Session 04: Reconstruction

Main Themes:

After the Civil War: Passage of the 13-15 Amendments; Reconstruction

Key Questions:

Why were the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment added to the U.S. Constitution, after the Civil War? What were the consequences of this additions during the second half of the 19th century?


Thirteenth Amendment
Section 1
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.
Section 2
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Fourteenth Amendment
Section 1
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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Fifteenth Amendment
Section 1
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–
Section 2
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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