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Civil Rights - The Origin Of Federal Civil Rights Laws

violation fourteenth equal based

During the period immediately following the Civil War, civil rights legislation was originally enacted by Congress, based upon its power under the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to pass laws to enforce these rights. The first two of these laws were based upon the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT of 1866 (42 U.S.C.A. § 1982), which had preceded the Fourteenth Amendment.

The first civil rights law guaranteed equal rights under the law for all people who lived within the jurisdiction of the United States. The second guaranteed each citizen an equal right to own, inherit, rent, purchase, and sell real property as well as personal property. The third original civil rights law, the KU KLUX KLAN ACT of 1871 (17 Stat. 13), provided citizens with the right to bring a civil action for a violation of protected rights. The fourth law made violation of such rights a criminal offense.

Civil Rights - Subsequent Legislation [next]

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