Voting Act Of 65 Essay Research Paper

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Voting Act Of 65 Essay, Research Paper Voting Rights Act of 1965 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was one of the most significant laws passed in the last century. The act insured the right to vote for African Americans who had been discriminated against ever since 1870, at least so far as de jure segregation is concerned, under the 15th Amendment. The general importance of this act, however, is more clearly seen as one looks at the broad effects and consequences of this act. After this act was passed, America essentially became the democracy our forefathers created nearly two and half centuries ago. The bill of rights had now applied to every citizen of the United States regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. The significance of this act can be revealed most clearly

through the fact that black people had the right to vote, America became a more democratic nation, the bill of rights was applied to every citizen, discrimination was outlawed, the states had lost a significant amount of their sovereignty, and the south was forever changed. The blacks had always had it bad and were always fighting for civil rights. One main right that the blacks were striving for was the right to vote. Many blacks tried to register to vote, but the states would not allow them. Many states made their own tests which the blacks had to pass in order to vote. The tests were designed so that the blacks would fail and the states could say they gave them a chance. An example of these tests includes the literacy test that Mississippi had. This test would consist of a

reading composition that they had to read and answer specific questions pertaining to the composition of the document. The problem, however, remained that the blacks that were trying to register to vote would not be able to read because their parents and grandparents had been slaves and there was no one to teach them how to read (Hudson 61). Even if a black would pass the literacy test, the registar would determine him illiterate. A good example of this is when six blacks in Forrest County, Mississippi, all with baccalaureate degrees and three with masters tried to register to vote but were refused because they were determined illiterate (Hudson 61). Another example of these tests was the Grandfather Clause which was associated with Louisiana. This clause basically said that if

your grandfather was a slave you did not have the right to vote. This was corrupt because nearly every black in Louisiana had a grandfather who was once a slave (Sefton 1). These two examples that I have presented show how the states overruled the national amendments of the United States Constitution. The states wanted to retain their sovereignty and control the rights given out to the blacks because they feared universal suffrage would hamper their local autonomous representation. Many consequences came about to those blacks who tried to register to vote and to those who supported black voting rights. They were harassed, beaten, or even killed for trying to register or even supporting the registration of blacks (Before 1). Although the violence was tough, the blacks fought

through the discrimination. When the violence finally ceased to be an effective deterrent, the whites used economic pressures. For example, in Mississippi the counties of LeFlore and Sunflower, which were very poor counties, had the federal food relief cut off by the whites(Before 1). The Selma to Montgomery march was one of the most significant times in the tasks to gain complete civil right by gaining the right to vote. The main reason the blacks traveled from Selma to Montgomery was because the old confederacy was held there. Montgomery was the heart of southern pride and classic ideals because Jefferson Davis had had the confederate congress there. The significance was that blacks displayed a symbolic gesture by marching from Selma to Montgomery, the heart of the confederacy,