Congress Protects the Right to Vote: The Voting Rights Act of 1965

Lesson Duration

From The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s Center for Legislative Archives

“By analyzing evidence reviewed by the House Judiciary Committee related to the Voting Rights Act, students must wrestle with the same issues faced by the committee as it created landmark civil rights legislation. Ten primary source documents allow students to see multiple perspectives which enable them to evaluate Congress’s actions and assess whether the Federal Government should have taken over from the states the power to qualify and register voters.”

Students will: evaluate evidence, consider constitutional issues, and examine the concept of federalism to weigh the proper balance of powers between Federal and state governments when protecting the right to vote.



"The Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration, preserves and makes available to researchers the historical records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Through its public outreach programs, the Center uses these historical records to promote a better understanding of Congress and the history of American representative government."