American Civil Rights

Timeline created by 20johanc
In History
  • Passing of the Articles of Confederation

    The Articles of Confederation were the first attempt at a constitution by the United States of America. They severely weakened the central government and caused the new nation to struggle.
  • Ratification of the Constitution

    The Constitution was the framework for a more complex form of government. It established a federal system with a stronger central government.
  • Bill of Rights Added

    To appease states who were opposed to the strength of the national government established by the new Constitution, the first ten amendments were added. They are known as the Bill of Rights.
  • 13th Amendment

    The 13th amendment outlaw slavery in the United States of America.
  • 14th Amendment

    The 14th amendment provides that all people born in the United States are naturalized US citizens. This guaranteed that former slaves would be granted citizenship. The 14th amendment also granted all citizens equal protection under the law.
  • 15th Amendment

    The 15th amendment granted African American men the right to vote provided that they met all the other requirements. They were often prevented from voting through literacy tests, and other laws set in place to keep them from the voting booths.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Originated with Louisiana's Separate Car Act of 1890 which required African Americans to sit in segregated train cars. Homer Adolph Plessy took this to court in the hopes that he could make the racial segregation of public places illegal. The case went to the supreme court and the judges ruled that segregation based on race was constitutional as long as the facilities were equal. "Separate but Equal" would be the norm until it was overturned in Brown v. Board of Education.
  • Schenck v. US

    Supreme court case that found Schenck guilty of espionage. It was supported by the Sedition Act which stated that freedom of speech would only be upheld if it was not detrimental to national security.
  • 19th Amendment

    Women were given the right to vote nationally after the passage of the 19th amendment. While they were allowed to vote in many places across America, many women had been protesting their constitutional inability to vote around 80 years.
  • Gitlow v. New York

    The supreme court stated that the due process clause in the 14th amendment also protected rights established in the 1st amendment, specifically freedom of speech.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Landmark supreme court case in which the board of education in Topeka, Kansas was sued for not allowing black children into an all-white school. The supreme court heard the case and ruled that racial segregation under the doctrine of "separate but equal" was unconstitutional under the 14th amendment.
  • Brown v. Board of Education II

    A second ruling the Brown v. Board case which stated that school districts had to begin desegregation as quickly as possible.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    The Civil Rights Act was the most impactful piece of legislation that came from the civil rights movement. It ended all legal segregation of public places and made discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, sex, religion, and nationality illegal.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    The Voting Rights Act gave the national government the right to oversee elections in states where people had been denied the right to vote or were prevented from voting. It made the literacy tests, and poll taxes, which kept many African Americans from the polls, illegal.
  • Miranda v. Arizona

    Supreme court case that established the rights that must be read to a suspect who has been placed under arrest. Ernesto Miranda was arrested and confessed to robbery, kidnapping, and rape. His lawyers, however, argued that he was not properly informed of his rights, and the case was taken to the supreme court.
  • Tinker v. Des Moines

    Students who attended a school in Des Moines, Iowa were taken to court for silently protesting the Vietnam War. The supreme court ruled in favor of the students, and they were able to continue their peaceful protest.
  • New York Times v. US

    The New York Times published several documents known as the Pentagon Papers. The US government gained a temporary restraining order which prevented the rest from being published at the time. The case went to the supreme court, and the court ruled in favor of the papers stating that the United States had not proven that the papers were detrimental to national security.
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    The Equal Rights Amendment was first proposed in 1923 and was brought back during America's second wave of feminism in the 1960s. The amendment provides for equality of the sexes in legal matters and prohibits discrimination.
  • Title IX

    Prohibited educational institutions from discriminating based on sex. This includes both student and staff in primary, secondary, and higher education.
  • Roe v. Wade

    A supreme court decision ruling against Texas's law banning abortion. It made abortion legal across the US.
  • Milliken v. Bradley

    A supreme court case which asked for the district lines in Detroit and its surrounding suburbs to be redrawn to put a stop to residential segregation by race. The lawsuit did not succeed and the supreme court ruled in favor of white flight.
  • Persons with Disabilities Act

    The Persons with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, government, public and commercial facilities, and telecommunications.
  • McDonald v. Chicago

    In 2010 Chicago attempted to place limitations on handguns. The supreme court struck down the law, citing the second amendment right to bear arms.
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    Montgomery Bus Boycott

    The boycott was a protest in which the African American community of Montgomery, Alabama refused to ride city buses to protest segregated seating. It is the larges scale protest against racial segregation in US history.