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What were the terms of the Civil Rights Act of 1875?

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dontrease | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:09 AM via web

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What were the terms of the Civil Rights Act of 1875?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM (Answer #1)

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The Civil Rights Act of 1875 tried to do pretty much the same sorts of things as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  In other words, it was meant to stop people from discriminating against black people in public accommodations.  This would have meant that theater owners, for example, could not make blacks sit in a separate area of the theater.

This law was struck down by the Supreme Court just a few years later.  This was because it ruled that the law told people what they could and could not do.  The 14th Amendment only banned discrimination by the states.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:31 AM (Answer #2)

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The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was later declared unconstitutional in 1883 by the Supreme Court. It stated that all Americans were equal, regardless of race, as far as public accommodations and facilities were concerned. This included places such as restaurants, theaters, public transportation, etc. It also protected the right to serve on juries.

Later, in 1896, the fight for civil rights continued in a case known as Plessy vs. Ferguson. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional for blacks and whites to have separate railway cars as long as the accommodations provided were equal.

Here is a portion of the Civil Rights Act of 1875:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal and enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:57 AM (Answer #3)

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The civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed by the congress in February 1875. This act provided that:

all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude.

However this act was struck down by the supreme court as unconstitutional in 1883 on the grounds that Congress had no power to regulate the conduct of individuals. It clarified that the Fourteenth Amendment to the constitution prohibits discrimination by the state, not by individuals.

Many of the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 were reintroduced in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act, making use of the provisions of Federal Power to regulate interstate commerce. The Civil Right Act of 1964  prohibited racial discrimination in public places and called for equal opportunity in employment and education.

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