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Landmark Legislation

During the 19th and 20th centuries Congress passed landmark legislation to abolish slavery, to extend civil and legal protections to former slaves and their descendants, to end segregation in public and private facilities, and to protect voting rights for newly emancipated people. Read about landmark civil rights legislation by selecting the links below.

The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act

The Civil War and Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution

Civil Rights Act of 1875

Civil Rights Act of 1964


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Information provided by the Senate Historical Office.

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E-mail a Senate historian
Questions about Senate History?

E-mail a Senate historian. historian@sec.senate.gov