In what ways did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 respond to the racial problems in the South?
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One strong way that the legislation addressed what was happening in the South was to allow the federal government to actually "do something" about the problem. For years, the standard defense of Southern discrimination practices through Jim Crow laws was a very poor interpretation of Federalism. This suggested that the federal government could not intrude on the practices of the Southern States. Yet, this was disproved once and for all with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, which made the issue of discrimination one of Constitutional Due Process. The notions of being heard and ensuring that procedural as well as substantive ideas of due process were all met through the legislation. In outlawing segregation and practices of discrimination, the act cited the 14th and the 15th Amendments as part of its justifications. It reflected the level of gravity to the problems in the South and demonstrates something that the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision proved about ten years before. The federal government must be the agent of action when it perceives wrong in the nation, and that in its primary function of to "form a more perfect union," the federal government must have the courage to take the lead and ensure that the democratic experiment speaks for all Americans.
Two things that were put in place with the Civil Rights ACt of 1964 were that there would be no federal money for schools that remained segregated. Also any company wanting federal money or contracts must have a pro-civil rights charter. It also gave the Federal government the right to prohibit segregation in the South.
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