The Voting Rights Act was one of the most revolutionary bills ever passed by the congressional legislation in the United States. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill into law on August 6th, 1965, not only as part of politics but also, a depiction of morals. Since 1965, it has protected minority voters at the polls, but it has been fifty years since the Voting Rights Act has been passed and it is still a controversial topic that is constantly debated on today. The voting rights of all minorities throughout the country are once again under attack which impacts one’s ability to exercise his or her constitutional right as a citizen. Preceding the Civil War, people of color, especially African Americans were practically disenfranchised everywhere throughout all fifty states of the United States. The ratification of the fifteenth amendment in the Constitution gave all men, regardless of race, color, or previous state of servitude the right to vote. Even with the enactment of the fifteenth amendment, many states used numerous techniques to prevent people of color from voting. The obstacles that prevented Africans Americans from casting a ballot ranged from literacy tests, poll taxes, the grandfather clause, intimidation, threats, and even violence. …show more content…
Johnson was forced to legislate a comprehensive voting rights draft that would protect the rights of all minorities throughout the entire nation. Johnson feared that the bill would not successfully pass so shortly after he had alienated fellow Southern Democrats with his urge for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The president was aware that most states, specifically, the Southern states, wouldn’t openly accept the passing of the Voting Rights Act. Hence, president Johnson along with Congress in a conference, outlined the effort of the act and addressed that the law clearly limited the cunning ways election officials used to deny African American citizens to
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According to the article, “Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” (1790), the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery was passed on March 1, 1780. It was the first attempts to begin abolishing slavery. The given act forbidden further imported slaves into states and required slaveholders to regularly register slaves to establish any children born in Pennsylvania “free persons” regarding the specific conditions. Stated in the passage, African-Americans were able to vote but many whites preventing most. Unfortunately, they were unable to use their voting rights because whites did not allow it to happen.
We see multiple successes of voting equality attempted through amendments, however, the Supreme Court’s decision on Shelby County v. Holder has pushed back years and years of effort for voting rights. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling was in Shelby County’s favor, stating that the Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional along with Section 5. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr, who wrote the majority’s opinion, said that the power to regulate election was reserved to the states, not the federal government. As a result to the court’s decision, the federal government can no longer determine which voting law discriminates and can be passed. After the case, many states had freely passed new voting laws; the most common voting law states passed
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
To accomplish social equality and justice has been a long controversial issue in U.S. history. Voting Rights Act of 1965 should be understood as a tremendous accomplishment today because it not only represent a symbol of the triumph of fighting social injustice, but also open the first gate for African American and minority to strive for more political power in order to create a “great society.”
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed in order to move forward towards equality in voting in the United States. The Amendments passed in 1982 included providing aid and instruction for any voters that needed extra assistance, for example someone disabled or illiterate. It also required there to be bilingual ballots and other voting materials in jurisdictions where there were large amounts of minority populations. This allowed many Spanish-speaking citizens to vote. The Amendment also “allowed jurisdictions that could provide evidence of maintaining a clean voting rights record for at least 10 years, to avoid preclearance coverage” to change any voting laws in that state, (“Constitutional Amendments”).
The 1965 voting rights Act was passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson , it stated that people no longer had to complete literacy tests when voting. It also prohibited poll taxes as it was a way to keep those who could not afford them from voting, especially African-Americans. President Johnson wanted to eliminate all the barriers that kept African-Americans from voting. Within the next five years the number of black voters increased from 70% in 1964 to 67 % in 1969. By the year 1980 the amount of African-American voters surpassed the total amount of Caucasian voters.
United States citizens with a criminal background should be allowed to vote in their state of residency Ontreal Harris Professor Ross Composition II Reference Shaw, Jerry. “When Did Ex-Felons Lose Their Rights to Vote? A History.” Newsmax. Newsmax Media, Inc.
Although technically people of color had the right, white people were making it very difficult to register. When African Americans went to register they would be tested continuously, something white people never had to deal with. Only two percent of African Americans in the south could vote. Before the march from Selma to Montgomery there were many protests to try to gain fair voting rights. One man, Jimmie Lee Jackson was killed at a peaceful protest by a state trooper.
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.
African Americans had a hard time in the south during the 1900s. The obstacles that A.A. had to endure was not be able to vote due to the color of their skin. Other factors was poll taxes, literacy tests, and bureaucratic restrictions that also played a part in denying them the right to vote. As a result, very few African Americans were registered voters, and they had very little, if any, political power, either locally or nationally.
But, when these officials were elected to Congress, they passed the “black codes” and thus the relations between the president and legislators became worst (Schriefer, Sivell and Arch R1). These so called “Black Codes” were “a series of laws to deprive blacks of their constitutional rights” that they were enacted mainly by Deep South legislatures. Black Codes differ from a state to another but they were stricter in the Deep South as they were sometimes irrationally austere. (Hazen 30) Furthermore, with the emergence of organizations such as the Red Shirts and the White League with the rise of the Conservative White Democrats’ power, efforts to prevent Black Americans from voting were escalating (Watts 247), even if the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S constitution that gave the Blacks the right to vote had been ratified in 1870.
Many people were brutally beaten and there were also some that lost their lives, because of it. Lyndon B Johnson begins his speech his by convincing his listener that he will flight for what is owed to the Negros. That is the equal right to vote regardless of your race. The speech “We Shall Overcome”, speech gets to the core of the problem within the Legislation itself. He wants to see that everyone will abide by the 15th Amendment that gives Negros the right and the privilege to vote without any recourse, without worrying
The Civil Right Acts ended segregation for many things and voting was also a part of that, the discrimination that happened was based on citizens’ race, religion, gender or the origin from which they came from. Norm Ornstein in the article “The U.S. Should Require All Citizens to Vote” said “Americans rebel viscerally against the idea of taking away the freedom not to vote,” the one who rule against mandatory voting are stepping on our history. (Par 6). Many had lost their lives fighting over equal rights; as an American citizen, it is our duty is to be grateful for the opportunity and luxury that have been provided for us. Ornstein’s statement should help American citizens’ realize that there is no such thing as ‘freedom not to vote’, and how would they feel if the freedom to vote is taken away from