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13th Amendment
the first new amendment to the US Constitution after the Civil War; made slavery and involuntary servitude unconstitutional
14th Amendment
created birthright citizenship for anyone born in the United States, guaranteed equal protection under the law, and mandated due process by the states
Arab Spring
a series of citizen protests against the governments of Middle Eastern countries between 2010 and 2012
Black Lives Matter
a civil rights movement founded in 2013 to create public awareness of and accountability for police misconduct in the deaths of Black people
civil disobedience
the nonviolent refusal to comply with a law or laws in protest of governmental policies
civil liberties
limits on the government’s ability to restrict individual freedoms; in the United States, these are mentioned in the Bill of Rights
civil rights
government guarantees of equal protection under the law, regardless of membership in a group based on a shared characteristic, such as race, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender, age, or ability
the set of political values and norms derived from a country’s constitution that serve as the basis for a government’s authority
a system of government where power is derived from the political participation of citizens and/or residents
Dred Scott v. Sandford
a Supreme Court decision that denied citizenship to all enslaved people of African American descent, even those born in the United States
Equal Protection Clause
a feature of the 14th Amendment that requires the state governments must treat all people the same
formal executive power
the power of presidents and governors derived from constitutions; may also be generated by laws, executive orders, and other agreements
informal executive power
the power of presidents and governors derived from their ability to influence political and civil discourse through rhetoric and symbolic representation
institutional racism
the idea that, because government institutions are built and run by those in power, whose worldviews and goals aim to perpetuate the status quo from which they benefit, government institutions therefore reinforce norms and values that enshrine racist attitudes, policies, and practices to the detriment of marginalized groups
the theory that individuals may embody multiple minority traits that compound the discrimination they experience
Korematsu v. United States
a landmark Supreme Court decision that supported the wartime relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans despite many being American citizens by birth
an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and other identities (including intersex and asexual)
Loving v. Virginia
a landmark Supreme Court decision that overturned all state laws denying interracial heterosexual couples the right to marry
a feature of government that emphasizes the role of majorities and how the strength of the majority will shapes political decisions, outcomes, and division of resources
Me Too
a global civil rights movement publicizing endemic sexual harassment and sexual violence in order to raise awareness, empower those who have been affected, and instigate policy change
negative rights
rights stated as freedoms the government cannot infringe upon
Obergefell v. Hodges
a landmark Supreme Court ruling that ended state bans on same-sex marriage equality and recognized the right to marriage as a federal right for same-sex couples
one-drop rule
the now-discredited, racist idea that an individual with even one ancestor of African descent was deemed Black
Plessy v. Ferguson
a landmark Supreme Court decision that denied equal access to African Americans and reinforced segregation between White people and Black people by allowing separate accommodations and access to housing, transportation, education, etc.
political culture
the idea that a country’s politics and policies derive in large part from its unique political culture, which is itself a product of history, geography, religion, and other characteristics
political minority
any group of individuals sharing some characteristic(s) or trait(s) who have relatively less power than and whose rights may not be protected automatically by a majority group in power
political participation
activities like voting, running for office, contributing to campaigns and parties, protesting, lobbying, attending political events, and other processes that allow residents and citizens of a country to be actively involved in their government
positive rights
rights stated as freedoms the government must protect
government-mandated financial compensation for survivors and descendants of people who experienced civil rights violations
separate but equal
the idea, used to justify the segregation of Black people and White people in the United States from the late 19th century into the first half of the 20th century, that separate accommodations for individuals of different races can be equal; most often associated with Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
the right to vote, which is a civil right in the United States
Three-Fifths Compromise
a component of the original United States Constitution that allowed enslaved people to count toward political representation according to the formula that one slave was equal to three-fifths of a free White person
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
a 1948 document created by the United Nations General Assembly after World War II that outlines a definition of human rights; established global standards that have since been adopted by many countries
Velvet Revolution
a 1989 nonviolent, primarily student-led civil rights movement in the former Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia) in response to communist rule
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