Black History Month 2023

'constitution' - 7 results

Thirteenth Amendment Ratified



Washington, D. C. - The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. This ended the legal status of chattel slavery.

It read...

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Section 1. 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.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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The words, in Section 1, were taken from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, article six (6).

Section 2 gave Congress power to make slavery a crime. Congress never used this power to effect, until 1948. Congress let those who broke the law, on slavery, get away with a fine, with no jail time.


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14th Amendment Ratified



Washington D. C. - The 14th Amendment to the United States constitution was ratified. It gave citizenship to anyone born in the United States and full protection under the law.

Source:

Fourteenth Amendment


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15th Amendment Ratified



Washington, D. C. - The Fifteenth Amendment was added to the United States constitution. It had the intent to protect voting rights for Black Americans. It was not effective until the Voting Rights Act of 1964, almost 100 years later.

The full text...

Fifteenth Amendment

Section 1

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–

Section 2

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Source:

15th Amendment


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First Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - The Civil Rights Act of 1870 was the first of the enforcement acts passed. It was to protect the rights of those formerly enslaved, to vote.

This was the first law that enforced the Fifteenth Amendment. It was an attempt to stop the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the Knights of the Camellia, and other white supremacist groups that attacked Black Americans.

Source:

1870 Civil Rights Act - 1st Force Act


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Second Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - This Act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1870. It made it a crime to stop Black Americans from being registered to vote. It put National elections under the control of the Federal government. Voters for elected officials for Federal(not State) office were protected under Federal law.

This was the Second Enforcement Act of the Fifteenth Amendment.

Source:

Second Enforcement Act


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Third Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - The Civil Rights Act of 1871, was the third (and final) enforcement act of the Reconstruction Era. It was to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment.

This act was meant to stop the Ku Klux Klan, White League, and other white supremacists. They attacked duly elected officers of the United States. This act made it a crime that included fines, jail time, and possible civil action.

None of the enforcement acts were ever used to protect Black Americans, despite their intent. The United States Supreme Court stopped any chance of that in the case of United States v. Cruikshank.

Source:

Civil Rights Act of 1871


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Black People Denied the Vote



Washington, D. C. - The United States Supreme Court decided States had the power to stop Black Americans from voting.

In the case, Giles v. Harris, Alabama law blocked Black Americans from voter registration. Alabama made a new constitution that required tests to be registered to vote.

The tests were given only by whites. The tests blocked all Black Americans. Jackson W. Giles was a Black American man who wanted to vote. He joined 5,000 other Black Americans who wanted the same. Giles sued in court.

The Federal District Court dismissed the case on procedure. The amount of damages was too small. The case was appealed. It reached the United States Supreme Court. The Court held the law was legal.


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