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Constitution: The Law of the Land. Focus The Amendments allow people to change the Constitution to meet current needs.

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Presentation on theme: "Constitution: The Law of the Land. Focus The Amendments allow people to change the Constitution to meet current needs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constitution: The Law of the Land

2 Focus The Amendments allow people to change the Constitution to meet current needs

3 Abolishing Slavery Slavery and the Framers Southerners thought their farming economics would fail without slaves Framers had to eliminate abolishing slavery so both north and south states would ratify the constitution Framers agreed on the 3/5 compromise and it made it so slaves were returned to owners and count as 3/5 of a person for representation

4 Tension between North and South Competed for power of Congress North was more populous and South counted slaves 1820 Missouri Compromise: divided new lands into “slave territories and “free” Territories 2 sides: for slavery vs. anti-slavery


6 Controversy in the courts 1857, Dred Scott Decision Scott and owner traveled from Missouri to IL and WI Moved back to Missouri Scott said he was free because he made residence in WI (free territory) Court ruled that Constitution said slaves were property and had to be returned to owners

7 13 th Amendment 1858, Lincoln warned US couldn’t be half slave and half free…all or nothing Civil war took 600,000 lives Abolished slavery in 1865

8 African Americans and voting States still had the power to decide who could be a citizen Both north and South denied citizenship to blacks

9 14 th Amendment 1868, gave citizenship to African Americans “ All persons born or naturalized in US…are citizens of the US and of the state wherein they reside.” No state can deprive person of life, liberty, property without due process of law Didn’t prevent private citizens from mistreating African Americans


11 15 th and 24 th Amendment 15 th : 1870, states may not deny the vote to anyone on race or color 24 th : 1964, poll taxes are declared illegal

12 Women and the right to Vote Traditional Ideas about women Expected to stay at home 1800’s women started to work in factories: many believed that they were unable to handle those jobs Thought women were being irresponsible to families Thought women were less intelligent than men

13 Challenging traditional View Women in the work force increased Omen became active in Political issues Insisted on right to vote (suffrage) 1848, Seneca Falls women’s convention Gained attention due to marches, speeches, writing in newspapers From 1878 to 1918 proposed the right to vote, but failed each time


15 19 th Amendment 1918 House approved amendment 1919 Senate approves 1920 Ratified by states

16 Youth and the right to vote From colonial through mid 1900’s voting age was 21 Wars fought made people believe that if you could fight and die for your country you should be allowed to vote 1970 law allows 18 year old to vote (only national levels) 26 th Amendment in 1971 passed and voting age is 18 at all levels

17 A Flexible Framework Constitution provides general guidelines, not specifics

18 Equality and Segregation Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) Many states, after 14 th amendment, required segregation (separation of blacks and whites) Homer Plessy refused to leave a “whites only” railroad car. He said law requiring segregation violated right to equal protection Court ruled that law did not violate as long as black and white train cars were of equal quality “separate but equal” accepted for 50 years


20 Opposition to Segregation Many schools and other places were not as good for blacks as for whites Even when equal quality many felt that blacks were being treated as inferior. 1950 Thurgood Marshall, lawyer for NAACP brought to the Supreme Court cases that involved unequal segregation

21 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) Linda Brown (black girl) lived 7 blacks from white school. She was required to travel 21 blocks to go to her all black school Linda’s parents wanted her to attend the closer school. Her parents took the school to court Thurgood Marshall said separate school are harmful for both black and white kids. Black kids felt inferior and white kids felt superior. Separate but equal not equal Supreme Court ruled separate schools were “inherently unequal” Brown v. Board overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and made all segregation laws unconstitutional

22 Equality and Affirmative Action 1960’s Civil Rights laws-guards against racial discrimination Laws can’t change years of racial discrimination Government began to correct years of unfair hiring practices Affirmative Action = steps to counteract effects of past racial discrimination and discrimination against women

23 Regents of the Univ of CA v. Bakke UC Medical School Reserved places in each class for African Americans, Hispanic, and Native American Students In 1973 and 1974 white student rejected admittance even though he had higher grades than others Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny admittance because of race Race could be a factor if the school wished to create a more diverse student body, but couldn’t discriminate from whites CA law 209 forbid state universities and employers from considering race or ethnicity

24 Women and Equality Phillips v. martin Marietta Corporation (1971) Phillips, female, denied job because she had small children (asked this question on application) She took to court because she hadn’t been treated equally because men were not questioned about their kids Court rules that you couldn’t have one hiring policy for men and another for women

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