Changes in civil rights: from post civil war to the present.

U.S. History

August 2, 2004

There is no doubt that changes have occurred in America concerning civil rights but none of the rights for immigrantís, communistís, and women have come easy.

To begin, the first group I would like to talk about is immigrants. There were many restrictions for the immigrantís coming to America. People with certain diseases would be sent back. Laws, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, would not let certain nationalities into America. In the early twentieth century it was decided that Japanese people would not be allowed into America. The Japanese and Chinese werenít the only ones with trouble Jews also had a hard time coming to America. This was surely not the land of liberty that had been promised by our forefathers. But if the immigrants were lucky enough to be accepted and let through Ellis Island, this didnít assure them acceptance in the streets of America. They were separate from the Americanís they lived in almost what could be described as third- world cities. They werenít treated well by the American public because they would take jobs away from Americanís since employers could hire immigrants for less money. Many other hardships followed this, but what puzzles me is that didnít we start as immigrants just like the Chinese, Japanese and Jews?

In the Late 1910ís and early 1920ís there were two events that would shake the American public. The first was the Red Scare, which occurred in the period of 1919 to 1921.This event was triggered by a Communist take over of Russia. It triggered mass amounts of bombings and attacks on government officials including Mitchell Palmer who was the U.S. Attorney General at the time. Palmer would later begin the palmer raids in this period too. When the Palmer Raids began, the first of Palmerís two main targets were the Communist Party, and the Communist Labor Party. In 1918, after the end of World War One, all the groups which opposed the war came under fire. They were seen as destructive to the peace and security of the American nation. Another reason for the Red Scare was the strike held by mine workers. They were thought to be making threatening moves against the Capitalist system through subversive Socialist organizations. During the period of the palmer raids People accused of being communists were unjustly arrested and tried before a judge not a jury as the constitution promised to all citizens of the United States. The other problem with the arrests was that they were executed without warrants and they were based off of little or no evidence. But the Palmer Raids were soon shut down by the legislation; they found the raids to be obstructing the civil liberties of the American people. But unlike the Palmer Raid the Red Scare never really stopped since its first appearance. It would then spark again in the 1950ís.

Finally, the fight for women\'s rights, also known as the women\'s movement, changed women\'s civil rights, social rights, and opened doors for generations of women to come. The most important civil right that women were denied of was the right to vote. One woman that stands out in history as being a leader in the women\'s movement was Susan B. Anthony. When Anthony voted in the election of 1872, she did so illegally. As a result of her action, Anthony and 16 other women were arrested. They were then released on bail and were ordered to appear before a grand jury. Susan was found guilty and given a sentence to pay $100 and the cost of persecution. The women\'s movement had suffered its largest blow on February 3, 1870 when the 15th amendment was passed. The amendment stopped states from denying citizens the right to vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, but said nothing about not discriminating based on sex. In this amendment, men were saying that the African-American men they had enslaved were of higher stature than their own wives. Besides not having the right to vote, women did not have the basic civil right of owning property. When women entered into marriage, it was believed that the husband and wife became one unit. The husband was considered the head of