Across history, our longest political battle has been fought to win full civil liberties and rights for all citizens, men and women, black and white, native born and immigrant, property owners and renters. This battle has been fought in federal courts as a constitutional matter, as well as the halls of Congress and the streets of American towns and cities. As we know from our studies, the vast majority of Americans were denied the basic right to vote until the 20th century, namely women and most male minorities. The same was true about fair treatment in the marketplace when applying for employment, education, housing, or healthcare. Write an essay about the key political decisions and/or legal cases in US history (primarily in the 20th century), which led to stronger guarantees of fair treatment and “equality under the law.” Be sure to give at least two examples from voting, employment, education, housing, or healthcare, identifying when they occurred, while briefly describing their origins in political battles. The more examples, the better.
As you write your essay, bear in mind that tens of millions of Americans have long hoped that the promise expressed in our Declaration of Independence, “all men (individuals) are created equal,” would lead to a nation of equality. In the conclusion of your essay, consider how successful or unsuccessful US civil liberties and rights have been in creating social and economic equality among citizens. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about America reducing social and economic inequality by guaranteeing civil rights?Do civil rights necessarily guarantee social and economic equality? Why, or why not?