Early Civil right movement

Essay by AzAzn264High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2004

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Civil rights are freedoms and rights guaranteed to a member of a community, state, or nation. Freedoms of speech, of the press, of 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 women and blacks. When the constitution was first written, many Americans understood the meaning of the famous inscriptive 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 women were persecuted throughout the late 1700's and early 1800's. 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. The civil rights movement during the late 1800's and early 1900's provided the foundations for the civil rights movement achieved throughout the 1960's.

African 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...