Civil Rights Timeline

Timeline created by masondenoon
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    Dred Scott v. Sandford
    This case came about as a result of a slave owner taking his slave (Dred Scott) from Missouri, which is a slave state, into Illinois, a free state, and then back to Missouri. Because of this, Scott argued that since he was in a free state, he is now a free man. The case made it to the supreme court and in a 7-2 decision ruled that black people "are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word 'citizens' in the Constitution", which devastated African American rights.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    This amendment abolish slavery in the United States. It acted as the first major step in civil rights and is followed by many other events as a result.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    This amendment granted citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the united states and gave all citizens "equal protection". This includes former slaves. This amendment is largely regarded to be one of the most important ones made because it establishes equal protection among the citizens.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    Granted the ability for African American men to vote in elections. "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Allowed for separate equality. Deemed that segregation in public facilities would be allowed as long as both were of similar quality. Ruled in an 7-1 decision against Plessy that Louisiana did not violate the 14th amendment.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    This amendment in the simplest terms gave women the right to vote. After this point, all citizens could finally vote based on law, regardless of their gender or race.
  • Equal Rights Amendment Proposal

    Equal Rights Amendment Proposal
    The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposal to incorporate women's rights directly into the constitution through an amendment. Initially proposed by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman in 1923, the amendment is still trying to be ratified but still has not done so to this day.
  • White Primaries

    White Primaries
    White primaries were primary elections held in the south that only allowed Caucasian voters to participate. The case of Smith v. Allwright found this unconstitutional in an 8-1 decision in 1944.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    A landmark decision in the supreme court that ruled in a 9-0 decision that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. They claimed that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and this violated the equal protection clause of the 14 amendment.
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    Essentially outlawed poll taxing due to it being used excessively on minorities. This finally allowed mostly equal representation in terms of being able to vote.
  • Poll Tax

    Poll Tax
    Poll tax was a method used by some polling stations to deter poor minorities from voting. It became illegal following the ratification of the 24th amendment.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin and forbade discrimination in hiring, promoting, and firing on the basis of sex, and race.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    Removed legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Reed v. Reed

    Reed v. Reed
    Idaho law stated "males must be preferred to females" in appointing administrators of estates. And Ms. Reed argued that this was against her rights proclaimed by the 14th amendment. In an 8-0 decision, Ms. Reed won the case and the court said that this unequal treatment between men and women was unconstitutional.
  • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    Ruled that using "racial quotas" in the admission process of universities was unconstitutional. Although they allowed for some benefits to minorities to still happen.
  • Affirmative action

    Affirmative action
    Affirmative action is the act of giving minorities more opportunities in areas such as education and employment to make up for past exclusion. Became acceptable in the case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke after the court decision of racial quotas being unconstitutional but affirmative action being acceptable.
  • Bowers v. Hardwick

    Bowers v. Hardwick
    Georgia had a law that outlawed homosexual sodomy, and in a 5-4 decision, the court decided that it was within the state's rights to outlaw such an act. Was a pretty large blow to LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in areas such as employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services.
  • Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence v. Texas
    Overturned the decision of Bowers v. Hardwick. Ruled that laws prohibiting private homosexual activity were unconstitutional in a 6-3 decision.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges

    Obergefell v. Hodges
    Decided that same sex marriage is protected by the due process clause and equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. Huge gain for the LGBTQ+ community.