In 1935, Long led the fight for Louisiana to abolish the poll tax. The expensive poll tax required voters to pay a fee of 2 dollars (equivalent to 24 dollars today) to vote. Long’s success allowed for 250,000 new voters, including many poor African-Americans. Likewise, the CPUSA also campaigned for the abolishment of the poll tax.
These laws were hard to get around and go through because many African Americans did not have the money to afford the poll tax and many could not pass the literacy tests because they were not provided with adequate education. In addition, many African American’s grandparents were in enslavement, therefore unable to vote. These inabilities, segregation, and discrimination caused African Americans to be upset and start the Civil Rights Movement and made them want to fight for the rights and goals that they believed in. They would fight until they were satisfied with justice coming about and prevailing (Document 3). They would fight back with peaceful protests and marches.
One of reasons the confederacy failed was because the U.S. Congress, with Lincoln’s support, proposed the 13th amendment which would abolish slavery in America. Although the confederate peace delegation was unwilling to accept a future without slavery, the radical and moderate Republicans designed a way to takeover the reconstruction program. The Radical Republicans wanted full citizenship rights for African Americans and wanted to implement harsh reconstruction policies toward the south. The radical republican views made up the majority of the Congress and helped to pass the 14th amendment which guaranteed equality under the law for all citizens, and protected freedmen from presidential vetoes, southern state legislatures, and federal court decisions. In 1869, Congress passed the fifteenth amendment stating that no citizen can be denied the right to vote because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Poll Taxes claimed to target the lower class who were unable to afford the taxes. The taxes that established between 1889 and 1910 had a strong effect on African-Americans and poor whites. This was a way for the government to cut out any black connection to power or political movement and enabled poor civilians to have a say in this movement or any chance to fight for their rights. Before the 24th amendment how
For the first time, African-American men across the country were legally permitted to vote. It was a significant step in the journey toward racial equality. The amendment was ratified in 1870, as the U.S. was struggling to recover from the Civil War. The war had destroyed its unity, ruined its economy, and killed well over one million people.
This amendment affected the nation positively and negatively. Now the nation has many more votes. Not just the people who are rich, have the vote. Now, there, “‘can be no one too poor to vote.’... the right of all U.S. citizens to freely cast their votes has been secured” ("Today in Civil Rights History:
This enraged many citizens and cause violent and destructive protests to break out in several areas. However, Hamilton wanted to empower the federal government, as well as levy its power over the states. These taxes were very unpopular in mamy states. As a result protests and petition, the excise tax was then reduced. This reduction still did not completely settle all of the protests and anger among the citizens.
The Voting Rights Act was passed into law on August 6, 1965. The law prohibited the use of poll taxes and literacy tests that prevented Southern Blacks from voting. It also gave the federal government authority to supervise how poll taxes are conducted within places with disfranchised African Americans. After the Civil War, regardless of the 15th amendment, which banned the states from denying the right to vote of male citizens based on their race or previous condition of servitude before the war, discrimination was still around, prevented African Americans from voting. Many voting rights activists were also being mistreated violently.
The colonists wanted representation when it came down to being taxed, but the British government would not allow it. The government wanted full control over the people, so they made sets of acts and laws that were placed on taxation. For example, the Stamp Acts of 1765. These acts taxed all papers, pamphlets, newspapers, and cards. The Townshend Acts of 1767 were also a large part of taxation.
Even though the government adopted the Voting Rights Act in 1965, African Americans’ suffrages were still restricted because of southern states’ obstructions. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was important for blacks to participate in political elections, but before this act was passed, there were several events led to its proposal. The government gave African Americans’ the right to vote by passing the 15th Amendment, but in the Southern States, blacks’ suffrages were limited by grandfather clauses, “poll taxes, literacy tests, and other bureaucratic restrictions” (ourdocuments.gov). As times went on, most African Americans couldn’t register their votes.
In his speech he explained why they wanted the right to vote, “If the Negro knows enough to pay taxes to support government, he knows enough to vote; taxation and representation should go together... ” (“African Americans,” 2016). In 1869, when Congress debated on the Fifteenth Amendment, the first ever black national meeting of African Americans took place in the convention in Washington, D.C and those who attended the convention spent time meeting with member of Congress, encouraging them to pass a strong Amendment guaranteeing black male suffrage worldwide (“African Americans,” 2016). Democrats feared ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, because they believed that it would create 170,000 loyal black Republican voters in the North and West and to vote against it, they claimed that it restricted the states’ rights to run their own election and also that the low literacy of the black population would affect the votes (“African Americans,” 2016). Despite all Democratic oppositions, the Republicans won ratification victories and in March 30, 1869, President Grant officially proclaimed the Fifteenth Amendment as part of the Constitution.
The 15th Amendment (Amendment XV), which gave African-American men the right to vote, was inserted into the U.S. Constitution on March 30, 1870. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment says, “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.” Although the amendment was passed in the late 1870s, many racist practices were used to oppose African-Americans from voting, especially in the Southern States like Georgia and Alabama. After many years of racism, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 aimed to overthrow legal barricades at the state and local levels that deny African-Americans their right to vote. In the
The questions at hand were complex, and involved citizenship and government aid, and had to take the public’s varied opinions into account, as well as the political makeup of Congress. The 13th Amendment freed the slaves, but gave the slaves nothing except their freedom. The 14th amendment defined citizenship, then not only made discriminatory legislation (such as black codes) illegal, but provided consequences for states that did not comply. The Reconstruction Acts, although too broad and expensive to be applied in their entirety, required that the former Confederate States ratify the 13th and 14th amendments, as well as submit redrafted state Constitutions in order to be readmitted to the Union. The 15th Amendment made it possible for people to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”, making it a radical, although certainly not selfless, act that granted African-Americans political power
Primary Source Analysis- During the time of reconstruction, which was after the civil war, the government passed the 13, 14, and 15th amendment to give African Americas freedom and rights. The 15th amendment gave the former African American slaves the right to vote. Between 1890 and 1906, the "new" south wanted to eliminate this right for the African Americans. Any African American who fought for their rights would be faced with violence known as lynching, murdering of three or more people.