U.S. Government and Civil War Amendments

Five years after the civil war they were three constitutional amendments passed and ratified by the United States 40th Congress, arguably theses amendment to be considered the base of the first government policies to implement social justice and equality among Americans blindly. Moreover, each one of these amendments was based on President Abraham Lincoln’s words "half slave and half free" (Nagler 2009). President Lincoln wanted a free country where all man lived equally no matter what their color or race is.

Furthermore, these amendments faced incredible resistance from the former rebel states (the south). As a result, the Reconstruction Act of 1867 was passed to force them to rewrite their constitution to adopt the newly ratified amendments and to allow them back into the union ultimately.

The First Amendment out of the three reconstruction era amendments was the thirteenth amendment, this amendment amid to abolish slavery and make it illegal across the states. The Second Amendment is the fourteenth amendment, and this amendment granted the right to citizenship and equal protection for all under the law.

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The Last Amendment from the reconstruction era is the fifteenth amendment, this amendment focusses on making it illegal to the federal government and states government from denying citizens from their rights to vote based on the citizen race or color. Every one of these amendments came in response to previous rebellion states actions such as the thirteenth amendment was ratified to abolish slavery during the civil war and making it illegal to practice it anywhere in the United States.

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Also, the fourteenth amendment was passed to amid directly to combat against the Black Codes (Maltz 1987), which is passed by many former rebellion southern states to take. Lastly, the fifteenth Amendment was as well passed and ratified to counter newly southern states written constitution, which required Blacks to pass a literacy test to be eligible to vote in the election. Furthermore, after the assassination of President Lincoln, President Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency. President Johnson was a democrat from Tennessee, and as well as former slaveholder himself, president Johnson sought after a hasty measure to readmit the former rebellion states into the union, opposing for what the Congress demanded, which is more reliable federal government measures to enable blacks to vote and equal right protection.

President Johnson unionism with the southern states led him to work on weakening the congress reconstruction effort, which led the Republican house of representatives to bring impeachment articles against him. President Johnson barely avoided the impeachment by one vote, when his lawyers managed to convince the Congress that Johnson would not be involved again with the congress reconstruction effort. Most of the southern states refused to rewrite their constitution to adopt the new amendments; therefore, Congress passed the reconstruction act in 1867, dividing the southern states into five military zones and appointed a military commander to ensure these states were in the process to rewrite their constitution and as well as removing any state official if they oppose to these terms. By 1870, all the former rebellion states admitted to the union after they ratification of the fourteenth Amendment and the fifteenth Amendment to their constitutions.

The reconstruction lasted from 1867 to 1877, in 1876 president Rutherford B. Hayes lost the popular vote against Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden by almost 250, 000 votes, but he won the electoral votes, the dispute over the presidency was sent back to Congress which led to the 1876 compromise. The Democrat will award the electoral votes to Hays if he promised to end the reconstruction effort and withdrew the federal troops remaining in some of the southern states putting an end to the ten years reconstruction effort to rehabilitee the southern states and as well as readmitting almost three million former slaves into the societies.

Despite the failure of the reconstruction act and rise of the white-supremacy and as well as the widely practiced Jim Crow laws that kept the black socially segregated, also subjected black Americans to be second-class citizens, these three-reconstruction era amendments fundamentally changed and put the country in the right direction for a better civil rights practice toward minorities especially blacks. Moreover, these amendments established the fighting ground in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and the 1960s enabling blacks to win importing cases such as Brown vs. Board of Education, forcing schools to start to integrate blacks into whites' schools.

Also, the fourteenth amendment, which provided citizenship for all persons despite their race or color and provided protection under the law for all, finally the most important one, is the thirteenth amendment, which ended the most inhumane mid-evil practices, which is slavery by prohibiting it and making a federal crime.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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U.S. Government and Civil War Amendments. (2020, May 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/u-s-government-and-civil-war-amendments-essay

U.S. Government and Civil War Amendments essay
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