15th Turns 150!Breaking News
tags: Reconstruction, citizenship, voting rights, 15th Amendment
March 30, 2020, is the 150th anniversary of the adoption of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution (ratified Feb. 3, 1870), which nationally expanded the right to vote to Black men by making it illegal to prevent people from voting based on their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The Amendment did not pass without a struggle.
And in 1868, citizenship didn’t automatically mean the right to vote, yet the presence of new citizens in the form of formerly enslaved people forced Congress to consider what citizenship and voting actually meant.
Congress encountered several historical problems. First, the right to vote was long thought to have been a privilege, and not an essential element of citizenship. Second, voting rights had been the purview of states, not the Federal government. Based on these understandings, conservative white southerners unleashed an assault on black voting that ranged from bribery to political intimidation to outright violence.
comments powered by Disqus
- Black Family and Kansas History Converge at Nicodemus Reunion
- Law is Unclear Whether Public College Faculty Have Free Speech Rights in Classroom
- Recovering the Story of the Black Men who were the Nation's First Paramedics
- U of Idaho Advises Faculty of Legal Jeopardy for Discussing Abortion in Classrooms
- The Long Shadow of Pinochet Over Chile's Constitutional Referendum
- Misha Matsumoto Yee is Gilder Lehrman's History Teacher of the Year
- Aaron Burr: The Highest Ranking US Official to be Charged with Treason – So Far?
- When Italian Immigrants were Tricked into Debt Peonage in the Jim Crow South
- Joshua Tait: Will Thiel-Backed Extremists Torpedo GOP Senate Hopes?
- Marcus Weaver-Hightower on the Politics of School Lunch