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Wysigings vir burgeroorlog - Geskiedenis



Hoe die burgeroorlog die grondwet verander het

Onenigheid volg op die burgeroorlog soos dit ontvou het.

Die duidelikste grondwetlike gevolg van die burgeroorlog was die aanneming van drie belangrike grondwetwysigings. Die 13de het slawerny vir ewig in die Verenigde State beëindig, terwyl die 14de alle persone wat in die Verenigde State gebore is (insluitend die voormalige slawe) burgers van die land gemaak het en die state verbied het om iemand die voorregte en immuniteite van Amerikaanse burgerskap, behoorlike proses of wet te ontken , of gelyke beskerming van die wet. Uiteindelik het die 15de wysiging, wat in 1870 bekragtig is, die state verbied om die franchise aan enigiemand te weier op grond van ȁ Kras, kleur of vorige serwituut. ”

Hierdie wysigings het egter hul oorsprong in die oorlog self, en kan op sommige maniere gesien word as formele erkenning van die manier waarop die oorlog die Grondwet verander het. Ander veranderinge het aangebring sonder enige wysigings. Die oorlog het die Grondwet dus op verskillende maniere verander. 'N Oorsig van sommige van hulle beklemtoon hoe die Unie wat president Lincoln bewaar het, fundamenteel anders was en beter as die Unie wat hy geërf het toe hy president geword het.

Slawerny
Die eerste en duidelikste verandering behels slawerny. Die 13de wysiging was moontlik (net soos die ander twee wysigings in die burgeroorlog) slegs omdat die oorlog slawerny oor die politiek en grondwetlike ontwikkeling verbreek het. Die Grondwet van 1787 beskerm slawerny om elke draai. Alhoewel framers nie die woord “slavery ” in die dokument gebruik het nie, het almal by die Konstitusionele Konvensie die maniere verstaan ​​waarop die nuwe regeringsvorm slawerny beskerm het. Die woord “slavery ” is inderdaad nie op versoek van die afvaardiging van Connecticut en 'n paar ander Noordelinge gebruik nie, wat gevrees het dat hul kiesers nie die Grondwet sou bekragtig as die woord in die dokument was nie, nie omdat die afgevaardigdes daarteen beswaar gemaak het nie die woord self.

Dit sal baie bladsye neem om al die proslaverheidskenmerke van die Grondwet na te gaan, maar hier is enkele van die belangrikste. Die klousule van drie vyfdes het die suide ekstra lede van die Huis van Verteenwoordigers gegee, gebaseer op die aantal slawe in elke staat. Sonder hierdie verteenwoordigers, wat geheel en al deur slawerny geskep is, sou proslawerywetgewing soos die Missouri Compromise van 1820 en die Fugitive Slave Law van 1850 nooit kon aangeneem word nie.

Net so belangrik, stemme in die kieskollege was gebaseer op die aantal verteenwoordigers in die huis, en daarom het slawerny die Suide 'n bonus gegee in die verkiesing van die president. Sonder die kiesers wat deur slawerny geskep is, sou die slawerny Thomas Jefferson die verkiesing van 1800 vir die nie-slawehouer John Adams verloor het.

Die ‛innenlandse opstandklousule ” het gewaarborg dat federale troepe gebruik sou word om slawe -opstand te onderdruk, soos in die Nat Turner -rebellie in 1831 en John Brown se pogings om in 1859 'n slawe -opstand te begin.

Uiteindelik het dit twee derdes van die kongres geneem om 'n grondwetlike wysiging aan die state te stuur, en dit het driekwart van die state geneem om enige wysiging te bekragtig. As die 15 slawestate almal in die Unie bly, tot vandag toe in 2015, sou dit onmoontlik wees om slawerny deur grondwetlike wysiging te beëindig, aangesien dit in 'n unie van 50 state slegs 13 state neem om 'n wysiging te blokkeer.

Die politieke mag van die slawestate het beteken dat die nasie altyd gedwing was om slawerny te beskerm. So het die Suide in werklikheid die politiek beheer van 1788 tot 1861. Slawe-eienaars het tussen 1788 en 1850 die presidentskap vir almal behalwe 12 jaar gehad. Al die presidente van die twee termyn was slawe-eienaars. Drie Noordelikes het die amp van 1850 tot 1860 beklee, Fillmore, Pierce en Buchanan, maar almal was slawerny en het agteroor gebuig om die Suide te paai.

Dit het die burgeroorlog geneem om slawerny se wurggreep oor die politiek te verbreek en die aard van die grondwet en grondwetlike verandering fundamenteel te verander.

Die ondergang van slawerny het begin met slawe wat weggehardloop het en die leër hulle bevry het. Maar die belangrikste oomblik was die Emancipation Proclamation, wat die eerste belangrike uitvoerende orde in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis was. Om slawerny te vernietig en die Unie te red, het Lincoln nuwe mag vir sy kantoor gekry.

Sessie en nietigheid
Sedert die begin van die nasie het bewerings dat state die federale wet sou kon vernietig of selfs kon afskei, die Amerikaanse politiek en grondwetlik gedestabiliseer. Soms het Noordelinge hierdie bewerings gemaak, soos die ontevrede New Englanders wat die Hartford -konvensie gereël het om die oorlog van 1812 teë te staan. Maar die meeste bewerings van nietigheid kom van die slaaf -suide. In 1798 skryf Jefferson in die geheim die “Kentucky Resolutions, ” terwyl sy vriend James Madison die “Virginia Resolutions ” albei die reg beweer het om die federale wet te vernietig.

Sedert die vroegste debatte oor die Unie, in die Tweede Kontinentale Kongres, tot die vooraand van die Burgeroorlog, het talle suidelike politici in die openbaar afskeid bepleit as hulle nie slaag in slawerny en ander aangeleenthede nie. In 1832-33 het Suid-Carolina die reg aangevoer om die federale tarief te vernietig, en daarna amptelik (hoewel meestal simbolies) 'n verordening aangeneem om die Force Law te vernietig, wat die president gemagtig het om toepaslike militêre of burgerlike mag te gebruik om federale wette af te dwing. Op die oomblik het Georgië ook moedig verklaar dat dit nie 'n federale verdrag met die Cherokees hoef te hou nie. In 1850 het Suidlanders twee afskeidingsbyeenkomste gehou, wat nêrens heen gegaan het nie. In die debatte oor wat van die kompromie van 1850 geword het, het senator John C. Calhoun van Suid -Carolina die reg van die suide aangevoer om die federale wet te blokkeer.

Sommige noordelike teenstanders van slawerny —, veral William Lloyd Garrison —, het aangevoer vir afstigting in die noorde omdat hulle tereg verstaan ​​het dat slawerny die Amerikaanse regering oorheers. Maar Garrison het min volgelinge gehad, en selfs baie van hulle het nooit sy slagspreuk van “No Union With Slaveholders aanvaar nie. ” In die middel van die 1850's het die hooggeregshof in Wisconsin die vlugtige slawwet ongrondwetlik verklaar, maar toe die Hooggeregshof die wet bekragtig het het die Wisconsin -hof teruggetrek.

Kortom, nietigheid en afstigting was nie nuwe idees in 1861, toe 11 state die unie verlaat het nie, maar was sedert die stigting deel van die kronkeling en inslag van grondwetlike debat. Maar die burgeroorlog het die bespreking beëindig. Die kwessie van die grondwetlikheid van nietigheid of afskeiding is permanent besleg deur die “legal -saak ” van Lee v. Grant, beslis in Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Grant het die Grondwet en die idee van 'n ewige Unie suksesvol verdedig. Session verloor, en die Verenigde State wen. Die Hooggeregshof sou dit in Texas v. White (1869) hieroor weeg en meen dat afskeiding nog nooit wettig was nie en dat die staatsregerings in die Konfederasie geen regsbevoegdheid het nie.

Geld en nasionale mag
Vanaf die begin van die land was daar debatte oor die vraag of die Amerikaanse regering geldeenheid kan uitreik. Voor die burgeroorlog was daar inderdaad geen nasionale geldeenheid nie, slegs 𠆺nknote ” uitgereik deur private banke of staatsbanke. Vir twee periodes (1791-1811 en 1816-1836) het die federale geoktrooieerde Bank van die Verenigde State banknote versprei wat as 'n nasionale geldeenheid funksioneer. Maar Andrew Jackson het 'n veto teen die herfinansiering van die bank gemaak omdat dit ongrondwetlik was, en vir die volgende 25 jaar word die land se ekonomie belemmer deur die gebrek aan 'n stabiele, nasionale geldeenheid.

Die oorlog het dit ook verander. Om die oorlog te finansier, het Salmon P. Chase, sekretaris van die tesourie, 'n beleid ontwikkel wat gelei het tot die uitreiking van “greenbacks, en#x201D en skielik is die grondwetlike kwessie nie in die hof besleg nie, maar deur die noodsaaklikheid van die konflik. Die hooggeregshof was verbaas oor hierdie nuwe beleid, en na die oorlog het die hof kortliks verklaar dat die uitreiking van 'n terugsakking ongrondwetlik is, maar daarna vinnig van plan verander. Sedertdien het die dollar na vore gekom as die belangrikste geldeenheid ter wêreld. Alhoewel dit nie meer deur goud of silwer gesteun word nie, bly die Amerikaanse geldeenheid “ die goue standaard ” vir internasionale transaksies.

Militêre Reg en Burgerlikes
Die oorlog het ook 'n nuwe stel reëls en#x2014 -wette geskep wat nog steeds by ons is en wanneer en hoe militêre tribunale of krygswet op burgerlikes van toepassing kan wees. By die aanvang van die oorlog was daar byvoorbeeld geen federale wette wat sabotasie verbied of om te keer dat burgerlikes leërs vorm om oorlog te voer teen die Verenigde State nie. Daar was ook geen nasionale polisiemag nie. President Lincoln het dus habeas corpus langs die spoorweg van Philadelphia na Washington opgeskort en die weermag gebruik om pro-konfederale terroriste in hegtenis te neem, soos John Merryman, wat spoorweë na Washington, DC skeur en probeer om 'n Konfederale weermag in Maryland te organiseer .

Dit was weereens 'n noodsaaklikheid, nie ideologie nie: die kongres was nie in sitting nie, en Lincoln het dus op eie gesag opgetree. Inderdaad, as Merryman suksesvol was, sou kongreslede nie in staat gewees het om Washington te ontmoet nie. Die kongres het later die optrede van Lincoln goedgekeur en selfs meer massiewe skorsings van habeas corpus goedgekeur. Die grondwetlike reël uit die burgeroorlog is dus dat die regering in 'n noodgeval kan optree om mense in toom te hou om die openbare veiligheid te bewaar.

Verwante
Tydlyn van die burgeroorlog

'N Ontvouende geskiedenis van die burgeroorlog met foto's en artikels uit die Times -argief en deurlopende kommentaar van bydraers van Disunion.

Maar wat gebeur as die onmiddellike en dringende noodgeval verby is? Mag die weermag steeds gebruik word om burgerlikes in hegtenis te neem en te verhoor? Die antwoord uit die burgeroorlog is 'n nadruklike nee. Tydens die oorlog het militêre amptenare in Indiana Lamdin P. Milligan gearresteer omdat hy probeer het om 'n konfederale leër in die staat te organiseer. Daar was destyds geen geveg in Indiana nie, die burgerlike samelewing het glad funksioneer, en selfs bondgenote van Milligan het nie brûe opgeblaas of spoorweë vernietig soos Merryman gedoen het nie. Die weermag het Milligan egter probeer en hom ter dood veroordeel. In 1866, in Ex parte Milligan, het die Hooggeregshof beslis dat die verhoor ongrondwetlik was. Die weermag kan Milligan in hegtenis neem weens die noodgeval van die oorlog (net soos dit Merryman gearresteer het), maar die hof het beslis dat as die burgerlike howe oop was, soos in Indiana, dit ongrondwetlik was om 'n burger in 'n militêre hof te verhoor .

Sedertdien was dit in die algemeen die wet van die land. In die nadraai van 9/11 het die Hooggeregshof die reël bevestig dat burgerlikes (selfs terroriste in die Verenigde State) nie deur militêre tribunale verhoor mag word nie, maar slegs deur burgerlike howe verhoor kan word. Die Justices steun op Milligan.

Rasseverandering en die beweging na rassegelykheid
Toe die oorlog begin, het die federale wet Afro-Amerikaners feitlik alle grondwetlike regte geweier. In Dred Scott v. Sandford, besluit in 1857, het hoofregter Roger B. Taney beslis dat swartes nooit burgers van die Verenigde State kan wees nie, selfs al word hulle as burgers behandel in die state waar hulle gewoon het. Dit het gelei tot die eienaardigheid dat swartes vir lede van die kongres en presidensiële kiesers in ses state kon stem, en dat hulle hul pos in daardie state en in sommige ander kon beklee, maar hulle was nie burgers van die land nie. Die federale wet ondersteun nietemin die beslissings van Taney ’. Byvoorbeeld, voor die oorlog kon swartes nie lede van staatsmilisies wees nie, in die nasionale weermag dien, paspoorte van die staatsdepartement ontvang of posdiens vir die poskantoor wees.

Gedurende die oorlog het dit alles begin verander. In 1862 het die Kongres die werwing van swartes in die nasionale weermag en in staatsmilisies goedgekeur. Terwyl die meeste swart soldate ingeroep was, het sommige as onderoffisiere gedien, en 'n paar as offisiere. Martin Delaney beklee die rang van majoor. Net so opvallend was dat Eli Parker, 'n lid van die Seneca -nasie, in die persoonlike personeel van Ulysses S. Grant as luitenant -kolonel gedien het en aan die einde van die oorlog tot brigadier -generaal bevorder is.

Die oorlog het ook rasse- en etniese/godsdienstige taboes en houdings afgebreek. Abraham Lincoln het die eerste president geword wat swartes ontmoet het, en in die geval van Frederick Douglass, raadpleeg hulle. In 1864 en 1865 het die kongres handves aan spoorwegondernemings gegee wat vereis dat daar geen diskriminasie in sitplekke is nie. Die kongres het ook die wet verander wat militêre kapelane beperk het tot bedienaars van die evangelie, sodat rabbis en Rooms -Katolieke priesters kapelane kon word. Tydens die oorlog het die Kongres die kantoor van die opnemer van die dade vir die stad Washington gestig. Die eerste offisierhouer was Simon Wolfe, 'n Joodse immigrant, maar daarna is die amp vir die res van die eeu deur Afro-Amerikaners beklee, waaronder Frederick Douglass, Blanch Bruce, 'n voormalige senator, en Henry P. Cheatham, 'n voormalige kongreslid. In sy laaste openbare toespraak het Lincoln 'n beroep gedoen op swart veterane en ander lede van hul ras. Vyf jaar later sou die Grondwet die doel weerspieël in die 14de en 15de wysigings.

Vandag kyk ons ​​tereg terug na hierdie twee wysigings, en die 13de, as die belangrikste blywende grondwetlike nalatenskap van die burgeroorlog. En dat hulle is. Maar dit is ook belangrik dat ons kyk na hoe Amerika se begrip van die Grondwet, veral met betrekking tot rasse- en etniese gelykheid, verander het tydens die oorlog, en nie bloot as gevolg daarvan nie. Anders gestel: Die wysigings van die burgeroorlog het die Grondwet verander. Maar selfs al sou dit op een of ander manier nooit gebeur het nie, sou die oorlog self die manier waarop Amerikaners en hul regering gesien het, verander het.

Paul Finkelman is 'n senior genoot in die Penn-program oor demokrasie, burgerskap en konstitusionalisme aan die Universiteit van Pennsylvania en 'n inwoner by die National Constitution Center.

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Soewereine immuniteit van state (wysiging 11)

Die elfde wysiging van die grondwet van die Verenigde State is geskryf as 'n direkte reaksie op die hooggeregshofsaak van 1793, bekend as Chisholm v. Georgia, waarin 'n burger uit Suid -Carolina, Alexander Chisholm probeer om die staat Georgia te dagvaar oor finansies. Georgië het geweier om in die hof op te daag, aangesien die leiers in die eerste plek gevoel het dat hulle gedagvaar word, 'n skending van sy staatsoewereiniteit was. Ondanks die klagtes van Georgië het die hof Chisholm ten gunste daarvan beslis.

Hierdie wysiging het Artikel III, Afdeling 2 van die Grondwet verduidelik, en federale jurisdiksie verwyder in gevalle waar burgers van een staat of van die buiteland probeer om 'n ander staat te dagvaar.


Die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog: belangrikheid en betekenis#038

Gedurende die tydperk van die burgeroorlog en die heropbou van die burgeroorlog was daar baie veranderinge aan die gang in die Unie. Die Emancipation Proclamation, sowel as wetgewing soos die dertiende, veertiende en vyftiende wysigings, het 'n nuwe ontwaking van die demokrasie veroorsaak, terwyl die afstanddoening van afstigting deur die Suide 'n besliste triomf vir nasionalisme was.

Die regering was ook betrokke by sy eie onderonsies. Tydens heropbou het die wetgewende en uitvoerende gesag uiteindelik 'n slag gekry oor die gebruik van mag. Die land word verander deur magte wat 'n gebroke Unie veroorsaak en later herstel het.

Die eerste van hierdie “ kragte ”, was die uitbreiding van demokrasie. Reeds in 1862 neem Lincoln 'n groot stap in die rigting. Op 22 September kondig Lincoln die vrystelling van alle slawe aan in gebiede wat nie onder die beheer van die Unie is nie. Alhoewel die afkondiging nie alle slawe oral vrygemaak het nie, was dit die optrede wat die kongres sou dwing om die dertiende wysiging in 1865 deur te voer.

Die wysiging, wat later in 1865 bekragtig is, lui dat “Nog slawerny of onwillekeurige diensbaarheid. . . sal bestaan ​​in die Verenigde State, of op enige plek onder hul jurisdiksie. ” Dit het gelyk asof demokrasie geseëvier het deur vryheid aan slawe te gee, maar die wysiging was nie volledig nie. Dit het net slawerny gestop en geen voorsiening gemaak vir burgerskap nie, daarom word swartes steeds nie as Amerikaanse burgers beskou nie.

Die veertiende wysiging was die demokratiese uitbreiding wat die probleem opgelos het. Oorspronklik deurgegee om 'n aantal aangeleenthede buite die beheer of diskresie van die president te stel, en die wysiging het ook alle persone gebore of genaturaliseer in die Verenigde State. . . burgers van die Verenigde State. ” Dit het ook bepaal dat “ Geen staat die voorregte of immuniteite van burgers van die Verenigde State sal verswak nie. ”

Dit het nie net 'n nuwe betekenis aan swart mans se vryheid gegee nie, maar dit het ook 'n nuwe en breër betekenis aan burgerskap gegee. Diegene wat die wysiging opstel, het gehoop dat die omvang van die misbruik onomwonde sou wees, maar die algemene frasering was slegs 'n voordeel vir misbruikers. Daar is geen lys van die voorregte of immuniteite wat aan Amerikaanse burgers gebied word nie.

Trouens, daar is nie eens 'n verduideliking van watter regte 'n “ burger ” het nie. Hierdie veralgemenings en die misbruik wat daarmee gepaard gegaan het, het daartoe gelei dat die vyftiende wysiging in 1870 aangeneem is. #8221 en daardie reg, “ mag nie ontken word nie weens ras, kleur of vorige serwituut. ”

Hierdie wysiging het uiteindelik skuiwergate wat in die dertiende en veertiende wysigings bestaan, uitgehaal. Die regering van die Verenigde State was besig om nader te kom om 'n regering te wees deur alle mense, en nie net blankes nie. Die heropbou van die burgeroorlog bied egter meer as net uitgebreide demokrasie. Dit was ook 'n tyd van nasionale eenwording.

Een van die belangrikste hupstoot vir die nasionalisme van die Verenigde State het begin met die eenvoudige oorwinning van die Unie oor die konfederasie. Die afskeiding was ongrondwetlik volgens diegene wat die Unie ondersteun het. Deur die konfederasie te verslaan, het die Unie slegs die feit bevestig. Die radikale Republikeinse heropbouplan het ook 'n amptelike afstanddoening van afstigting vereis voordat state weer tot die Unie toegelaat kan word.

As afskeiding van die Unie nou onwettig was, dan moes Daniel Webster se teorie dat die Grondwet 'n volksregering was, en nie 'n samestelling van state nie, waar wees. “Die Grondwet. . . [begin] met die woorde ‘We the people, ’ en dit was die mense, nie die state nie, wat. . . dit geskep het, ” beweer Webster in sy nasionalistiese teorie van die Grondwet.

Die Unie het meer verenig geword as ooit tevore, want nou was dit werklik 'n unie, “. . . nou en vir altyd, een en onafskeidbaar. ” Daar was egter veranderinge wat plaasgevind het in die heropbouperiode wat nie so nuttig was vir die Unie as demokrasie en nasionalisme nie. Terwyl die nasie hom in hierdie meer bemoedigende ontwikkelinge verlustig het, het die regering van die Unie interne konflikte ondervind.

Die kongres en die president het begin twis oor die verspreiding van krag vanaf ongeveer die tyd van die presidentskap van Andrew Johnson. Johnson word president na Lincoln se dood en gee dadelik die toon vir die res van sy omgang met die kongres. Sy plan vir heropbou was baie verslap vir radikale Republikeine in die kongres, en Johnson het nie die diplomatieke vermoëns van Lincoln nie.

Johnson het wel lojaliteitseed vir suidelike blankes voorgeskryf as hulle kwytskelding en amnestie sou ontvang, hy het hoë konfederate amptenare uitgesluit van die toelaag, en hy het wel 'n staatsbyeenkoms vereis van staatsleiers wat lojaal was aan die Unie om nuwe kongresafgevaardigdes te kies. Johnson het egter nie 'n paar bepalings ingesluit wat die kongres versoek het nie.

Sy plan het aanbeveel, maar nie vereis nie, die herroeping van afskeidingsverordeninge en afkeuring van afstigting, afwysing van die Konfederale skuld en die bekragtiging van die dertiende wysiging. Hierdie punte wat nie by die Johnson -program afwesig was nie, was die aanvangskongres wat nodig was om die heropbou oor te neem.

Die eerste stap van die kongres, teen Johnson, is geneem in Desember 1865. Onder Johnson ’s -program is suidelike verteenwoordigers tot die kongres verkies. 'N Meerderheid van die kongres het gestem om die afgevaardigdes te aanvaar en 'n komitee aangestel om met die heropbou te begin. In 1866 het die kongres vir die eerste keer in die geskiedenis 'n presidensiële veto omskryf, toe Johnson 'n veto teen 'n wetsontwerp op burgerregte afgelê het.

Die wetsontwerp sou swartes 'n aansienlike nuwe vryheid van diskriminerende suidelike optrede gegee het. Johnson het standpunt ingeneem teen die radikale Republikeine in die kongres toe die veertiende wysiging die eerste keer aanvaar is. Alhoewel die Kongres die wysiging as deel van die heropbou moes bekragtig, het Johnson die wysiging veroordeel en state aangeraai om dit nie te bekragtig nie.

Die stryd tussen die uitvoerende en wetgewende gesag het tot 'n voorspelbare ritme gekom: die kongres sou 'n wetsontwerp goedkeur, die president sou dit vetor, die kongres sou dit oorheers. wet, wat die goedkeuring van die Senaat vereis het om presidensiële kabinetslede te verwyder. Johnson het die wet oortree deur die minister van oorlog, Edwin Stanton, te verwyder.

Die Huis van Verteenwoordigers het artikels van beskuldiging goedgekeur en in Mei 1868 is Johnson deur die Huis beskuldig. Die senaat het hom met een stem nie uit die amp van president verwyder nie. Nie een van die twee partye het die stryd om mag gewen nie. Johnson het sy vermoë om 'n effektiewe president te word verloor, maar daar is vasgestel dat beskuldiging nie as 'n politieke wapen in die kongres gebruik kan word nie.

Die burgerlike oorlogstydperk, sowel as die heropbou, was gevul met politieke veranderinge in die Verenigde State. Die oorlog het die demokratiese gees van die nasie gewek en baie wetgewing aangewakker om die gelykheid van alle mense te verbeter. Na-oorlogse tye het die nasionalistiese gees van die nasie voortgebring, wat eens en vir altyd bewys het dat hierdie Unie inderdaad onder God ondeelbaar was. ”

Die begeerte na mag en geregtigheid tydens heropbou het die stryd tussen die uitvoerende en wetgewende gesag veroorsaak, 'n stryd wat nie heeltemal opgelos is nie. Hierdie veranderinge, beide goed en sleg, het die Unie weer die Verenigde State gemaak. “a. . . nasie, verwek in Liberty, en toegewy aan die stelling dat alle mense gelyk geskape is. ” Dit is sedertdien die Verenigde State.

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Skrywer: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)

Onderwyser en vryskutskrywer. Wetenskaponderwyser en liefhebber van opstelle. Artikel laas hersien: 2020 | Rosemary Institution © 2010-2021 | Creative Commons 4.0


Inhoud

Die heropbouwysigings is tussen 1865 en 1870 aangeneem, [1] die vyf jaar onmiddellik na die burgeroorlog. [4] Die laaste keer dat die Grondwet gewysig is, was met die twaalfde wysiging meer as 60 jaar tevore in 1804.

Hierdie drie wysigings was deel van 'n groot heropbou van die Verenigde State na die burgeroorlog. Hulle voorstanders het hulle beskou as die transformasie van die Verenigde State van 'n land wat (in Abraham Lincoln se woorde) 'half slaaf en half vry' [5] was in een waarin die grondwetlik gewaarborgde 'blessings of liberty' tot die hele bevolking uitgebrei sou word, insluitend die voormalige slawe en hul afstammelinge.

Die dertiende wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet het slawerny en onwillekeurige diensbaarheid afgeskaf, behalwe as straf vir 'n misdaad. [6] Dit is op 8 April 1864 deur die Amerikaanse senaat aangeneem, en na 'n onsuksesvolle stemming en uitgebreide wetgewende maneuver deur die Lincoln -administrasie, volg die Huis op 31 Januarie 1865 sy voorbeeld. [7] Die maatreël is vinnig bekragtig deur almal behalwe drie Unie -state (die uitsonderings was Delaware, New Jersey en Kentucky), en deur 'n voldoende aantal grens- en "gerekonstrueerde" suidelike state, om teen 6 Desember 1865 bekragtig te word. [7] Op 18 Desember 1865, Buitelandse minister William H. Seward het verklaar dat dit in die federale grondwet opgeneem is. Dit het 61 jaar na die twaalfde wysiging deel geword van die Grondwet, die langste tussen die grondwetlike wysigings tot nog toe. [8]

Slawerny is stilswyend in die oorspronklike grondwet vasgelê deur bepalings soos artikel I, afdeling 2, klousule 3, algemeen bekend as die drie-vyfde kompromie, wat uiteensit hoe die totale slawe-bevolking van elke staat in die totale bevolkingsgetal vir die doeleindes ingereken sou word van die verdeling van setels in die Amerikaanse Huis van Verteenwoordigers en direkte belasting onder die state. [9] Alhoewel baie slawe vrygestel is deur Lincoln se Emancipation Proclamation van 1863, was hul regstatus na die Burgeroorlog onseker. [10]

Die veertiende wysiging van die grondwet van die Verenigde State is op 13 Junie 1866 deur die kongres voorgestel. [7] Teen 9 Julie 1868 het die wetgewers die nodige aantal state bekragtig om amptelik die veertiende wysiging te word. [7] Op 20 Julie 1868 verklaar minister van buitelandse sake, William Seward, dat dit bekragtig is en by die federale grondwet gevoeg is. [11] Die wysiging handel oor burgerskapregte en gelyke beskerming van die wette en is voorgestel in reaksie op kwessies wat verband hou met die behandeling van vrymanne na die oorlog. Die wysiging is bitter betwis, veral deur suidelike state, wat gedwing was om dit te bekragtig om hul afvaardigings na die kongres terug te keer. Die veertiende wysiging is een van die mees gedingde dele van die Grondwet, wat die basis vorm vir belangrike besluite soos Roe v. Wade (1973), met betrekking tot aborsie, en Bush v.Gore (2000), aangaande die presidentsverkiesing van 2000. [12] [13]

Die eerste afdeling van die wysiging bevat verskeie klousules: die burgerskapsklousule, die voorregte of immuniteitsklousule, die klousule oor 'n behoorlike proses en die gelyke beskermingsklousule. Die burgerskapsklousule bied 'n breë definisie van burgerskap, wat die beslissing van die Hooggeregshof in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), wat geglo het dat Amerikaners afstammelinge van Afrikaners nie burgers van die Verenigde State kan wees nie. Die Privileges or Immunities -klousule is so geïnterpreteer dat dit baie min doen. Alhoewel "Afdeling 2 van die Veertiende Wysiging die kongresverteenwoordiging verminder vir state wat stemreg op grond van ras ontken," is dit nie toegepas nadat suidelike state swartes in die laat 19de en vroeë 20ste eeu gediskfranchiseer het nie. [14] Terwyl die Noordelike Kongreslede in 1900 besware gemaak het teen die ongelykhede van suidelike state wat sitplekke verdeel op grond van die totale bevolking toe hulle swartes uitsluit, het verteenwoordigers van die Suider -Demokratiese Party so 'n magtige blok gevorm dat teenstanders nie goedkeuring kon kry vir verandering van verdeling nie. [15]

Die klousule oor 'n behoorlike proses verbied staatsamptenare en plaaslike regeringsamptenare om lewens, vryheid of eiendom sonder wettige magtiging te ontneem. Hierdie klousule is ook deur die federale regbank gebruik om die grootste deel van die Handves van Regte van toepassing op die state te maak, asook om inhoudelike en prosedurele vereistes te erken waaraan staatswette moet voldoen. [16]

Die klousule vir gelyke beskerming vereis dat elke staat onder die wet gelyke beskerming bied aan alle mense binne sy jurisdiksie. Hierdie klousule was die basis vir die Amerikaanse hooggeregshof se uitspraak in Brown v. Onderwysraad (1954), dat rasseskeiding in openbare skole ongrondwetlik was, en die verbod op die wette teen huwelike tussen rasse, in sy uitspraak in Loving v. Virginia (1967). [17] [18]

Die vyftiende wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet verbied die federale en staatsregerings om 'n burger die stemreg te ontken op grond van die burger se "ras, kleur of vorige toestand van diensbaarheid". Dit is op 3 Februarie 1870 bekragtig as die derde en laaste van die heropbou -wysigings. [7]

Teen 1869 is wysigings aangebring om slawerny af te skaf en burgerskap en gelyke beskerming te bied ingevolge die wette, maar die noue verkiesing van Ulysses S. Grant tot die presidentskap in 1868 het 'n meerderheid Republikeine oortuig dat die beskerming van die franchise van swart kiesers belangrik was vir die party se toekoms. Nadat die breër weergawes van 'n stemregwysiging van die hand gewys is, het die Kongres 'n kompromie -wysiging voorgestel wat franchise -beperkings op grond van ras, kleur of vorige serwituut verbied op 26 Februarie 1869. Die wysiging het 'n moeilike bekragtingsgeveg oorleef en is op 30 Maart 1870 aangeneem. [19] Nadat swartes die stem gekry het, het die Ku Klux Klan 'n paar van hul aanvalle beveel om hul politieke vergaderings te ontwrig en hulle by die stembusse te intimideer, om swart deelname te onderdruk. [20] In die middel van die 1870's was daar 'n toename in nuwe opstandsgroepe, soos die Red Shirts en White League, wat namens die Demokratiese Party opgetree het om swart stemme gewelddadig te onderdruk. [21] Terwyl die blanke demokrate in die suidelike staatswetgewers weer die mag herwin het, is talle swartes deur die 1880's en vroeë 1890's steeds verkies tot plaaslike ampte in baie state, sowel as tot die kongres tot in 1894. [22]

Sedert 1900 het state in die voormalige Konfederasie nuwe grondwette en ander wette aangeneem wat metodes bevat om swartes te ontken, soos meningspeilings, verblyfreëls en geletterdheidstoetse wat deur wit personeel toegepas word, soms met vrystellings vir blankes via grootvaderbepalings. [22] Toe die uitdagings die Hooggeregshof bereik het, interpreteer dit die wysiging eng, gebaseer op die verklaarde bedoeling van die wette eerder as die praktiese effek daarvan. Die resultate in die onderdrukking van die kiesers was dramaties, namate die kieserslys gedaal het: byna alle swartes, sowel as tienduisende armblankes in Alabama en ander state, [23] is van die kiesersregistrasierolle en uit die politieke stelsel gedwing, effektief miljoene mense uitgesluit van verteenwoordiging. [24]

In die twintigste eeu het die hof die wysiging wyer geïnterpreteer en grootvader -klousules in die hand gewys Guinn teen die Verenigde State (1915). [25] Dit het 'n kwarteeu geneem om uiteindelik die blanke primêre stelsel in die "primêre gevalle in Texas" (1927–1953) af te breek. Aangesien die Suide 'n eenparty-gebied geword het na die ontbanting van swartes, was die voorverkiesings van die Demokratiese Party die enigste mededingende wedstryde in daardie state. Maar suidelike state het vinnig op die hooggeregshofbesluite gereageer en dikwels nuwe maniere bedink om swartes van kiesersrolle uit te sluit, en die meeste swartes in die suide het eers na die verloop van die federale wet op burgerregte stem gekry. die begin van federale toesig oor kiesersregistrasie en distriksgrense. Die vier-en-twintig wysiging (1964) verbied die vereiste vir peilingsbelasting by federale verkiesings teen hierdie tyd dat vyf van die elf suidelike state steeds sulke belasting vereis. Together with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966), which forbade requiring poll taxes in state elections, blacks regained the opportunity to participate in the U.S. political system. [26]

The promise of these amendments was eroded by state laws and federal court decisions throughout the late 19th century before being restored in the second half of the twentieth century. In 1876 and beyond, some states passed Jim Crow laws that limited the rights of African-Americans. Important Supreme Court decisions that undermined these amendments were the Slaughter-House Cases in 1873, which prevented rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment's privileges or immunities clause from being extended to rights under state law [27] and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 which originated the phrase "separate but equal" and gave federal approval to Jim Crow laws. [28] The full benefits of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments were not recognized until the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Onderwysraad in 1954 and laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. [29]


History of Law: The Fourteenth Amendment

The Civil War ended on May 9, 1865. Just more than three years later, on July 9, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed. This amendment and the 13th and 15th amendments were a part of the Reconstruction Era of the United States, which focused on civil rights and rebuilding the war-torn nation. The 14th Amendment states that every person born or naturalized in America is a citizen of the country as well as their state of residence.

Some southern states began actively passing laws that restricted the rights of former slaves after the Civil War, and Congress responded with the 14th Amendment, designed to place limits on states' power as well as protect civil rights. To be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War, southern states had to ratify the 14th Amendment. Initially, Native Americans were not granted citizenship by this amendment because they were under the jurisdiction of tribal laws. It was not until 1924 that Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted Native Americans citizenship rights as well.

The 14th Amendment has five sections. The first section introduces the citizenship law for all people born in the country or naturalized. This section also covers the limitations of state laws, which cannot supersede federal laws that govern citizens. States cannot deprive citizens of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Due process of law means that legal proceedings have to be fair and that citizens need to be given notice and a chance to be heard before any rulings are made. When originally passed, the 14th Amendment was designed to grant citizenship rights to African-Americans, and it states that citizenship cannot be taken from anyone unless someone gives it up or commits perjury during the naturalization process.

In 1787, delegates of the Constitutional Convention had reached a compromise for determining the number of representatives each state would have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Called the three-fifths compromise, this agreement stated that every five slaves would be counted as three people when determining population for the number of representatives and taxes owed. Section 2 of the 14th Amendment removed this law from the Constitution, giving freed slaves full weight as citizens. The only adult male citizens who were denied the right to vote were those convicted of crimes.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment focuses on rebellion, prohibiting anyone from being elected or appointed to a state or federal office after engaging in rebellion or treason. The houses of Congress can vote to override this if two-thirds of the votes are in favor. Section 4 serves to legitimize the public debt that Congress appropriates. This section was put in place to prevent the Confederacy's war and emancipation debts from impacting the reunited country.

The power of enforcement is outlined in Section 5 of the 14th Amendment. This clause gives Congress the power to pass appropriate laws to enforce all of the provisions of this amendment. Debate and controversy have been high regarding the scope of power given to Congress by this section. In 1879, the Supreme Court gave Congress significant authority. Since this time, however, decisions have been more conservative, giving Congress less authority in regulation. Congress does not have the power to regulate the private conduct of citizens, but it can regulate actions by state and local governments. Congress has the authority to stop or resolve rights violations that have a legal precedent, but the remedies have to be proportionate to the violations.


The African American Civil Rights Movement

The March on Washington in 1963 was a culmination of the efforts of black leaders across the country to protest de jure segregation.

Even before the Brown v. Onderwysraad decision, a mass movement of African Americans had emerged from black churches and black colleges. Such organizations provided networks for communicating with and organizing recruits. The black press in both the North and the South publicized the movement.

Daily newspapers in the South, which covered a white power structure and were aimed at white readers, all but ignored the African American civil rights movement. Southern reporters who covered the movement were threatened, and even harmed physically, by the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group. [14] Northern newspapers were slow to discover the movement, although the attention they eventually accorded civil rights protests would help the movement grow and expand.

The first mass action for civil rights took place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1953. African Americans led by a Baptist minister boycotted the city’s segregated public buses. Although African Americans provided about three-quarters of the ridership, they had to stand behind an often near-empty white section. A deal was struck: the city council saved the first two rows for whites but blacks could sit anywhere else, as long as they were not in front of whites.

Another bus boycott took place in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks, a seamstress and an activist in the local NAACP, was arrested in December 1955 after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man.

Enduring Images: Rosa Parks

Two enduring images of the African American civil rights movement are of Rosa Parks. In one, she is being arrested. In a later photograph taken for Look magazine, she is sitting on a city bus in front of a white passenger. Her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white person and move to the back of the bus touched off the massive Montgomery bus boycott that ended with a Supreme Court decision ordering the city to desegregate public transportation. The images endure because of the simple, moving tale of a lone individual affirming her dignity and equality by a simple act—sitting down.

NAACP leaders sued the city and started a boycott led by a twenty-six-year-old Baptist preacher fresh out of divinity school—Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted 381 days and ended only after the US Supreme Court had declared Montgomery’s segregated public transportation unconstitutional.

What the images do not show is that Parks was a longstanding activist in local civil rights politics and was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. The photo of her arrest was not for her action on the bus, but for later activity in the boycott.

Parks was not the first African American woman to refuse to give up her seat in a bus. Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old young woman active in the NAACP Youth Council, had refused to give up her bus seat a few months before. Colvin cried out as she was arrested, “this is my constitutional right.” NAACP leaders had hoped to draw attention to Colvin’s case, until they realized that she was foul-mouthed and unruly—the pregnant, unmarried Colvin was not the symbol of African American resistance the NAACP wished to portray. Parks, a diminutive, devout, soft-spoken, married woman, was ideal for favorable publicity. [15]

Civil rights activists receive most positive coverage when they are able to present themselves as noble, oppressed victims. The images of Parks, arrested and sitting at the front of the bus, have lasted and been widely reproduced. Other images of Parks as political activist and organizer, roles that are equally central to her life, have not.

Students created the next wave of activism. In 1960, four freshmen at North Carolina A&T State University sat down at a dime-store, whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro and would not leave until they were served.

The students tipped off a local white photographer, who took a picture of them that gained national attention. The “Greensboro four” were arrested and jailed. Twenty-nine students sat at the lunch counter the next day, and hundreds more followed. After months of dwindling sales, Greensboro’s merchants agreed to desegregate. The sit-in was rapidly imitated across the South. [16] It inspired a new, younger, more confrontational organization—the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

In 1961, white and black activists launched a Freedom Ride to travel together on buses from Washington, DC, to New Orleans in defiance of state laws. They did not make it. In Alabama, one bus was stopped, and its occupants were badly beaten. Another bus was set on fire, and the freedom riders barely escaped alive.

Dramatic, widely distributed photographs of these events forced President John F. Kennedy to order federal agencies to halt segregation and discrimination in interstate transportation. [17] Civil rights activists used depictions of white repression to win dramatic news coverage and generate public sympathy for their cause.

The SNCC organized the Freedom Summer of 1964, a campaign to register voters in Mississippi, the state with the largest percentage of blacks and the lowest rate of black voter registration. Massive resistance from whites resulted in violence, culminating in the murder of three civil rights workers—one black and two white. Murders of white civil rights activists generated more public outrage and received more news coverage than murders of black participants.

In 1963, King and the SCLC conducted an all-out campaign, including mass meetings, sit-ins, and boycotts of downtown stores in Birmingham, Alabama. Their attempts to march to city hall were violently suppressed by police. Marchers, including young children, were chased and attacked by police dogs and pummeled with water from fire hoses so powerful it tore off their clothes and removed bark from trees. Thousands were arrested.

These protests, and the official response, received saturation coverage in the news. After five weeks, Birmingham’s business leaders signed an agreement to desegregate stores and enhance black employment. [18] In a nationally televised address in June, President Kennedy proposed a far-reaching Civil Rights Act. Riding a surge of attention, King planned a national march on Washington. A quarter of a million people jammed around the Lincoln Memorial in August to hear speeches and songs, capped off by King’s “I Have a Dream” vision of racial reconciliation.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech


The Civil War Amendments

The Civil War Amendments protected equality for emancipated slaves by banning slavery, defining citizenship, and ensuring voting rights.

Leerdoelwitte

Identify the key provisions of the three Civil War amendments

Belangrike wegneemetes

Kern punte

  • The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, known collectively as the Civil War Amendments, were designed to ensure equality for recently emancipated slaves.
  • The 13th Amendment banned slavery and all involuntary servitude, except in the case of punishment for a crime.
  • The 14th Amendment defined a citizen as any person born in or naturalized in the United States, overturning the Dred Scott V. Sandford (1857) Supreme Court ruling stating that Black people were not eligible for citizenship.
  • The 15th Amendment prohibited governments from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote based on race, color, or past servitude.

Sleutel terme

  • Emansipasie Proklamasie: An executive order issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War. It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in 10 states that were still in rebellion.
  • Jim Crow: Southern United States racist and segregationist policies in the late 1800’s and early to mid 1900’s, taken collectively.
  • Civil War Amendments: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The Civil War Amendments

The 13th (1865), 14th (1868), and 15th Amendments (1870) were the first amendments made to the U.S. constitution in 60 years. Known collectively as the Civil War Amendments, they were designed to ensure the equality for recently emancipated slaves.

While the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the 10 states that were still in rebellion, many citizens were concerned that the rights granted by war-time legislation would be overturned. The Republican Party controlled congress and pushed for constitutional amendments that would be more permanent and binding. The three amendments prohibited slavery, granted citizenship rights to all people born or naturalized in the United States regardless of race, and prohibited governments from infringing on voting rights based on race or past servitude.

Die 13de wysiging

This amendment explicitly banned slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States. An exception was made for punishment of a crime. This amendment also gave Congress the power to enforce the article through legislation.

The 14th Amendment

This amendment set out the definitions and rights of citizenship in the United States. The first clause asserted that anyone born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen of the United States and of the state in which they live. It also confirmed the right to due process, life, liberty, and property. This overturned the Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) Supreme Court ruling that stated that black people were not eligible for citizenship.

The amendment also defined the formula for determining political representation by apportioning representatives among states based on a count of all residents as whole persons. This contrasted with the pre-Civil War compromise that counted enslaved people as three-fifth in representation enumeration. Southern slave owners wanted slaves counted as whole people to increase the representation of southern states in Congress. Even after the 14th Amendment, native people not paying taxes were not counted for representation.

Finally, the amendment dealt with the Union officers, politicians, and debt. It banned any person who had engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding civil or military office. Finally, it declared that no debt undertaken by the Confederacy would be assumed by the United States.

The 15th Amendment

This amendment prohibited governments from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote based on race, color, or past servitude.

While the amendment provided legal protection for voting rights based on race, there were other means that could be used to block black citizens from voting. These included poll taxes and literacy tests. These methods were employed around the country to undermine the Civil War Amendments and set the stage for Jim Crow conditions and for the Civil Rights Movement.

The First Vote: This image depicts the first black voters going the polls.


Die dertiende wysiging

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, abolished slavery as a legal institution.

The Constitution, although never mentioning slavery by name, refers to slaves as "such persons" in Article I, Section 9 and a person held to service or labor in Article IV, Section 2. The Thirteenth Amendment, in direct terminology, put an end to this. The amendment states:

"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.

Die kongres het die mag om hierdie artikel deur toepaslike wetgewing af te dwing.& quot

Agtergrond

The history behind this amendments adoption is an interesting one. Prior to the Civil War, in February 1861, Congress had passed a Thirteenth Amendment for an entirely different purpose--to guarantee the legality and perpetuity of slavery in the slave states, rather than to end it. This amendment guaranteeing slavery was a result of the complicated sectional politics of the antebellum period, and a futile effort to preclude Civil War. Although the Thirteenth Amendment that guaranteed slavery was narrowly passed by both houses, the Civil War started before it could be sent to the states for ratification.

But the final version of the Thirteenth Amendment--the one ending slavery--has an interesting story of its own. Passed during the Civil War years, when southern congressional representatives were not present for debate, one would think today that it must have easily passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Not true. As a matter of fact, although passed in April 1864 by the Senate, with a vote of 38 to 6, the required two-thirds majority was defeated in the House of Representatives by a vote of 93 to 65. Abolishing slavery was almost exclusively a Republican party effort--only four Democrats voted for it.

It was then that President Abraham Lincoln took an active role in pushing it through congress. He insisted that the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment be added to the Republican party platform for the upcoming presidential elections. He used all of his political skill and influence to convince additional democrats to support the amendments' passage. His efforts finally met with success, when the House passed the bill in January 1865 with a vote of 119-56. Finally, Lincoln supported those congressmen that insisted southern state legislatures must adopt the Thirteenth Amendment before their states would be allowed to return with full rights to Congress.

The fact that Lincoln had difficulty in gaining passage of the amendment towards the closing months of the war and after his Emancipation Proclamation had been in effect 12 full months, is illustrative. There was still a reasonably large body of the northern people, or at least their elected representatives, that were either indifferent towards, or directly opposed to, freeing the slaves.

The Effect of the Emancipation Proclamation

Modern historians occasionally criticize Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, declaring it a hollow document that "freed no slaves." Signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, it proclaimed that "all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free."

Lincoln correctly realized that as President, he had no legal grounds to single-handedly terminate the institution of slavery--but that this had to be done by a constitutional amendment. The Emancipation Proclamation was simply a war powers action by he, the commander in chief of the armies, in which he attempted to remove all the slaves from the southern peoples "in rebellion against the United States." Even in this, Lincoln was very anxious about the legality of his actions. He worded the document very carefully, in legal terms, in his attempt to make it legally binding in future courts of law.

He recognized that the Emancipation Proclamation would have to be followed quickly by a constitutional amendment in order to guarantee the abolishment of slavery.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation had no theoretical effect on the legal status of slaves in the border states, or slaves in regions of the country not currently under the control of southern armies, it had, in fact, a great deal of practical impact on the legality of slavery everywhere--North and South. As northern armies marched through the south, which General Sherman and his army soon began doing, thousands of slaves followed in their wake--and were never again under the legal authority of their former masters. So the argument that the Emancipation "freed no slaves" is a specious one. Until the Thirteenth Amendment was was fully ratified by the necessary majority of the states in December of 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was the document used to justify separating slaves from their masters, and by late 1865 there were no slaves remaining in the United States. Consequently, the Emancipation Proclamation was truly the beginning of the end of slavery.

Research Paper Topics for the Thirteenth Amendment

Great American History has additional resources that are useful for understanding and researching the Thirteenth Amendment. Go to the GAH Blog at:

For further reading Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment by Herman Belz, et. al.


Why is America haunted by its past?

US history tends to neglect the fact that the American Revolution was also a civil war – and that the American Civil War also encompassed a revolution. Adam IP Smith explains why ignoring difficult truths about the causes and legacies of those wars helps to fuel enduring tensions

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Published: June 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm

It is insufficiently appreciated that there has been not one American Revolution (1) but two. The first was the one about which we all know: the successful rebellion against the British empire in the 1770s and 80s that resulted in the creation of a new republic. The second was the revolutionary refounding of the republic in the 1860s in the wake of a failed rebellion led by Southern slaveholders. That rebellion caused the deaths of up to three quarters of a million people and destroyed slavery, hitherto an institution sewn into the cultural and political fabric of the republic. It also led to a new constitutional settlement in which everyone born in the United States (except Native Americans, but including former slaves) was, for the first time, guaranteed citizenship and, in theory, equal rights.

Unlike the first revolution, however, the second was incomplete, its meaning ambiguous – so much so that most Americans don’t recognise it as a truly revolutionary moment at all. The first revolution remains America’s defining moment, the Founding Fathers (2) still near-sanctified figures in US public culture – bewigged Enlightenment gentlemen who bequeathed to future generations a nation conceived in liberty. To most Americans today, as in the past, the Civil War is remembered not so much as ushering in a new beginning for the country as reaffirming the meaning of the first revolution.

1: American Revolution

Tensions over the relationship between the leaders of British North America’s colonial society and the imperial government in London led to armed confrontations, which escalated into full-scale rebellion in 1775. In 1781, with French military support, rebel colonists forced the British to accept defeat. The independence of the United States of America was declared on 4 July 1776, and self-rule achieved after British troops left in 1783.

2: Founding Fathers

The men who wrote the US Constitution in 1787, plus a few others – such as Thomas Jefferson – who played a key role in the nation’s creation. They aimed to create a confederation strong enough to withstand external pressure but which acknowledged the rights of individual states. Leading figures included George Washington, elected the republic’s first president two years later.

Since Donald Trump became president, we have been forcibly reminded of the ways in which an unresolved past can haunt the present. Tensions that have long lain below the surface have been exposed by the emotionally wrenching transition from an African-American president to one endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. We see them in the battle between those who would remove statues to the leaders of the slaveholders’ rebellion and those who would celebrate them in the incomprehension of so many white people in the face of African-American protests about police brutality and in the judicial struggles over voting rights. At stake is the total failure of American society as a whole to reach consensus over the meaning of the Civil War. This failure stands in stark contrast to the privileged status of the ‘first’ revolution in public culture.

Listen: Everything you ever wanted to know about the civil rights movement, but were afraid to ask

Both American revolutions were civil wars, but the first American revolution doesn’t feel that way. Nineteenth-century historians told the story of a patriotic people rising as one against a foreign oppressor. “The people of the continent obeyed one general impulse, as the earth in spring listens to the command of nature and without the appearance of effort bursts into life,” George Bancroft wrote in his bestselling multi-volume history of the US, published in the mid-19th century.

In some ways, popular histories of the American Revolution are not so different today. The complex tug of loyalties and the internal divisions within colonial American society described by academic historians have no part in this story. For this was a revolution that was, and is, imagined to be a natural, divinely ordained flowering of a long-seeded passion for freedom. “The Americans,” wrote Bancroft, “seized as their peculiar inheritance the traditions of liberty.” And unlike in France, where liberty had led to anarchy and autocracy, in America liberty was accompanied by order and stability. No Reign of Terror came to America, because the Americans did not rush headlong, surging with emotion, into their revolution but embraced it in a spirit of maturity and moderation.

There was little resistance to this telling of the national origin story because the losers were not around to contest it. Tens of thousands of loyalists had fled to other parts of the British empire, especially to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The many more who stayed put pragmatically accepted the new dispensation, as did the even greater number of colonists who had weathered the storm of revolution with ambivalent feelings about which side was right.

In the second American revolution, the apparent losers were white Southerners. In 1861, 11 slave states launched a military rebellion against the United States in a self-conscious effort to re-enact the first American revolution. As with their forebears 80 years earlier, Southerners said that they were fighting for liberty against tyranny. As with George Washington, whose image adorned the symbols of the new Confederate States of America (3), Southerners’ definition of liberty was consistent with slavery for black people. However, to an even greater extent than was true for the Founding Fathers of the 1770s – who disagreed among themselves about the wisdom and ethics of enslaving black people –the protection of slavery was the singular aim of the rebels of 1861. As Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens notoriously put it, the new Confederacy was designed with slavery as its “cornerstone”. In the declaration of the causes of secession published by South Carolina’s legislature, the central argument was the “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery”.

The forgotten revolution

To the leaders of this revolt, it seemed a reasonable bet that they would be able to establish their independence, through force of arms if necessary. But it was a gamble that, after four years of war and the loss of more than one in five white Southern men of military age, spectacularly backfired. Had it not been for secession in 1861, there is plenty of reason to believe that some sort of system of legally sanctioned unfree labour would have continued for decades. As it was, slaveholders provoked a backlash that destroyed their world.

Or did it? To be sure, those Southern slaveholders lost millions of dollars of ‘property’. They no longer had such easy access – through buying and selling human beings – to the cheap and flexible labour force that had, by the eve of the Civil War, enabled the American South to become the world’s near-monopoly supplier of cotton. The slave system had given white people near-total immunity from any legal or social constraints when it came to deciding what forms of brutality would best maintain the subjugation of black people. In the wake of emancipation, however, black people were given citizenship, which was (in theory, at least) protected by the federal government. Yet, for all that, Southern white people did not behave like a defeated population – nor did Northerners treat them that way. Unlike the loyalists of the 1780s, white Southerners were still very much around to tell their side of the story.

And this is where we come to the core problem with the place of history in American culture and memory. For though the first revolution has a more-or-less-agreed narrative in public life, the second – the Civil War and its aftermath – does not. Not only did the defeated rebels of the 1860s, unlike the loyalists of the 1770s, remain present in American life, but they were able to shape the way in which the war was remembered. They did this with the willing collusion of white Northerners but at the expense of African-Americans. A war that had come about because of slavery, and which resulted in its abolition, was reframed as a noble struggle among white Americans over the perpetuity of the Union – a far less unsettling story. And the ultimate evidence of how effectively the losers have shaped the memory of the second American revolution is that it is not remembered as a revolution at all.

But it should be. Not because the attempt to break up the Union succeeded – obviously it did not – but because the slaveholders’ revolt of 1861 triggered waves of revolutionary change that fundamentally, if incompletely, reshaped the American constitutional order. Each political convulsion in France since 1789 has resulted in a formal re-naming the current French state is the Fifth Republic (4). In contrast, America appears to have been blessed, if that is the right word, by constitutional continuity.

3: Confederacy

The Confederate States of America was the name adopted by 11 slave states that signed an alternative constitution ratified in 1861. It represented an attempt by Southerners to secede from the Union and ‘refound’ the republic on explicitly pro-slavery grounds. The North’s actions to thwart the bid, and the South’s military responses, escalated into a four-year civil war that claimed the lives of more than 600,000.

4: France’s Fifth Republic

The current system of French government, established by Charles de Gaulle (above) in 1958. The First Republic, founded in 1792 during the French Revolution, lasted just 12 years and was marred by the Reign of Terror – systematic government violence against perceived counter-revolutionaries.

The first revolution is the touchstone, and the supposed views of the Founding Fathers are reverently sought on every constitutional question. But three amendments to the United States Constitution passed as a result of the Civil War – the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments – amount to such a profound reconfiguration of the political order that they deserve to be thought of as the practical equivalent of a new, second founding.

The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. The Fifteenth tried to ensure that race could not be used to deny any man the vote. The Fourteenth Amendment, sitting between the two and ratified in 1868, was the keystone of the edifice. It defined a national community for the first time, and did so in a deliberately inclusive way by saying that if you’re born in America, you’re an American:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

The ambition of those who framed this amendment was astonishing, given the prevailing racist views of the time. Black people – most of whom had, just three years earlier, been legally recognised as ‘property’ – were given equal political status with the white people who claimed to own them. And the amendment then did something equally dramatic in the context of US history up to that point: it gave Congress in Washington the responsibility for ensuring that state governments did not undermine citizens’ rights (or, in the language of the amendment, “abridge the privileges and immunities”). For the first time, citizenship was not just defined in an inclusive way – it was nationalised.

White southerners denounced the Fourteenth Amendment as a power grab by the federal government, and on this point they were right. The first American Revolution had created a constitutional order in which the states had effective sovereignty, even to the point where national politicians in Washington, however much some of them despised slavery, had no power to prevent state law from recognising it. With the second American revolution, that changed.

The Civil War era was revolutionary because of the previously unimaginable scale of destruction in a war that had no parallel in the western world until 1914, and also as a war that finally brought to an end, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “250 years of unrequited toil” by enslaved black people. But it was revolutionary, too, because of the attempt to build a new kind of nation in its wake.

In the end, the revolutionary intent behind the Civil War amendments was thwarted. Black people in the South did exercise the vote for a few years after 1868, and hundreds served in elective office, including in the House and Senate of the United States. But the mass of white Southerners who had been defeated on the battlefield fought tenaciously to deny freed slaves the political rights they had so recently gained. Between 1868 and the late 1870s, former Confederate army officers formed paramilitary white supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan (5), that used violence and terrorism to regain political control. At the time – and, astonishing as it may seem, in history books published today – this counter-revolution was referred to as the ‘redemption’ of the South.

The Civil War myth

Within a decade of the defeat of their attempt to create a separate nation, white Southerners were back in positions of national power in Washington. The Supreme Court effectively nullified the Fourteenth Amendment, allowing southern states to disenfranchise black people and build the Jim Crow system (6) of racial segregation. At the same time, the myth of the ‘lost cause’ took hold. Nurtured especially by women’s organisations such as the Daughters of the Confederacy, this was a comforting narrative in which slavery had been an essentially benevolent institution, a burden for white men that at least ‘civilised’ and Christianised Africans.

5: Ku Klux Klan

The most prominent white supremacist organisation in the US, originally founded in 1865 or 1866. Local branches across the Southern states used violence to intimidate Republican leaders and damage black schools and churches. Revived in 1915, membership peaked in the 1920s at around four million people, and enjoyed a resurgence in the 1950s in opposition to the civil rights movement.

6: Jim Crow laws

Legislation enacted in the late 19th century in Southern former slave states to enforce a purportedly ‘separate but equal’ system in schools, transport and other public facilities, in concert with suppression of black voting rights. This racial discrimination and disenfranchisement was challenged by the civil rights movement from the 1950s but not reversed until 1965.

The war, then, was a noble struggle to preserve the self-rule of a traditional Christian society, and brave Southerners lost only because they were confronted by overwhelming numbers. This compelling but entirely dishonest story was sufficiently attractive to white Northerners that by the 1930s it formed the predominant public memory of the war on a national level. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and, especially, Robert E Lee were bizarrely elevated to the pantheon of national heroes alongside Washington. Such was the romantic appeal of this myth that statues to these rebel leaders were commissioned in public spaces even in states where there had never been slavery.

The Southern ‘lost cause’ is far from the only instance in history of a failed rebellion being retrospectively glamorised. A strikingly similar example is the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 (7), which posed for a while a serious military threat to the Hanoverian British state, but which within decades was the subject of countless romantic songs and stories. Queen Victoria – whose ancestor would have been deposed had Bonnie Prince Charlie succeeded – performed Jacobite tableaux with Prince Albert in the drawing room at Balmoral Castle. Rebellions that failed have, it seems, an unfailingly romantic allure.

However, similar as it was in impetus and aesthetics, the romanticisation of the slaveholders’ rebellion had more pernicious consequences than latter-day Jacobitism. It validated the counter-revolution, obliterating in public memory the postwar effort to incorporate black people into the American polity as equals. As a result, American memory of the Civil War remained stunted. The heroism of the soldiers was lauded, but the political meaning of the overthrow of slavery was downplayed. When President Woodrow Wilson spoke at the Gettysburg battlefield in 1913, on the 50th anniversary of that clash, he said it would be “an impertinence” in front of veterans of both sides to speak about what the battle “signified”. Better instead simply to honour their struggle.

The foundational moment

Beginning in the 1950s, as the civil rights movement gathered force, the complacent white consensus about the Civil War was challenged. For decades now, school textbooks, films and TV documentaries have tried to convince Americans that slavery was at the root of the war. But so long as there is racial inequality in America, the memory of the Civil War will matter. A majority of white Americans tell pollsters that they do not think the war was about slavery. And the romanticisation of rebel leaders has, until very recently, scarcely been challenged.

The first American revolution, meanwhile, has retained its status as the foundational moment. The hit Broadway musical Hamilton (8), for example, tells a tale of a united people rising up for freedom – one to which George Bancroft would have nodded along.

So long as everything about American politics can be traced back to the 18th century, the rupture of the 1860s can be glossed over. Conservative lawyers who insist that the Constitution should always be interpreted with reference to the (imagined) “original intent” of its framers seldom pay as much attention to the intentions of the radical Republicans who framed the post-Civil-War amendments as they do the gentlemen at Philadelphia in 1787. This is in spite of the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment, in particular, is at stake in multiple battles in American political life today, from immigration and gay rights to violations of the right to vote.

7: Jacobite rebellion of 1745

Attempt by Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) to claim the thrones of Scotland and England lost by his grandfather, James II and VII, during the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. After initial successes – taking Edinburgh and advancing far into England – his forces were finally defeated at Culloden in 1746.

8: Hamilton: An American Musical

Hit show recounting the life and career of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, first performed in 2015. Its casting of black and Hispanic actors in lead roles, and use of song and rap to explain key issues, contributed to critical and commercial success. However, its multiculturalism belies what is otherwise a traditional telling of the Revolution as a national uprising by an oppressed people.

If America has had just one revolution, it follows that the past 250 years have been marked largely by a comforting and virtuous continuity. Such a narrative is only possible because the upheaval of the 1860s was domesticated and drained of its disruptive meaning.

The African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass saw this happening as early as 1871. “We are sometimes asked,” he said, “in the name of patriotism to forget the merits of this fearful conflict and to remember with equal admiration those who struck at the nation’s life and those who struck to save it – those who fought for slavery and those who fought for liberty and justice.” But Douglass was having none of it: “May my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I forget the difference between the parties to that terrible, protracted, and bloody conflict.”

Despite decades of work by historians, many Americans remain determined to see the Civil War as a struggle among noble white folk with little or no implications for the state of race relations today. Like Queen Victoria dressing up in tartan, they have clothed themselves in rebel garb. As long as they continue to do so, American history will be inseparable from the politics of the present.

Adam IP Smith is senior lecturer at University College London, specialising in American history. He also writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio.


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