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Civil Rights
Guide: Civil Rights

These resources highlight the civil rights granted by the U.S. Constitution to all American citizens. Use this selection of resources to guide students' understanding of how the concept of civil rights developed over time and, especially through the civil rights movement, evolved to apply equally to all citizens. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Civil liberties and civil rights are related but distinct and can be in conflict with each other
  • Government documents provide a framework for the protection of civil rights and liberties in a society
  • The judicial branch interprets and defines civil liberties and civil rights as they apply in practice
  • Civil liberties protect against government overreach
  • Civil rights assure equal protection under the law
  • The attainment of civil rights is an ongoing process, with different groups achieving parity at different times
  • The judicial branch is tasked with finding a balance between the protection of individual liberty and maintaining positive social order

Key Questions

  • How has American history created a complicated past record of protection for civil rights?
  • Do you believe continued progress is still needed in regards to civil rights protections? Why or why not?


  1. Overview: Civil Rights
  2. Visuals: Civil Rights (Visual)
  3. Outlines: Outline
  4. Transcripts: Transcript
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Lesson: 1-Early Concepts of Civil Rights
  7. Lesson: 2-Civil Rights Movement
  8. Lesson: 3-Civil Rights in the Courts
  9. Lesson: 4-Controversies in Civil Rights
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Investigate Activities: Civil Rights Movement
  12. Photos & Illustrations: Civil rights movement: march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (1965)
  13. Photos & Illustrations: March on Washington
  14. Reference Articles: Brown v. Board of Education
  15. Reference Articles: Civil Rights Cases (1883)
  16. Reference Articles: Civil Rights Act of 1964
  17. Reference Articles: Plessy v. Ferguson
  18. Reference Articles: Civil Rights Movement
  19. Political, Government & Court Documents: Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
  20. Political, Government & Court Documents: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

MLA Citation

"Civil Rights." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156143?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156143

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