1875 Civil Rights Essay

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The US Supreme Court encouraged Racism by striking down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 Morrison Waite, Samuel Miller, Stephen Field, Joseph Bradley, Stanley Matthews, Horace Gray, Samuel Blatchford, and William Woods, do these names mean anything to you? If they don’t then allow me to introduce them to you, this is the US Supreme Court Justices that unilaterally struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and encouraged racism in the United States of America. I have purposely left out one of the Justices because he was the lone dissenter; his name was Justice John Marshall Harlan. The Civil Right Act of 1875 was a great step in the right direction after the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, abolished slavery. The Congress of America passed a tremendous piece of legislation that should have bought more unity to this country but instead was basically removed from our laws as a result of an absurd interpretation of the law by eight individuals who would change the course of history. One must wonder how the eight Justices who had served in different capacities of government before being appointed to the Supreme Court could arrive at such an atrocious decision, a decision that would have ramifications for more than a century and in today’s society still has significant fallout. In the ensuing years following the abolition of Slavery and the end of the Civil War there was a period of time in America called Reconstruction. Brook Andrews reports that “Reconstruction refers to the period immediately following the Civil War in which attempts were made to politically, economically, and socially "reconstruct" the Union and the 11 defeated ex-Confederate states” Although these efforts were genuine by some politicians, Andrews states that “the era was marked by horrific racial violence, widespread southern poverty, and general political unrest”. In 1870 the fifteenth amendment to the constitution granted voting rights to African Americans and it was during this time


Cited: Andrews, Brook B. "Reconstruction." Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections, (2006) American History Online. Web. 22 Sept. 2012 Fishel, Leslie H., Jr. "African Americans, 1870–1900." Encyclopedia of American History: The Development of the Industrial United States, 1870 to 1899 VI (2010). American History Online. Web. 24 Sept. 2012 Seraile, William. "civil rights cases, 1883." Encyclopedia of American History: The Development of the Industrial United States, 1870 to 1899 VI.(2010). American History Online. Web. 25 Sept. 2012 U.S. Congress. "Civil Rights Act, 1875." United States Statutes at Large, 43rd Cong. Sess II. Chp. 114 (1875): 335-337. American History Online. Web 21 Sept. 2012

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