AP gov chapter 5 vocab

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Civil Rights

Policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals.

14th Amendment

The Constitutional amendment adopted after the Civil War that states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abidge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the united States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Equal protection of the laws

Part of the 14th Amendment emphasizing that the laws must provide equivalent "protection" to all people.

13th Amendment

The constitutional amendment ratified after the Civil War that forbade slavery and involuntary servitude.

Civil Rights Actof 1964

The law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination.


The legal right to vote, extended to African Americans by the 15th Amendment, to women by the 19th Amendment, and to the people over the age of 18 by the 26th Amendment.

15th Amendment

The constitutional amendment adopted in 1870 to extend suffrage to African Americans.

Poll taxes

Small taxes levied on the right to vote that often fell due at a time of year when poor African American sharecroppers had the least cash on hand. This mehod was used by most Southern states to exclude African Americans from voting. ______ _____ were declared void by the 24th Amendment in 1964.

White Primary

One of the means used to discourage African Americans voting that permitted political parties in the heavily Democratic South to exclude African Americans from primary elections, thus depriving them of a voice in the real contests. The Supreme Court declared ______ _____ unconstitutional in 1944.

24th Amendment

The constitutional Amendment passed in 1964 that declared poll taxes void in federal elections.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

A law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African American suffrage. Under the law, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were registered, and the number of African American elected officials increased dramatically.

19th Amendment

The constitutional amendment adopted in 1920 that guarantees women the right to vote.

Equal Rights Amendment

A constitutional amendment originally introduced in Congress in 1923 and passed by Congress in 1972, stating that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Despite public support, the amendment failed to acquire the necessary support from 3/4ths of the state legislatures.

Comparable worth

The issue raised when women who hold traditionally female jobs are paid less than men for working at jobs requiring comparable skill.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

A law passed in 1990 that requires employers and public facilities to make "reasonable accommodations" for discrimination against these individuals in employment.

Affirmative Action

A policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment for members of some previously disadvantaged group.

Separate but Equal Doctrine

a legal doctrine in United States constitutional law that justified systems of segregation. Under this doctrine, services, facilities and public accommodations were allowed to be separated by race, on the condition that the quality of each group’s public facilities was to remain equal. The phrase was derived from a Louisiana law of 1890.

Black Codes

laws put in place in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks.

Jim Crow Laws

state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans. In reality, this led to treatment and accommodations that were usually inferior to those provided for white Americans. Some examples of these laws are the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks.

Literacy Tests

the government practice of testing the literacy of potential citizens at the federal level, and potential voters at the state level. These were used to deny suffrage to African Americans.

Grandfather Clauses

legal term used to describe a situation in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future situations. The term originated in late-19th-century legislation and constitutional amendments passed by a number of U.S. Southern states, which created new literacy and property restrictions on voting, but exempted those whose ancestors (grandfathers) had the right to vote before the Civil War. The intent and effect of such rules was to prevent poor and illiterate African American former slaves and their descendants from voting, but without denying poor and illiterate whites the right to vote.


the transformation of the Southern United States from 1863 to 1877, with the reconstruction of state and society in the former Confederacy. In battles between the president and Congress, the president prevailed until the election of 1866, which enabled the Radical Republicans to take control of policy, remove from power the ex-Confederates, and enfranchise the Freedmen (freed slaves).

De facto/ De jure segregation

‘De facto’ racial discrimination and segregation in the USA during the 1950s and 1960s was simply discrimination that was not segregation by law (de jure). De jure = ‘Legally’, De facto = ‘In fact’.

Civil Disobedience

the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always

Reverse Discrimination

controversial term referring to discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, including the city or state, or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group.

Commerce Clause

The clause states that the United States Congress shall have power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes". Courts and commentator have tended to discuss each of these three areas of commerce as a separate power granted to Congress.

Title IX

originally written in order to end discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, the act tremendously helped to energize the women’s rights movement which had somewhat slowed after women’s suffrage in 1920

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