New Amendments, New Beginning

13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments all ratified!

March 20th, 1970

Over the course of these past 5 years (1965-1970) , 3 new amendments have been passed by Congress and added to the U.S Constitution. These brand new amendments are what give our newly freed slaves, as well as other African Americans, their well deserved rights. These new amendments are changing a lot!

Our first amendment out of the three is the 13th Amendment. The amendment was passed by Congress January 31, 1865 and later ratified on December 6, 1865. The thirteenth amendment abolished slavery, freeing any and all slaves in the United States. It also illegalizes forced and unpaid labor. The amendment itself says "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The 14th amendment was passed June 13, 1966 and was ratified July 9, 1868. The amendment states the "All persons born or naturalized in the U.S." are legal citizens. Prior to this amendment, slaves and other African Americans could not be citizens of the United States even if they were born within the country. Thanks to the 14th amendment, you will be granted citizenship only as long as you met the requirements of being born or naturalized in the U.S.. Race does not play any role.

Lastly, the 15th amendment. The 15th amendment states that "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." This means that the United States will no longer allow the right to vote to be determined by someone's race. In America, as long as you are a citizen, it is fully within your power to vote. This amendment was ratified February 26, 1869.