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Voters and Voter Behavior Suffrage and Civil Rights.

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1 Voters and Voter Behavior Suffrage and Civil Rights

2 The 15th Amendment was meant to give African American men the vote. Many Stattes ignored it. The goal of the 1960's civil rights movement was to ensure that all minorities, especially African Americans, could vote. The first three civil rights laws were not fully successful.

3 Suffrage and Civil Rights In 1870 the States ratified the 15th Amendment. It says that the right to vote cannot be denied to anyone because of race, color, or earlier status of slavery. Some States in the South ignored the new amendment. White leaders used violence and threats to keep African Americans from voting. They also used literacy testing and poll taxes. In the 1960's the civil rights movement, led by dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fought to end such practice. The 15th Amendment

4 Suffrage and Civil Rights The Civil rights movement pressured Congress to pass laws that were easier to enforce. These laws ensured African Americans' voting rights. 1. The Civil Rights Act of This law set up the Civil Rights Commission. This group looks into charges of voter discrimination. The law allowed the Federal Government to use federal court orders, called injunctions, to stop such discrimination. This law alone did not enforce the 15th Amendment. 2. The Civil Rights Act of This law called for the appointment of federal voting referees to help people register and vote. These referees to help people register and vote. These referees served wherever courts found past discrimination. This law alone did not enforce the 15th Amendment. 3. The Civil Rights Act of This law said registration requirements could not discriminate against anyone. But it also needed the courts to enforce it. When King began a voter registration campaign in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, white police, state troopers, and residents tried to stop him. They even used violence to keep African Americans from registering. President Lyndon B. Johnson asked Congress to pass even stronger laws. Civil Rights Laws

5 Suffrage and Civil Rights Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to ensure the protection of the 15th Amendment. This law applied to all elections-national, State, and local. It ended poll taxes. It allowed the Federal Government to register voters and look over elections in places that had voting rights violations. Amendments to this law have extended its life until A 1975 amendment ended literacy tests as a voting requirement. It also helped certain "language minorities" (people whose primary language is not English). These included Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Alaskan Natives. In places where large numbers of these groups lived, election materials must also be available in both English and the minority language. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Its Amendments


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