Student's Guide to Landmark Congressional Laws on Civil Rights

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The Declaration of Independence stated that all men are created equal, yet the long and continuing struggle for civil rights in the United States seems to indicate otherwise. This reference guide details the most critical civil rights laws in U.S. history, moving from the period of slavery, to the Civil War, to the Reconstruction, to the civil rights era of the mid- to late-20th century. An overview essay introduces each period, and 36 individual laws are examined in essays placing the bills in their historical contexts. Each law is then presented in an edited and, when appropriate, annotated form, so students can read and understand the actual words of the law.

Many of the notable and notorious laws in U.S. legislative history have come in the area of civil rights. Among these are the Fugitive Slave Act, the Missouri Compromise, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Acts of 1965. This uncommonly helpful guide to U.S. civil rights legislation also includes timelines, a bibliography, and an index.

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Editorial Reviews

The five-volume Student's Guide to Landmark Congressional Laws reference set examines crucial legislation and Supreme Court cases that pertain to education, civil rights, First Amendment rights, the rights of youth, and health and Social Security. The volume on civil rights focuses on thirty-six acts, executive orders, and constitutional amendments that have influenced African Americans' struggle to attain equality from the colonial era to the twentieth century. The chronologically arranged entries feature a discussion of the law's intent and purpose, a synopsis of its substance, an examination of legislative and political history, a summary of its effects, and an excerpt of the law. Among the decisions highlighted are the Fugitive Slave Act, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Fourteenth Amendment prohibiting voting discrimination, the executive order desegregating public schools, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This reference set is designed for high school and college students doing research. The series value is in gathering in one source the important laws that influence significant legal issues. Other resources dealing with constitutional and legislative law, such as Great American Court Cases by Mark Mikula (Gale, 1999) and Great Cases of the Supreme Court by Robert Ratcliffe (Houghton Mifflin, 1989), are more expensive and do not highlight the evolution of a specific issue. Each book in this series provides a thorough and understandable examination in an economical and accessible format. Index. Biblio. Source Notes. Chronology. 2002, Greenwood, 284p. PLB
— Eileen Kuhl
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313313851
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2002
  • Series: Student's Guide to Landmark Congressional Laws
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

MARCUS D.POHLMANN is currently the chairman of the Department of Political Science at Rhodes College. He has published widely in the field of African-American Politics, including Black Politics in Conservative America and Racial Politics at the Crossroads.

LINDA VALLAR WHISENHUNT is Legal Fellow in the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government Politics and Public Leadership at Furman University where she instructs students in trial advocacy. She is also of counsel to the law frim of Douglas A. Churdar, P.C., and has practiced in the area of labor and employment law.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Pt. I The Slavery Period 1
1 Articles of Confederation (1776) 3
2 Declaration of Independence (1776) 8
3 Northwest Ordinance (1787) 13
4 United States Constitution (1787) 16
5 Fugitive Slave Act (1793) 22
6 Slave Importation Act (1807) 27
7 Missouri Compromise (1820) 35
8 Compromise of 1850 (1850) 40
9 Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) 46
10 Constitution of the Confederate States of America (1861) 52
11 Confiscation Acts (1861 and 1862) 56
12 Emancipation Proclamation (1863) 62
Pt. II Postwar Reconstruction 69
13 Freedmen's Bureau (1865) 71
14 Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1865) 78
15 Civil Rights Act (1866) 82
16 Reconstruction Act (1867) 85
17 Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1868) 92
18 Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1870) 102
19 Enforcement Act (1870) 106
20 Klan Act (1871) 115
21 Civil Rights Act (1875) 123
Pt. III Civil Rights Era 129
22 Executive Order 8802 (1941) 133
23 Executive Order 9808 (1946) 139
24 Executive Order 9980 (1948) 145
25 Executive Order 9981 (1948) 152
26 Executive Order 10730 (1957) 157
27 Civil Rights Act (1957) 163
28 Civil Rights Act (1960) 173
29 Executive Order 10925 (1961) 183
30 Executive Order 11053 (1962) 194
31 Executive Order 11063 (1962) 199
32 Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1964) 207
33 Civil Rights Act (1964) 210
34 Voting Rights Act (1965) 235
35 Executive Order 11246 (1965) 250
36 Fair Housing Act (1968) 261
Bibliography 275
Index 277
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