Significance of 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments Essay
Significance of 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments
The 13th Amendment went through a number of significant constitutional processes and stages before finally gaining a place in the United States Constitution as it is today. For example Senate actually passed the Amendment on April 8, 1864 but it was not until January 31, 1865 that the House would also pass it (Wagner, 2006). Even with this, actual adoption of the 13th Amendment came to fruition on December 6, 1865.
The 14th Amendment also went through similar roads of constitutional wrangling before it would finally be adopted on July 9, 1868. For instance there was the fierce contention of most parts of the Amendment, especially by states in the South, causing the rectification of the Amendment before it reached Congress. The 15th Amendment was no different in terms of the need to survive a number of difficult ratifications to its formation and composition before it was finally adopted on March 30, 18970. Basically, all three Amendments had strong roots to issues of human right liberation in their respective enactments and adoption. With the 13th Amendment for instance, its major backing power was for the abolition of slavery and all forms of involuntary servitude.
This is because prior to the Civil War, United States was a country that was divided among itself and its people because of issues of slavery and involuntary servitude (Doniger, 1999). The Civil War was actually the very consequence of such disagreements as to whether or not slavery and human rights discrimination was a practice that needed to be continued in the country (Wagner, 2006).
Having fought the Civil War as a human rights battle therefore, constitutional amendments that eliminated key human rights abuses in the country was therefore necessary and thus the Amendments that followed. The importance of the Amendments in modern American societies cannot be denied especially as America remains the multi-racial community, threatened with the same challenges of racial discrimination and abuse it used to be faced with before the Amendment.
With reference to the 14th Amendment for instance, Section 1 of the Amendment states that “…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (Exploring Constitutional Conflicts, 2008). From the quotation above, it would be realized that very crucial and important issues that borders citizenship rights and protection of equal rights are highlighted mainly as a way of treating all people who by virtue of birth, naturalization, or any other legally accepted means becomes an American citizen.
In today’s fast advancing global village phenomenon where socio-economic factors make several people choose America as their nation of legitimate residence, such Amendments that clearly protects the rights of all people is needed to ensure that America becomes a hospital home to all (Brophy, 2002).
Without an iota of doubt, if the amendments were deleted from the Constitution, all forms of human rights abuse and disrespect for people based on racial differences would emerge again. In the 15th Amendment for instance, right to vote is granted to all American male, irrespective of their color or race. Should such an amendment be deleted, there is every indication that the rights of Black people and other people in the minor group would be trampled upon, including that of the current president of the United States, who is of Black origin. Consequently, such magnificent levels of contributions that minority people of that caliber could make to the American economy and entire American existence would be deleted as well.
Brophy, John M. Perspectives from the past: primary sources in Western civilizations. New York: Adam Smith, Wealth of nations, 2002. Print. Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation; A Concise History of the American People. 7th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2014. Print. Doniger, William. Splitting the difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1999. Print. Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. The Powers of Congress to Enforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. 2008. September 1, 2013. Wagner, Milato. Born in the USA: How a Broken Historic System. Berkeley: University of California, 2006. Print.