American History: A Journey Through the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act
The United States of America is a beautiful country that has gone through several phases of change and transformation. From the colonial period to the modern era, the nation has gone through several challenges and developments that have defined its identity. One of the most defining moments in American history is the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, which radically transformed the country’s civil liberties and rights.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the most significant civil rights legislation that passed into law. The act aimed to eliminate various forms of discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, or gender. This law prohibited employers from discriminating against candidates based on their color, origin, religion, and gender. The law also enabled the federal government to bring suits against educational institutions that refused admission based on the above categories.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also provided the federal government the authority to prohibit racial segregation and discrimination in public spaces. The act also authorized the Department of Justice to initiate lawsuits to prevent any activity that was discriminatory. The legislation contained provisions on voting rights and restricted the discriminatory practices used by the southern states to prevent African Americans from voting.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 further strengthened the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by abolishing the voting restrictions and discrimination against African Americans, in voting-related activities. The act provides the right to vote for all citizens and provided systematic solutions to eliminate restrictive practices that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote. These included poll taxes, literacy tests, or other similar measures that were used to prevent ethnic and racial minorities from voting.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 aimed to ensure federal supervision of voting qualifications, board memberships, and voting regulations. The legislation significantly reduced illiteracy tests to a great extent in southern states where African Americans mostly lived. With this act, the United States enforced complete political participation of African Americans, ending decades of institutional discrimination.
The Impact of The Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 marked a significant turning point in American history. They liberated the minority communities from centuries of oppression and discrimination, and enabled them to enjoy their fundamental rights and equality. The legislation brought about a change in attitudes and social behavior that gradually transformed the American society. The act paved the way for more ethnic and racial diversity in America’s political landscape.
Today, the civil rights movement stands as a testament to the fact that the struggle for true equality is a never-ending process. The American authorities continued to pass several acts and laws to protect the interest of marginalized communities. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was another significant legislation that provided equal access to housing for all citizens.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were the beginning of a new era, where all Americans were recognised and treated equally. Today, we owe it to the civil rights activists and leaders who fought for the cause and paved the way for the United States to become a more diverse and inclusive country. These legislations remain an inspiration to several people to fight for their rights and to pledge allegiance for a better future for all, regardless of their background or race.
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