Thirteenth, Fourteenth, And Fifteenth Amendments Essay, Research Paper
“(The Civil War) created in this country what had never existed before a national consciousness. It was not the salvation of the Union; it was
the rebirth of the Union.” (Woodrow Wilson). Wilson is saying that after the war, we, as a whole, realized that slavery was wrong, and the
Union had fought for the right cause. The effects of the Civil War drastically changed the lives of all Americans. The establishment of the
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments was one of the results of the Civil War that changed the American society. The thirteenth
amendment was set to abolish slavery in the United States. This would cause conflict and rebellious attitudes in the South because it was their
society’s economic basis. However, it helped the North because it caused their economy to flourish and gave them a higher position in
Congress because of the mass movement of free slaves to the Northern states. The fourteenth amendment was set to include African-
American as citizens. It guaranteed them due process of law and equal protection under law. This caused a rise in racial hate groups such
as the Ku Klux Klan because they did not view Blacks as par t of the human race. The fifteenth amendment was set to guarantee that voting
rights would not be taken away on the basis of race. This caused Black Codes to come about in the Southern states. They set unequal
rights between blacks and whites. The two significant changes that resulted from the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were
a rise in racial hate groups, and Black Codes came into existence in the Southern states.
Before the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were added to the Constitution, the rights of Blacks were almost non-existent.
Large plantations flourished on the harsh and inhumane labor of black slaves. Slavery was the economic basis of the Southern society. The
Blacks were not even treated as humans. They could not vote, hold a place in Congress, or even get a trial. The amendments were set to
provide equal rights for the Blacks. The introduction of the amendments, however, also brought forth some troubles. It was very hard for
a Black to find a job. The only thing they could do was become a sharecropper, or a servant. The sharecroppers were Black farmers that
grew their crops on someone’s land. They had to pay the landowners to use their land. Servants worked to pay off their debts. However,
many of the employers increased the debts so that their servants had to work longer. The two major effects that came into existence after
the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were racial hate groups flourished, and Black Codes came into existence in the South.
One major effect of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments was an enormous rise in racial hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan
(KKK). The groups formed mostly in the Southern states because the South was furious that Congress was giving Blacks the same rights as
they were receiving. They did not believed in white supremacy. The groups were started by the veterans of the Confederation. They
would set up protest meetings where they discussed how they could get regain their superiority over the Blacks. Crimes were committed
upon Blacks and minorities by these groups to intimidate them and show their power. The Klan members would go out and beat people of
other races. Many of the politicians that had not agreed with the passing of the amendments were also involved with the KKK. They gave
the KKK a lot more power because they held a more important social stature, and they had better abilities to persuade people to their beliefs
of the races. When the government realized that the hate crimes were getting too out of control, they passed laws to prevent them from
occurring. However, Southerners made Black Codes to legally unbalance the racial equalities.
Black Codes were another problem that resulted from the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments. The Southerners had to find a
legal way to discriminate against the black race so they established the Black Codes. One of the codes was that there was racial segregation
in public places. For example, there were separate lines for blacks and whites for drinking fountains, bathrooms, etc. Another of the codes
was set so that there was prohibition with interracial marriages. This forbid people of different races to be wed. Another code prevented
blacks from testifying against whites in court. This brought about unfair trials for Blacks. It helped whites that were accused to get off their
charges much easier. The major effect that resulted from the Black Codes was the complete racial inequality in the South. This change in
society had a very big effect on the further treatment of Blacks and minorities in the United States. Eventually, the Black Codes were exiled
in the South, and Blacks began to get fair treatment.
The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were set to bring forth equal rights; however, they also brought a lot trouble to Blacks
and the rest of the country. Blacks were treated unfairly, unjustly, and inhumane. Many people did not agree with the amendments so they
established their own legal ways of discriminating against the Black race. The rise in racial hate groups, and the establishment of the Black
Codes in the South were the two changes that resulted from the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments.