The Reconstruction Amendments are the most important amendments out of all of twenty six. It consists of the of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments. These amendments came after slavery was abolished in America, after the Civil War. They state, slavery was not allowed to be practiced, it guaranteed rights of citizenship for all races, and it gave voting rights to former slaves meaning African American men. These were all to help former slaves be treated equally to everybody else. The thirteenth amendment was adopted in 1865, the fourteenth amendment was implemented in 1868, and the fifteenth amendment was used in 1870(“Slavery by Another Name”, n.d).  The reconstruction amendments are the most important because they are the reason we don’t have slavery in the United States today, without these amendments America would still practice the cruel act of slavery, African Americans would not be considered equal to the rest of the people, and America would not be considered a free country. The thirteenth amendment was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments passed after the Civil War. The thirteenth amendment states that slavery was to be abolished around all of the USA after the year of 1865. In the beginning of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln thought of the conflict of the war as preserving the unity in the United States instead of for abolishing slavery. Abraham Lincoln thought of slavery as a very cruel, bad, and immoral practice. The problem was he knew that northerners would not see abolishing slavery as a valid reason to fight against the southerners in the war. In mid 1862 however a huge number of slaves proceeded to flee their plantations and join the Northern armies. This made Lincoln change the reason for fighting from fighting to unite to abolishing slavery in the south. President Abraham wanted to free slaves, so he decided to do one of the most important things in American history that completely changed the battle at the time. This act was his issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. It changed the Civil War from being a war to preserve the nation and keeping it as one to freeing human beings from a cruel act. The Emancipation Proclamation said that slaves in all of the southern states were from then on free forever. The Emancipation Proclamation did not send a single slave free but it completely changed the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln wanted a permanent solution to end slavery because the Emancipation of Proclamation might be viewed as a temporary thing so they needed a permanent solution. The amendment was passed on April 8,1864 but was not used because of the fact that democrats rallied against the Republicans in the name of states’ rights.(“Thirteenth Amendment, 2009). After this the Amendment was sent to the states to be ratified or certified. The passage of this amendment ended slavery meaning it ended the thing that had shaped America’s history and completely eradicated it. This amendment is important because it abolishes the act of slavery and this had shaped America for a while. This meant Americans had to find new ways to do work without the help of slaves. African Americans lives were completely changed after this amendment was passed. The former slaves stopped getting beaten severely, whipping, sexual assault and many other horrible crimes after this amendment was passed. Even though they were exempt from these punishments life was still very difficult for African Americans. African American leaders were terrorized by the KKK(Ku Klux Klan). They were attacked and assaulted by this group of racists. The fourteenth amendment was passed and ratified in the year of  1868. It granted citizenship to African American slaves after the war. It also gave the African American slaves equal civil rights and legal rights. The fourteenth amendment in the United States consists of 5 sections that describe the rights to American citizens and other things that are in that category. The most commonly used phrase in the Amendment is “equal protection of the laws.(14th Amendment, N.D.) The fourteenth amendment is split five different sections. The first one states that all people born in the United States are American citizens. It also says that the state will not do anything to make any law to take away the rights of an American citizen. The State cannot deprive you or any American citizen liberty, life, and property without due process of law and can not deny any citizen protection under the law. This is important because this guarantees that a person who is an American citizen the right to be protected under the law no matter who they are. This means they can not be discriminated based on their skin color or their race. The second section of the fourteenth amendment repeals the three fifths clause of the original constitution. The original amendment counted slaves as three fifths of a person instead of one whole person. The thirteenth amendment abolished slavery so this fourteenth amendment pretty much wanted to show or clarify that slaves will be counted as one whole person instead of being counted as three fifths. This section of the fourteenth amendment also guaranteed that all male citizens that were the age of 21, no matter what race, were guaranteed the right to vote but later this was changed to male and females who were the age of 18. The fourteenth amendment was passed during the time when the Republicans that were leading were fighting with the President, Andrew Johnson, about whether they should treat the southern states nicely or harshly after the Civil War. The president was leaning toward more of a lenient treatment for these states but Congress was not feeling the same way as the president. Congress wanted the American government to be more strict and impose rules that would strictly watch over these southern states that rebelled. This leads to what the third section of the fourteenth amendment is about.


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