The Southern States

We will look at the first two amendments; 13th and 15th also known as reconstruction amendments as they were adopted after the civil war and they were intended to restructure the US and guarantee blessings to the whole male populace. We will also examine the 19th amendment that recognizes women’s right to vote who the other two above amendments are silent about.

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How and why they were proposed. The 13th amendment abolished slavery. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, slavery was an institution in the US whereby the Southern States relied on slaves to boost their agricultural economies by tending to and working on their farms. Before the outbreak of the civil war, there were some bills that protected slavery. Although the US had left importing of slaves it still had not abolished domestic slavery. Several proposals were made to abolish domestic slavery in all US states and by 1864 the senate passed the amendment, the house rejected it but later passed it in 1864 when the then President Abraham Lincoln intervened (Thirteenth Amendment). The 15th amendment gave a right to all citizens despite of their race the right to vote. It was made to seal the loophole that existed in the establishment of civil rights for the just freed slaves. This was to ensure that a person’s race, color or former state as a slave is not a deterrent to vote, this was upheld by the North Carolina Supreme Court. The 19th amendment prohibits the US to deny any citizen the right to vote on accounts of sex. This was after intense lobbying by women to have the right to vote which started in 1848. The suffragists pushed the then president Woodrow to support the proposed movement in and in 1918 he obliged and announced his support (The United States Constitution).

The 15th amendment gave rights to freed slaves to vote, this then drew a lot of attention and as a result it was recognized nationally in 1965 with the adoption of the voting rights although adopted in 1870 (Murrin J., Johnson P., McPherson J., & Gerstle G. (2007). During the 15th amendment proposals, many US stats were blocking the black voters from voting outright. Some states like North Carolina amended the constitution in 1835 to ban former slaves from voting. The 15th amendment was proposed by the congress on 1869 and ratified on 1870. Some groups like the Ku Klux Klan were opposed to giving blacks the right to vote and were terrorizing them during voting (15th amendment to the US constitution).

The effect of the 15th amendment to the US constitution can be said that by giving all people the right to vote, the blacks were especially empowered and it herald the end of slavery as well as being a turning point to American politics. Many states were opposed to electing black people to represent them in office, some groups were mobilizing people to oppose it while some racially groups like the Ku Klux Klan rose to prominence. But in effect, the 15th amendment rescinded some laws like that of interracial marriage, adoption of universal education. There was and still is a fundamental shift in thinking which has brought many more changes (15th amendment to the US constitution) and the culmination of this can be said to e the election of Obama, the present American President who is considered black.

The above three amendments largely were to recognize black people as part of the American people and thus were meant to entrench their rights in the constitution and recognize them alongside other Americans. If the above amendments were not done, slavery in the US could still be legal with blacks still prejudiced upon. They could only be there to work for the whites but with no say on how things are run not only by their masters but the federal government as well as they will be only spectators in national elections. The stories of the present US President Obama could just be fiction, and not imaginable. Also women could still be confined to kitchen and motherhood leaving the men to run national issues solely.


The 13th and 15th amendments are seen as enforcement by Abraham Lincoln on the Emancipation proclamation during the outbreak of the civil war to restructure the US from halve slavery and halve free to one in which the constitution blesses all. The 19th amendment was a follow-up to 15th amendment to give women the right to vote as they were not mentioned and were assumed no right to vote.

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