Civil rights are the rights guaranteed to the citizens of the specified location. When looking back at our history our civil rights have changed our life forever. Our civil rights were first introduced in 1787 as our Constitution. The Constitution states that any citizen is guaranteed the right to freedom of speech, of religion, and of press, and the rights to due process of law and to equal protection under the law. Civil Rights Acts and Movements helped define all of the civil rights but mainly who the rights were for and what freedom of religion, and equal protection under the law truly intended.
Our civil rights are guaranteed to the citizens of the United States. When the constitution first came into affect there was still black slavery in the south. There were many Civil Rights Acts to make blacks citizens of the United States in 1866, 1870, 1871, and 1875 (factmonster). “The Civil Rights Act of 1866 granted full citizenship to all persons born on American soil, except Native Americans who were exempt from taxation” (usconstitution). This act along with the others stopped slavery, allowed blacks to own property, enforce contracts, and give evidence in courts, which made the common black person a citizen.
Although these acts helped many places still didn’t except blacks as real human beings. This act helped to define who was a citizen by making a law against black slavery and stating that they are citizens. The constitution states the citizens are guaranteed freedom of religion. In 1964 there was another Civil Rights Act. The act of 1964 made it so there was no discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin. This act allowed the federal government the powers to enforce desegregation (infoplease).
This act helped allow the citizens of the United States be free to choose there own religion among other things. Although this act didn’t stop someone from shooting Malcolm X, for what was believed to be because he changed religion and beliefs. Malcolm X chose to leave the Black Muslim faith and took a favor in Orthodox Islam while deciding that he thought black and whites could get along (infoplease). This shows you that even with all the acts and movements that were taking place people still felt that blacks didn’t deserve to have the same rights as white people.
The civil rights were written to allow everyone equal rights. The civil rights also claim that if you are a citizen you can have equal protection under the law. September 1957, just after the law to allow blacks and whites to attend the same school, nine black students on their way into their high school were blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. “President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the national Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the “Little Rock Nine”” (infoplease).
This tells you that even though they were black the president still sent troops to help them. Another example of equal protection under the law was in 1961 when “James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. ” President Kennedy was forced to send 5,000 federal troops when violence and riots started to surround the incident (infoplease). For both incidents the president stepped in to help protect under the law.
These are just a few examples of what the civil rights have done for us and what the civil rights are. We as citizens of the United States have to stand up and say something if our civil rights are being violated, it may change things for the best. I will never take my rights for granted. So if someone is born in the United States, they are guaranteed the right to freedom of speech, of religion, and of the press, and the rights to due process of law and to equal protection under the law. Don’t let the rights our fathers gave to us be violated.