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Civil Rights
Guide: Voting Rights

These resources focus on voting rights in the United States. A selection of primary source documents and images, as well as relevant reference entries and other content, will help students understand the expansion of voting rights through the achievements of the civil rights and women's suffrage movements. 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

  • Why are voting rights essential to a functioning American democracy?
  • Identify three key ways voting rights have been limited over the course of American history.


  1. Overview: Voting Rights
  2. Outlines: Outline
  3. Transcripts: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-Importance and Expansion of Suffrage
  6. Lesson: 2-Women's Suffrage
  7. Lesson: 3-Voting Rights after World War II
  8. Lesson: Closing
  9. Photos & Illustrations: Freedom Summer: African American voter registration drive
  10. Photos & Illustrations: Suffragist parade
  11. Reference Articles: Nineteenth Amendment
  12. Reference Articles: Supreme Court: Voting Rights Cases
  13. Reference Articles: Twenty-sixth Amendment
  14. Reference Articles: Fifteenth Amendment
  15. Reference Articles: Woman Suffrage Movement
  16. Reference Articles: Gerrymandering and Race
  17. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Voting rights: page from Alabama voters literacy test (1960s)
  18. Political, Government & Court Documents: Voting Rights Act (1965)
  19. Speeches: Anthony, Susan B.: Women's Right to Vote speech (1873)
  20. Speeches: Johnson, Lyndon B.: Voting Rights speech (1965)

MLA Citation

"Voting Rights." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156165?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156165

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