Poll Taxes And Literacy Tests Flashcards, test questions and answers
Discover flashcards, test exam answers, and assignments to help you learn more about Poll Taxes And Literacy Tests and other subjects. Don’t miss the chance to use them for more effective college education. Use our database of questions and answers on Poll Taxes And Literacy Tests and get quick solutions for your test.
What is Poll Taxes And Literacy Tests?
Poll taxes and literacy tests were two methods used to try to prevent people of color from voting in the United States. These methods were used throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century, primarily in southern states. They were part of a larger effort by white supremacists to disenfranchise African Americans, who had been granted the right to vote after the Civil War. Poll taxes were a fee imposed on prospective voters as a way of preventing them from voting. The taxes ranged from $1-$2, which was an exorbitant amount for many people living in poverty at the time. It also excluded those who could not afford it or did not have access to money, such as sharecroppers or tenant farmers. This method was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967 because it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment; however, some states still allowed poll taxes until they were finally abolished by Congress in 1964 with passage of The 24th Amendment. Literacy tests were another form of voter suppression that made it difficult for African Americans to exercise their right to vote. In order to register as a voter, individuals had to pass a literacy test given by local election officials, who usually had discretion over who passed or failed these tests based on race or ethnicity. Literacy tests often included questions about obscure laws with impossible-to-answer questions that only privileged whites knew about; this made it easy for election officials to reject African American applicants for failing these tests without cause. Literacy tests became illegal under Section 4(e) of The Voting Rights Act (VRA) within five years after its passage in 1965 but continued until 1970 when Congress extended VRA’s provisions permanently and outlawed literacy tests nationwide. Overall, poll taxes and literacy tests are examples of how white supremacists sought ways to deny African Americans their civil rights through various legal measures during Jim Crow era America. Even though these measures have been abolished for decades now, there are still echoes today as we continue fighting against contemporary voter suppression tactics such as gerrymandering and strict ID laws that disproportionately target minority populations across our country