Hard Times in America Essay

Submitted By ccgrll
Words: 530
Pages: 3

The Hardest Times 3/19/10
By, Charlotte Toal

In 1865 the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery was ratified. It said that it was against a person’s rights to be a slave. The amendment freed slaves in the United States without limitation. However, although the amendment said that a person could not be forced into slavery, they could be if it was a punishment for a crime. It was a very cruel punishment for a crime. Usually that didn’t happen unless it was in the south. The 14th amendment was ratified in 1868. It gave the blacks in the United States the same protection under the law as the whites. The blacks could now be citizens of the United States and be counted as members in the U.S. population. The blacks now could have equal government representation. In the amendment it stated that government representatives who supported the confederate states in the U.S, in order to take office, had to get at least 2/3 of the congress’ vote. The confederate states being admitted into the Union had to ratify the 14th amendment within its state. All of the confederate states, with the exception of Tennessee, refused. But by 1870 the 10 remaining stubborn southern states agreed and ratified the amendment. The 15th amendment was ratified in 1870. It extended the right to vote to African American or black men. Some states in the south added a clause to their state constitutions making it very difficult for blacks to vote. The clause stated that any man who was a citizen of the United States before 1866 or 1877 could vote. In a lot of ways it was more difficult for slaves after the war, than before when they were slaves. As newly freed slaves, the African American people were unsure how the members of their communities were to embrace civil liberties. In 1877 federal troops withdrew from the south and the freedman’s bureau couldn’t help the freed slaves anymore. President Lincoln’s reconstruction plan gave