Civil liberties refer to the individual freedoms and legal protections afforded American citizens, protecting them from the government. These include freedoms and protections like due process of law and the right to free speech. Civil rights, by contrast, refer to legal protections or public policies concerning equal treatment in American society. Civil rights prohibit discrimination under the law on the basis of race, gender, disability status, or other demographic characteristics. While both civil rights and civil liberties occupy important places in American politics, they evolved along fundamentally different paths.

Explain how the civil rights and civil liberties afforded Americans have evolved since the founding of the United States. Assess the status of civil rights and liberties afforded Americans today. Have we achieved the goals expressed by the Constitution? Explain your answer.

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