Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify how the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court addressed slavery prior to the Civil War.
  • Examine the history of discrimination against African Americans and their struggle for equal treatment after the Civil War.
  • Evaluate the role of the courts in expanding African American civil rights in the twentieth century.
  • Review the history of gender inequality in the United States.
  • Analyze the roots and ramifications of ethnic discrimination in the United States.
  • Investigate how the fight for civil rights has moved beyond race, gender, and ethnic origins, including expanded rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
  • Explain the actions the federal government has taken toward redressing past discrimination and evaluate the effectiveness of these actions.