Seneca Falls, NY 1848 Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton Declaration of Sentiments
U.S. Supreme Court, 1857 Dred Scott Decision … declared that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. …because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it." …Referring to the language in the Declaration of Independence that includes the phrase, "all men are created equal," the Court reasoned that "it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration...."
Thaddeus Stevens 1865 We have turned, or are about to turn, loose four million slaves without a hut to shelter them or a cent in their pockets. The infernal laws of slavery have prevented them from acquiring an education, understanding the common laws of contract, or of managing the ordinary business of life. This Congress is bound to provide for them until they can take care of themselves. If we do not furnish them with homesteads, and hedge them around with protective laws; if we leave them to the legislation of their late masters, we had better have left them in bondage. If we fail in this great duty now, when we have the power, we shall deserve and receive the execration of history and of all future ages.
Emancipation Proclamation 1863 "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.”
In a single week... April 9, 1865April 15, 1865
13 th Amendment (1865) Ended Slavery Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
14 th Amendment (1868) Granted Equal Rights to All Races All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.
15 th Amendment (1870) Granted Voting Rights to All Races 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.
Should women support the the 15 th Amendment if it does not include women? Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton “We say not another man, black or white, until woman is inside the citadel. What reason have we to suppose the African would be more just and generous than the Saxon has been?...how insulting to put every shade and type of manhood above our heads, to make laws for educated refined, wealthy women....The old anti slavery school says women must stand back and wait until the negroes shall be recognized. But we say, if you will not give the whole loaf of suffrage to the entire people, give it to the most intelligent first. If intelligence, justice, and morality are to have precedence in the government, let the question of the woman be brought up first and that of the negro last....
Should Blacks fight to include women in the 15 th Amendment? Frederick Douglas “I champion the right of the negro to vote. It is with us a matter of life and death, and therefore can not be postponed. I have always championed women’s right to vote; but it will be seen that the present claim for the negro is one of the most urgent necessity. The assertion of the right of women to vote meets nothing but ridicule; there is no deep seated malignity in the hearts of the people against her; but name the right of the negro to vote, and all hell is turned loose and the Ku- Klux and Regulators hunt and slay the unoffending black man. The government of this country loves women. They are the sisters, mothers, wives and daughters of our rulers; but the negro is loathed....The negro needs suffrage to protect his life and property, and to assure him respect and education. He needs it for the safety of reconstruction and the salvation of the Union; for h is own elevation from the position of a drudge to that of an influential member of society.”
Post-Civil War Reconstruction 1865-1877 Military stationed in SouthFreedmen’s Bureau “40 Acres & a Mule” Real Black VotingBlack Elected Officials
The Election of 1876 Ended Reconstruction Rutherford B. Hayes Samuel J. Tilden Republican Democratic Ohio New York Electoral vote 185 184 Popular vote 4,036,572 4,284,020 47.9% 51.0%
United States Supreme Court Civil Rights Cases 1883
14 th Amendment says No State shall nor shall any State All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
U.S. Supreme Court, 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson State laws requiring “separate but equal” treatment of persons of different races are constitutional “Legislation is powerless to eradicate racial instincts or to abolish distinctions based on physical differences, and the attempt to do so can only result in accentuating the differences of the present situation. If the civil and political rights of both races be equal, one cannot be inferior to the other civilly or politically. If one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them on the same plane.” "We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.” Discussion of Case
Restaurants Hotels Entertainment Facilities Housing Neighborhoods Employment Schools Military Marriage And much more… Individual people and private businesses were free to practice discrimination. States were allowed to require “separate but equal” services.
Post Civil War Means of Oppression 1860s – 1960s Inferiority Segregated accommodations Social Sharecropping System Most jobs restricted Economic Poll tax, Literacy Test Grandfather clause Political Separate and unequal schools Educational Ku Klux Klan Terror Lynchings (2,805 from 1880-1930) Physical/Psycholo gical