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AP Gov


Unit 3

3.11 Government Responses to Social Movements

2 min readmay 1, 2020


Annika Tekumulla

AP US Government 🏛️

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The government has responded to the social movements in many different ways. For example, they can respond by initiating new legislation or policies in response to the needs and desires of the citizens. 

Responses to the Civil Rights Movement

An example of this is in the 1954 court case of Brown v. Board of Education. In 1951, 20 families in Kansas filed a suit against the Topeka’s board of education for school segregation. In the district court, segregation was held up by the principles of Plessy v. Ferguson which stated that “separate but equal”. The families appealed to the Supreme Court where there was a unanimous decision to require desegregation in schools across the country. This led to the phrase changing to “separate is inherently unequal.” 
The Voting Rights Act of 1975 is another example of federal response. This act was designed to decrease voting discrimination in the South, by allowing the federal government to register voters in states with less than 50% of the eligible population not registered.  This is important because this process is usually a power of the state not the federal government. 

Responses to Gender Discrimination

Another example is Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. This was a major win for the women’s rights movement, as it lessened discrimination of girls within schools.


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