• Unit 5: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

    The civil rights and civil liberties granted to Americans are central to the American government. Freedoms and rights were important factors in shaping the American political system, and they continue to play a major role in our society today. The Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, defines our rights and freedoms; however, as society has changed, so too has the perception and realization of civil liberty and civil rights. In this unit, you will explore the freedoms and rights of American citizens.

    The unit will begin by looking at civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, especially in the Bill of Rights. The unit will especially focus on the rights defined in the First Amendment, the right to bear arms (Second Amendment), and the right to privacy, with an explanation of how the courts' interpretation of these rights have been applied, or incorporated, by the states. Next, the unit will explore the evolution of civil rights in the American political system, with an emphasis on the civil rights movement and political equality of all Americans. The unit will also pay close attention to how the American political system creates a balance between order and freedom, and equality and rights.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 9 hours.

    • 5.1: American Civil Liberties

      • 5.1.1: The Bill of Rights and Extending the Bill of Rights to the States

      • 5.1.2: First Amendment Rights: Freedom of Religion, Press, and Expression

      • 5.1.3: The Right to Privacy

      • 5.1.4: Rights of the Accused 

      • Checkpoint

    • 5.2: Equality and Civil Rights

      • 5.2.1: Roots of Inequality: The Civil War Amendments and Racial Segregation

      • 5.2.2: Political Pressure for Desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement

      • 5.2.3: Civil Rights for Other Groups

      • 5.2.4: Post-World War II Civil Rights Legislation

      • Checkpoint

    • Unit 5 Assessment