S. citizens who could not pay a poll tax including African Americans, women, and members of other minority groups to be able to influence government.