The Effects of the Reconstruction Amendments on the US Today
The Reconstruction Amendments were referred to as the Civil War Amendments. They were called this because they were created and ratified five years after the Civil War, between 1865 and 1870. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were reconstructed to implement the important changes that were necessary to reform and rebuild the United States. These amendments were placed into the Constitution, which gave protection and equal rights to those who did not have them before.
The 13th Amendment was passed by the U.S. Senate on April 8, 1864, but was not incorporated into the federal Constitution until December 18, 1865. This Amendment reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (Brinkley A-16).
Slavery existed in all of the original thirteen American colonies. When the Amendment was reconstructed and passed all of the states were affected. But the southern states were more opposed than the northern states, which made them remain very racial. The Amendment did not make African American’s truly equal; it did grant them their freedom but did not give them the same equal rights as white American’s. I believe that it was this Amendment that led us to the Civil Rights Movement, which has changed our world today for the better. It has given men and women the same equal rights.
Hispanic-Americans Civil Rights Movement America is facing the largest cultural shift in its history. Around the year 2050, whites will become a "minority." This is uncharted territory for this country, and this demographic change will affect everything. Alliances between the races are bound to shift. Political and social power will be re-apportioned. Our neighborhoods, our schools and workplaces, ...
The 14th Amendment was proposed on June 13, 1866, and was added into the Constitution on July 20, 1868. This Amendment was proposed in relation to issues related to former slaves following the war. It addressed citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws. Again this Amendment was opposed by the southern states but they were forced to be ratified so that they could return their delegations to congress. I feel that this Amendment is important today because without it people would not have equal rights or protection. It would allow any state or agency to create their own laws, which may not be fair to all individuals. Government could then restrict these rights to anyone.
The 15th Amendment was adopted into the Constitution on March 30, 1870. This was the final Civil war Amendment to be reconstructed. This Amendment states “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (Brinkley A-17).
Without this Amendment today there would not be equal rights to vote. Government agencies would be able to place restrictions on who could and could not vote.
These Amendments had promised great changes in the lives of African Americans. And there were many attempts by southern whites to strip blacks of their new found freedoms. But all of these Reconstructed Amendments helped to transform the United States into a more unified and liberal nation.
Brinkley, Alan. “The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People” 7th edition. New York. McGraw Hill. 2010. A-16 – A-18. Print.