Civil rights are freedoms and rights guaranteed to a member of a community, state, or nation. Freedom of speech, of the press, religion, and of fair and equal treatment are the basic civil rights. The constitution of the United States contains a Bill of Rights that describes simple liberties and rights insured to every person in the United States. Although the Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution, civil rights were not always respected to all human beings, especially blacks. When the Constitution
was first written, many Americans understood the meaning of the famous inscripture “all men are created equal” to mean that all white males were created equal, likewise with other civil rights guarantees as well. As a result, blacks were enslaved and persecuted throughout the late 1700's and early 1800's.After the end of Civil War the Constitution was amended to give former slaves freedom and the rights of citizens. This passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to Constitution were supposed to give the African-Americans equal protection under the law. They were also intended to give the new citizens the right to vote. During the 1850's abolitionists in the North questioned the morality of southern slavery by writing and preaching about the rights blacks were denied. Abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Fredrick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth, paved the way for the first civil rights movement that occurred after the Civil War, during Reconstruction. ...
segregated societies, separating themselves from blacks in every humanly way possible.
The old Jim Crow laws governed all aspects of their existence, from the schoolroom to
the restroom. Southern blacks faced new discrimination every day whether it be
economically, socially, or politically. America was destined for another, more far-
reaching civil rights movement. The civil rights movement during the late 1800's and
early 1900's provided the foundations for the current civil rights laws achieved
throughout the 1960's.
Black Americans made significant gains in their struggle for equal rights during
Reconstruction, the 12-year period after the Civil War. In 1868, after southern president
Andrew Johnson vetoed a Civil Rights bill, the radically republican influenced congress
transported the principals of the Civil Rights bill to the 14th Amendment. The 14th
Amendment conferred civil rights and citizenship for all former slaves, and was
incorporated into the requirements for a southern state to regain its statehood. After the
14th Amendment was passed; however, the radical faction of congress was disappointed
that it did not grant blacks the right to vote. When the fear that southern states might
amend their constitutions so as to withdraw blacks from the ballot was recognized by
moderate Republicans, Congress formally placed the ballot in the hands of blacks with
the 15th Amendment, passed in 1869. With the passing of breakthrough legislation,
several leaders emerged to lead this new civil rights movement. Ex-slave, Booker T.
Washington put his newly acquired freedom to use when he started a black industrial
school at Tuskegee, Alabama. He taught his students useful trades so they could