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An Overview of the 15th Amendment

15th Amendment

What is the 15th 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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The15th Amendment Defined

Date Proposed

The 15th Amendment was proposed on February 26th, 1869

Date Passed

The 15th Amendment was passed on February 3rd, 1870

President of the United States

Ulysses S. Grant was the President of the United States during the ratification of the 15th Amendment

Stipulations of the 15th Amendment

The 15th Amendment overturned the preexisting statute prohibiting African-American citizens of the United States from suffrage; furthermore, any previous station of servitude or slavery undertaken by any individual was immaterial with regard to the right to vote

15th Amendment Facts

The first African-American to participate in an election was Thomas Mundy Peterson; he participated in a school board election taking place in Perth Amboy, New Jersey – the vote took place on March 31st, 1870

Despite the passing of the 15th Amendment, many Southern states undertook a mandatory poll tax with regard to the provision of suffrage to individuals of all races and creeds; as its name suggests, a poll tax was instituted in order to validate an individual’s right to vote subsequent to the payment of the tax - poll taxes were typically instituted with regard to specific races and socioeconomic classes in lieu of institution based on property and possessions

The Dred Scott v. Sandford case (1857) mandated that African Americans – regardless of citizenship or applicable grandfather clauses – were ineligible to enjoy the freedoms and rights expressed within the Constitution of the United States

States Ratifying the 15th Amendment

1. Alabama

2. Arkansas

3. California

4. Connecticut

5. Delaware

6. Florida

7. Georgia

8. Illinois

9. Indiana

10. Iowa

11. Kansas

12. Kentucky

13. Louisiana

14. Maine

15. Maryland

16. Massachusetts

17. Michigan

18. Minnesota

19. Mississippi

20. Missouri

21. Nebraska

22. Nevada

23. New Hampshire

24. New Jersey

25. New York

26. North Carolina

27. Ohio

28. Oregon

29. Pennsylvania

30. Rhode Island

31. South Carolina

32. Tennessee

33. Texas

34. Vermont

35. Virginia

36. West Virginia

37. Wisconsin

States Not Participatory in the Ratification of the 15th Amendment

Although failing to receive unanimous ratification, the 15th Amendment has since received subsequent – and collective – ratification from all applicable states

Statutes Associated with the 15th Amendment

The 15th Amendment – in addition to the 13th and 14th Amendments – is categorized as one of the 3 Constitutional Amendments regarded as ‘Reconstruction Amendments’; these Amendments took place within 5 years following the Civil War – they may also be referred to as ‘Civil War Amendments’

The 24th Amendment expresses the inability of a Federal or State government to deny a citizen of the United States the right to vote as a result of failure to satisfy the required payments of a poll tax.

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