American Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Paper instructions:
Civil liberties refer to the individual freedoms and legal protections afforded American citizens, protecting them from the government. These include freedoms and protections like due process of law and the right to free speech. Civil rights, by contrast, refer to legal protections or public policies concerning equal treatment in American society. Civil rights prohibit discrimination under the law on the basis of race, gender, disability status, or other demographic characteristics. While both civil rights and civil liberties occupy important places in American politics, they evolved along fundamentally different paths.

Explain how the civil rights and civil liberties afforded Americans have evolved since the founding of the United States. Assess the status of civil rights and liberties afforded Americans today. Have we achieved the goals expressed by the Constitution? Explain your answer.
Describes the evolution of civil liberties in the United States, including the following:
– Note that most of our civil liberties are guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, which was adopted shortly after the US Constitution.
– Note that the limitations on the power of the government imposed under the Bill of Rights originally only applied to the federal government. Over the past 200 years, through a process called incorporation, the courts have gradually applied these protections to restrict state governments as well.
– Give some examples of incorporation.

Describe the evolution of civil rights in the United States, including:
– The struggle for civil rights has been fought by numerous groups in the United States at different points in its history. The earliest were civil rights for women in the eighteenth century. The African Americans civil rights struggle dominated the mid-twentieth century. More recently, Native Americans, Hispanics, and gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans have fought for their civil rights.
– The Fourteenth Amendment was essential to the expansion of civil liberties in the United States, as it granted equal protection under the law to all Americans and specifically applied to state governments.

Take a position on the current status of civil liberties and civil rights in the United States. Have we made progress in ensuring civil liberties and civil rights?


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