Essay on Civil Rights Act of 1964

6131 Words Aug 25th, 2013 25 Pages
The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Danielle Endler

Human Resources 4050, Spring 2013 Semester Professor David Penkrot May 3, 2013

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is considered by some to be one of the most important laws in American history. (The Most Important Cases, Speeches, Laws & Documents in American History) This Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964 and it is a “comprehensive federal statute aimed at reducing discrimination in public accommodations and employment situations.” (Feuerbach Twomey, 2010) Specifically, it aimed at prohibiting “discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy), and religion.” (Civil Rights Act of 1964, 2010) Additionally, it also
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It also allowed black men to join the Union Army and Navy, “enabling the liberated to become liberators.” (The Emancipation Proclamation) The big change in slavery and the fight for equality did not come until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865 and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. With this event, it was declared that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) Although this Amendment did give slaves their freedom, it did not guarantee them the same rights nor the same treatment that other citizens of the United States had and took for granted. This was especially seen in the states that “enacted ‘black codes’ that were intended to limit the civil rights of the newly free slaves.” (Civil Rights) These “black codes” and the obvious difference in treatment were a large issue, and they were later addressed in the Constitution with the introduction of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868 and it made large changes for black individuals. This Amendment “granted citizenship to ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States,’ which included former slaves recently freed.” (14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) It also “forbids states from denying…