In my opinion, the most important amendments were the Reconstruction Amendments.
These amendments were established five years after the Civil War. They were made to reconstruct America. These acts consisted of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The 13th stated that slavery was abolished. It stated that slave work was only allowed in prison as punishment for a crime. The 14th guaranteed the right of citizenship to everyone born in America. It also guaranteed due process and equal protection from the law regardless of your color, race, or age. Another thing it states is that you cannot be deprived of your life, liberty, or property without a fair trial and due process.
One unique thing that the 14th amendment states is that if you have ever rebelled against the government or aided the enemy in any way, you can never be a member of the government. The 15th guaranteed former male African American slaves the right to vote. Thought this amendment states that all humans are equal, it still did not give women the right to vote. Many tactics were used by the white men in an attempt to stop allowing the African American, former slaves, from voting. Something called the Literacy test was created. This was a series of questions that every man who wanted to vote had to pass.
It was so hard that even some white men, who received some sort of education, couldn’t pass. So, they created the Grandfather Clause. This basically stated that if your grandfather was allowed to vote, you were too. The Reconstruction Amendments were the most important because it established some sort of equality between Americans and African Americans. The Reconstruction Amendments is the most important because it started to build America back up again after the Civil war. These amendments consisted of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The 13th, which abolished slavery, had a very positive effect on African Americans brought to America.
The amendment states that slavery is not allowed except as a punishment in a prison. It also states that this is reinforced as a law. In the constitution, the 14th amendment states that any person born in America is entitled to protection by the law and is given citizenship (Constitution, n.d.). It also states that this citizen cannot be deprived of their life, liberty, or property without due process. The 14th amendment also states that you cannot ever be a member of the government if you have ever rebelled against the government or aided the enemy. The final section of this amendment states that these clauses are enforced by the government and it is treated as a law.
In the next amendment, the 15th, it is stated that citizens cannot be denied the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. This amendment didn’t have a huge effect because women were still not allowed to vote and white men still tried to find ways to not allow African Americans to vote. They created something called the Literacy Test. This tested how literate the voter was and if you failed you weren’t allowed to vote. Most African Americans were former slaves and received little to no education. Some white men couldn’t pass this test either so they created the grandfather clause. This stated that if your grandfather was allowed to vote, then you were too. In the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments the 14th is by far the most thought-out and ethically correct amendment.
These three amendments brought an abundance of good to this country. First of all, it abolished slavery which was so wrong and cruel. It is very sad that it took around 245 years to get rid of this disgusting crime. Without these amendments, African Americans would most likely still be subjected to this appalling persecution. These amendments created a sort of equality between the Americans and African Americans. These amendments also gave the African American men, who were former slaves, the right to vote. This counted only for men and not women which was still unfair.
The amendment says that all beings are created equal but it still did not give women the right to vote. These amendments were very important to this country and has resulted in giving all beings equal rights in this country. These three amendments are all connected in giving rights to African Americans. If these amendments were not in place, some people would probably still own slaves and put them to work for no pay. The Reconstruction Amendments really advanced our nation in many ways. The Reconstruction Amendments brought a lot of good, but, it also prevented a lot of bad consequences that could come from the absence of these amendments. These amendments prevented discrimination based on ethnicity or color. Another thing it prevented was the terrible crime, slavery.
This stopped the act of stealing humans from their homes and forcing them to do work without pay. These amendments also prevented discrimination against former slaves on voting and other activities involving the government. Another thing these three amendments prevented was the nullification of former slaves’ rights. Before these amendments, slaves had no rights and were just used to do labor. They were punished for making the smallest of mistakes and these punishments were nothing peaceful. The slaves would be whipped and severely punished for mistakes as small as dropping some water. A popular amendment that my classmates are picking is the first one.
This amendment has five different parts. The first part is freedom of religion. This clause states that any religion can be exercised without any persecution from the law. The second clause states that the citizens of America have the right to assemble. This means that people can come together to protest or discuss their political opinions. The next and third clause is the freedom of speech. This clause states that citizens are allowed to say whatever they want against a person as long as it is true. The next part of this amendment is freedom of the press.
This means that people have the right to publish newspapers, magazines, etc. without any restrictions set by the American government. The next and last clause is the right to petition the government. This means that if citizens have any problem with any law, they wac come together and sign a document, petitioning the government.
I think the amendments I chose, the Reconstruction Amendments, are more important than the first amendment because if the Reconstruction Amendments were not in place when the 1st amendment was placed, then African American slaves wouldn’t be able to have freedom of religion, the right to assemble, the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, or the right to petition the government. The first amendment gives less people more freedom, the Reconstruction Amendments give more people more freedom. This is why I think it is more important than the 1st amendment. Another reason why the Reconstruction Amendments are more important is because it gave African Americans so many rights compared to what they had before the Civil War. Another popular choice that others in this class are picking is the 2nd amendment.. This amendment is the right bear arms.
This means that citizens, with a license, can own a weapon. I don’t think this is a very important amendment because it does sometimes cause more harm than good. Some people use their weapons to harm rather than protect and defend themselves. It does sometimes have a positive effect, but in my opinion, the Reconstruction Amendments were a hundred times better for America because it did not bring any harm and just brought good for African American former slaves. In conclusion, the Reconstruction amendments were very important for the progression of America into a more civilized nation. The reconstruction amendments abolished slavery, gave rights and protection from the law to all people born in America, gave citizenship to all people born in America, and it guaranteed the right to vote to all former African American slaves.
Though this amendment was passed, some people still tried to take these rights away from these African American people. The 15th amendment also stated that all humans are equal. It said this but it still did not give voting rights to women. These amendments reconstructed America and it assured some sort of equality between the white men and the African Americans.