Teacher Lesson Ideas

How the Right to Vote Was Legally Deprived from Citizens of South Carolina

South Carolina's 1895 Constitution represents the efforts made by some SC politicians at the close of the nineteenth century to eliminate the political gains made by the state’s African-American community following the Civil War.  Politicians, most notably Governor Benjamin Tillman, sought to disenfranchise the black vote and through legal maneuvering were able to do just that at the 1895 state Constitutional Convention.  High school government students are engaged by this lesson as they read through the constitution itself, from the collection of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, and look at the primary source article “The Plan Disclosed.”  The students will be responsible for reconstructing how the right to vote was taken away from African Americans.

Barry Thomas
Batesburg-Leesville High School
2004 Midlands Institute

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