Effectiveness of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America

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In this essay I will be writing about the effectiveness of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and considering whether they achieved the purpose of making life better for African Americans. I’m going to start this essay by talking about the Amendments and what they were designed to achieve. In total there are 27 amendments to the Constitution, all with different ways to make America better. Around 1791 the first amendments were made but the amendments I will be looking at occurred later. The 13th Amendment was made in 1865 and was designed to stop slavery forever; nobody in the US would work against their will. The only exception is for prisoners that have been convicted of a crime. The 14th Amendment was made in 1868 to allow every person who was born in America or who had become an American citizen to have the same rights as any other citizen. Additionally, they were also a citizen of whatever state they lived in. No state in America was allowed to make laws that limit US citizens’ rights and protection, execute people, imprison people or take their property away without a legal process. Finally the 15th Amendment was made in 1870 to assure that every person in the US had the right to vote and no one could take that right away as a result of race, color or because citizens used to be slaves. Was it really the end of slavery? Even though the Amendments were enacted, things still weren’t exactly fair. Black families rented land from wealthy white families on which to live and grow crops. White landowners took advantage of a loophole in the 13th amendment to force the black families to pay 2/3 of their profit or crop as rent. This process was called sharecroppin... ... middle of paper ... ...h and 15th Amendments were made to improve the lives of African Americans and give them equal rights with white citizens. While the intention of the lawmakers was good, the amendments failed because of the strength of the feelings of former slave owners and their ability to influence the people that enforced the law. Also citizens groups such as the KKK created an environment of fear that stopped white people who may have helped black Americans improve their lives. It also prevented many blacks from trying to take advantage of the rights the Amendments had given them. I think that over time the amendments achieved their aims, but it took far longer than intended by the lawmakers at the time. What they did do was give black Americans hope and made it possible for them to legally make changes to their way of life. This in itself was the start of the change.

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