Order Code: IIC127DV   
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No American quest has been more important than the quest for equal rights. Although the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men were equal under the law, the reality was much different. African Americans, who were originally brought to America as slaves, faced obvious discrimination that did not end with the abolition of slavery. Women have long struggled for equal rights, with almost 70 years between the convening of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 and the granting of voting rights to women by the 19th Amendment. Hispanics of diverse origins, Native Americans, Asian immigrants, senior citizens, the handicapped, and gays and lesbians have all struggled for equal rights with varying degrees of success.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe key landmarks in the achievement of equal rights under the law for African Americans, women, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, the disabled, senior citizens, and homosexuals.
  • Identify areas in which laws have been relatively successful in achieving equal rights for minority groups as well as areas where such legislation has not proven to be as effective.
  • Understand the importance of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and know how different tests have been applied when applying this provision to ordinary classifications, to classifications based on race and national origin, and to classifications based on gender.
  • Recognize that laws are often more effective in targeting discrimination by governmental entities than by private citizens and understand that legal equality does not always result in absolute equality in all areas.
  • Describe major amendments and legislation that have expanded voting rights.
  • Explain the central areas of dispute that have arisen over affirmative action and busing programs.
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This title is part of the series: FRAMEWORK FOR DEMOCRACY




10 and up


Color and black-and-white

Run Time

26 minutes