The Recipe for a Prosperous America

1593 Words7 Pages
Civilization: an ever-changing force of nature. Currently, we live in a society that grants the freedom of equality to all of its people regardless of gender, race, and intellectual level. However, civilization has not always been so ethically mature. Throughout the early nineteenth century, many whites denied people of color the rights to which they were entitled. White supremacists deprived blacks of the ability to vote in governmental decisions, publicly dine with other whites, and the freedom of marriage. If a majority of the Presidents during the early nineteenth century believed that discrimination against other races was Constitutionally immoral, why did almost half of a century pass before any valid racial changes in our nation could take root? Perhaps the outcome of the Civil War could help lead in the right direction. In 1861, the Civil War began as a war primarily over discrepancies concerning slavery between the North and the South. The South wanted to preserve slavery; on the other hand, the North fought to eradicate slavery because the North desired to “keep alive the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution” (Mayers). In 1865, the war ended with a joyful victory from the North; consequently, the Thirteenth Amendment was born. Adopted on January 31, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude [...] shall exist in the United States”. The Thirteenth Amendment legally freed all slaves in all states and abolished slavery, making it a punishable crime (Schleichert). However, it remained legally ambiguous what the rights were for the freed slaves. As a result the Civil Rights Act of 1866 came into law. The Civil Rights Act of... ... middle of paper ... ...Reconstruction Era Reference Library. Primary Source.Vol 3. Detroit: Gale U.S. History in Context, 2005. Print. "Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka et. al." “The Negro in American History: Black Americans”. Vol. 1. William Benton Publishers, Print. Hall, Kermit L. "Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education." The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. 2005. Print. Josephs, R. "Jim Crow." World Book Discover. World Book, 2011. Print. Lerner, K.Lee. "Civil Rights Act of 1964." Human Rights and Civil rights : Essential Primary Sources. Ed. Detroit: Gale U.S. History in Context, 2006. Print. Mayers, Chris. "Why did they fight?." (2000): n. pag. US-civilwar.com. Web. 6 Mar 2011. . Scott, Simon. "Andrew Young and the Voting Rights Act of 1965." 2011. Print.

More about The Recipe for a Prosperous America

Open Document