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Mon, 03.01.1875

Civil Rights Act of 1875 is passed

*On this date the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed.  Sometimes called the Enforcement Act or the Force Act, was a United States federal law enacted during the Reconstruction era in response to civil rights violations against Blacks.

The bill was passed by the 43rd United States Congress and signed into law by United States President Ulysses S. Grant.  The act was designed to "protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights", providing for equal treatment in public accommodations and public transportation and prohibiting exclusion from jury service. It was originally drafted by Senator Charles Sumner in 1870 but was not passed until shortly after Sumner's death in 1875. The law was not effectively enforced, partly because President Grant had favored different measures to help him suppress election-related violence against Blacks and Republicans in the South.  

The Reconstruction era ended with the resolution of the 1876 presidential election, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was the last federal civil rights law enacted until the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1957.  Provisions contained in the Civil Rights Act of 1875 were later readopted by Congress during the Civil Rights Movement as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The 1964 and 1968 acts relied upon the Commerce Clause contained in Article One of the Constitution of the United States rather than the Equal Protection Clause within the Fourteenth Amendment.  

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Reference:

History, House.gov

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