Methodology Outline




Samarea Price

Savannah State University

28 February 2019

Pre- Voting Rating Act

According to Bestor (1964), the founding constitution of the United States did not regard black people as human beings at all, so there was no way to talk about the right to vote at that time. During the American Civil War, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, announcing that all slaves were free. Before the Civil War, the Supreme Court in the Scott decision that caused a serious constitutional crisis had explained that the Constitution made black people the private property of slave owners and was inalienable (Bestor, 1964). Therefore, President Lincoln’s order to liberate slaves seems to violate the spirit of the Constitution. Interestingly, the Supreme Court Justices, who were with Lincoln in the capital, Washington, closed their eyes, and even Chief Justice Roger Tenny, who wrote the Scott’s verdict, did not boo and did not dare to defend constitution (Issacharoff, 1992).

According to Lawson (2003), President Lincoln’s announcement of this order was only symbolic at the time, and it was a propaganda campaign to disintegrate the enemy’s rear. After the end of the Civil War, Congress enacted Article 13 of the Constitutional Amendment in 1865, abolishing slavery, which really liberated slaves in law. In 1868, Article 14 of the Constitutional Amendment was enacted to give the identity of a black American citizen (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991). However, Article 14 of the amendment does not address racial discrimination in the right to vote. To this end, Congress passed the 15th amendment in 1870, which clearly states: “The Government of the United States or any state government may not refuse because of race, color, or previous service. Giving or depriving the citizens of the United States of the right to vote." (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991).

So, in theory, black Americans won the right to vote in 1870. but it is not the truth. Under the US federal system, many functions of the government are the responsibility of the state government (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991). Before the introduction of the US Voting Rights Act in 1965, the specific provisions of the voting were formulated by the state governments, and the federal government could not intervene. Although the Constitution stipulates that the right to vote cannot be deprived of race and color, the states, especially the law-making institutions of the southern states, have changed the law to deprive blacks of the right to vote.

These laws that deprive black people of their right to vote are mainly based on prerequisite to voting. If you have to meet certain property requirements, pay taxes, pass cultural examinations, etc., you can register voters (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991). Because most of the blacks are poor and uncultured, they are rejected by the preconditions of these votes. But these preconditions also exclude poor and illiterate whites. To remedy this problem, genius members have developed Grandfather Clauses that specifically block blacks, and voters who have the right to vote for their grandfather can exempt these registrations. Prerequisites. For example, an illiterate white person will not be predicated on the premise of a cultural test because the white grandfather has the right to vote. But the black grandfather was a slave and could not have the right to vote, so he was trapped by this "grandfather clause." This kind of evil law that discriminates against black voters, like the Jim Raven Law, is also produced through proper democratic procedures, voted by the state legislature and signed by the governor (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991).

Judicial challenges to the state government's preconditions for registering voters are unwarranted. From 1875 to the 1960s, many cases entered the US Supreme Court. Although Article 15 of the Constitutional Amendment is not more than one word, it is still the same. During this period, the Supreme Court supported the state government's legislation in the early stage, and later decided in some cases that certain voters' registration conditions were unconstitutional. However, the situation has not changed substantially. After some discriminatory provisions have been abolished by the federal courts, the state government will immediately adopt new laws to block black voting.

Post Voting Right Act

The bill, according to Margaret (1987), abolished the preconditions for registration of states that deprived black suffrage. It also stipulates that the new electoral law of the state government must be reviewed by the federal government before implementation. The reason why the VRA was passed is because of the great environment of the 1960s. After a black march in Washington in the summer of 1963, a public opinion check showed that most Americans wanted to solve the ethnic problem. Before the suffrage law was submitted to Congress, Gallup’s investigation was that 76% of the country voted for the bill, 49% in the South, and 37% in opposition, from the Democratic Party of Louisiana, Hale Borg. Hale Boggs believes that he supports the law because he believes that basic voting rights are part of the US liberal democracy (Keech, 1968). Second, the pressure of the civil rights movement. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson won 61% of the votes, which received 94% of black votes. Without the support of blacks, the Democrats could not win in Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia. The leader of the civil rights movement is obviously using it. The Democratic Party has benefited from black voting. Now is the time to return. In order to promote the passage of the Voting Rights Act, leaders of civil rights movements such as Martin Luther King Jr. held an unprecedented demonstration in the city of Selma, Alabama in March 1965, and the team clashed with the police (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991). On March 15th, Johnson delivered a speech acknowledging that blacks have been treated unfairly and that everyone must overcome this injustice. Two days later he submitted the Civil Rights Bill to Congress. The pressure of the civil rights movement pushed Congress to pass the bill. Third, Johnson's personal factors. Johnson is from the South, but he is moderate on ethnic issues. In August 1957, when he was the leader of the majority of the Senate, he strongly promoted the first civil rights bill since Congress. Its personal factors also played a role in the passage of the Law on the Right to Vote (In Robinson & In Sullivan, 1991).

Needless to say, the bloodline theory is reactionary. But the world's left-wing, right-wing, democratic dictatorship, and ideology are all right to fight against each other. As long as there is a suitable climate, they all like to sacrifice the theory of bleeding, and the technique is exactly the same, as a master taught.

Although the act legally cleared the obstacles of black voting, but the white rulers in the South will not easily give the political stage to the blacks, but will try every means to stop the blacks from voting (Margaret 1987). For example, In order to prevent blacks from entering the state-level legislature, re-dividing the state legislature, combining the black majority population with the white majority population into an electoral unit, and preventing the black population from being relatively concentrated in the election of their own state legislators, The Virginia State Assembly merged five black-majority counties with a white majority to form a constituency, thus avoiding black-majority constituencies. In New Orleans, between 1970 and 1980, the black population increased from 45% to 55%, but the number of constituencies with a majority of black population dropped from 11 to 7, while the number of white-based constituencies increased from 7 to 8 (Margaret 1987). A total of 122 people were selected from 82 constituencies. After re-division, 82 constituencies were reduced to 72. The reason was that the constituencies were mostly single counties, and now merged, and some constituencies became a merger of two counties. Secondly, there was Change the election method and election rules (Lawson, 2003). The most obvious example occurs in Mississippi. The state established the Mississippi Liberal Democrats, and blacks have launched political challenges to whites. In 1966, the Mississippi State Assembly passed an amendment to improve the electoral rules. If the number of independent nominees for independent candidates increased by 10 times, each voter must write the nomination book in person, and the certification must be signed. The completion of the county court staff (basically white) and so on has undoubtedly increased the difficulty of black elections. Third, there was city annexation (annexation) (Lawson, 2003). Due to the development of the suburbs, white people gradually moved to the suburbs, and the black population of the city rose sharply, which became one of the whites' worries. As a result, there has been a merger of cities. Through the annexation of suburbs, most of them are white residential areas, which has brought a large number of white voters and become a way to effectively eliminate the influence of black voting (Margaret 1987). As in Richmond, Virginia, the merger in 1969, the incorporation of a large number of white residents made the black population from a majority to a minority in one night. The city expanded by 23 acres, incorporating 430 million whites and 4,000 blacks, reducing the proportion of urban blacks from 52% to 42% (Husted and Lawrence 1997). Atlanta's example is also representative. As the proportion of blacks in the Atlanta population increases, the city government has repeatedly hoped to expand the white population through urban mergers. In particular, in the mid-1960s, the proportion of black people was nearly 40%. At that time, it was ready to merge the white suburbs of the north of the city, believing that this is the only way to balance the black and white population. Despite the banner of increasing taxes and urban development, it is actually a race issue, and white rulers fear that blacks are likely to become the majority of the city within six years (Karlan, 1991). Even after the first black mayor in Atlanta in 1973, the issue of mergers is still under discussion. The local newspaper commented that “the fact that race and blacks have the potential to control this state of Georgia is the main and clear reason for expanding the borders of Atlanta.” “All the proposals are intended to immediately weaken the votes of the blacks (Lawson, 2003).

Nevertheless, it should be noted that after the voting rights act, the southern United States has undergone unprecedented changes (Lawson, 2003). One of the most important changes is the increase in the black voter turnout rate and the increase in the election of black people. The civil rights movement awakened the political consciousness of the southern blacks, and the 1965 Voting Rights Act ended the history of the black voting of the southern blacks for nearly a century. In the short time after the bill came into effect, the black voter turnout rate surged. In 1940, only 2% of black voters of the appropriate age voted. In the late 1950s, the eve of the civil rights movement, the black voter turnout rate was 20%, but by 1970, 60% of black-age voters had voted. This figure is close to the southern average. Turnout rate - 60% (Jones-Correa, 2005). The direct result of the increase in black voter turnout is the increase in the number of elected officials of the Black People. In 1965, there were fewer than 100 elected officials of the Southern Black People. In 1970, there were 500 people. In 1975, there were more than 1,600. In 1980, it was 2,500, accounting for 50% of the national black people's elected officials (Lawson, 2003). In 1972, Barbara Jordan from Houston and Andrew Yang from Atlanta were elected as congressmen. Since then, blacks from the South have entered the Congress; from 70 In the early years, important southern cities such as New Orleans, Atlanta, and Birmingham successively elected black mayors; in 1990, Doug Wield, the descendant of black slaves, was elected governor of Virginia (Lawson, 2003). Since the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the enthusiasm of black people to participate in politics has been on the rise.


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Karlan, P. S. (1991). Undoing the Right Thing: Single-Member Offices and the Voting Rights Act. Virginia Law Review 77:1–45.

Jones-Correa, M. (2005). Language Provisions Under the Voting Rights Act: How Effective Are They? Social Science Quarterly 85:549–564

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Husted, T. A. and Lawrence W. K. (1997). The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government. Journal of Political Economy 105:54–82.

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