The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Essay

1208 Words Sep 25th, 2008 5 Pages
Most change can be caused by people or something with significant value. Occasionally people forget that change can also be caused by pieces of paper. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a law passed that primarily gave African Americans the right to vote without having to take any sort of literacy tests. African Americans were widely ignored in voting rights because they were forced to take literacy tests to be eligible to vote. Having this event in our nation’s civil rights movement was a landmark that allowed the other half of our nation’s voice to be heard. “The Voting Rights Act itself has been called the single most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever passed by Congress.”(Laney 65)

Before this act was passed there
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By 1965 rigorous efforts to break the grip of state disfranchisement had been under way for some time, but had achieved only modest success overall and in some areas had proved almost entirely incompetent. The murder of voting-rights activists in Philadelphia, Mississippi, gained national attention, along with numerous other acts of violence and terrorism. Finally, the unprovoked attack on March 7, 1965, by state troopers on peaceful marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, route to the state capitol in Montgomery, persuaded the President and Congress to overcome Southern legislators' resistance to effective voting rights legislation.

The following year, President Lyndon Baines Johnson attempted to persuade Congress to pass his Voting Rights Act. This proposed legislation removed the right of Karim 4 states to impose restrictions on who could vote in elections. Johnson explained how: "Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting simply because they are Negroes." (Lyndon Johnson 1965) President Johnson issued a call for a strong voting rights law and hearings began soon thereafter on the bill that would become the Voting Rights Act. Congress concluded that existing federal anti-discrimination

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