Terms and Limitations of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution
The abolitionists were the radicals, agitators, and liberators in the U.S (Ferrell 55). They removed the nation from its awful position, during the slavery era, with the reason of making it a perfect union. The male and the female, the black and the white society, people from the north and south, and people from different social classes included, were the obsessive antislavery campaigners who battled for the civil rights movement, in the history of America. The abolition happened when violence and harsh argument over the constitution and its importance were rampant, in the history of the country (Ferrell 90). This was in 14th amendments, which guaranteed equal opportunity and full citizenship even though that did not materialize after the Reconstruction process.
The fourteenth and fifteenth amendments included a documentary that revealed ways in which the lobby group fashioned history through an exposure of mistakes made by the nation, built on liberating others and leaving others. This placed the nation into a conflict position. The 14th amendment stated that all born or naturalized in United States in subject to the jurisdiction were regarded as citizens of United States and their residing states (Ferrell 112). As a result, no state was allowed to neither make or enforce any law abridging privileges or immunities of citizens of United States nor deprive life, liberty, or property without due process of law including denying of equal protection of the laws. Furthermore, representatives were apportioned among states according to their respective number to count all persons in each state though Indians were not to be taxed.
The proposed fourteenth amendment was projected on June 13, 1866 and approved on July 28, 1868 (Ferrell 104). It brought about the question of granting citizenship to the people that opposed the central government or took part in the secession. Similarly, the amendment was notorious when it came to the rights of women due to addition of the word ‘male’ into United State constitution, for the first time. This specified certain voting rights connected with males alone, leaving out the women. In this case, advocates of women rights promoting woman suffrage or granting chances for women to vote became annoyed. Both the 14th and 15th amendments provoked the focal point on male voters (Ferrell 105). Accordingly, those who opposed it preferred a widespread adjustment.
The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution were a failure, since they lacked racial, and gender equality, which resulted into women being ignored in leadership positions, constitution and voting processes, just as the black minority. In this case, the women rights and equal civil rights should have been considered in the amendments to the U.S constitution, since the groups took equal part in the Reconstruction process (Ferrell 104).
The Consequences of Reconstruction
After the American civil war of 1861, the southern states were in a state of social disorder, political upheaval and economic decay (Ferrell 91). The awful situation in the region mandated the slavery communities to join the Union meant to champion for their rights and social order. As a result, Washington’s policymakers embarked on the Reconstruction process in 1865, seeking to empower the southerners Union besides enacting laws to uplift the rights and freedom of the freed slaves in the south states.
The Reconstruction process was propagated by President Lincoln, but failed to materialize owing to his assassination in 1865 (Ferrell 91). Some Radical Republicans in congress took up the initiative after Lincoln’s death but their efforts faced stiff opposition from the then new president Andrew Johnson. The president believed in the doctrine of laissez-faire that called for the federal government to stay out of the social and economic affairs of the American people. President Johnson prevented the Radicals Republican from legislating any law that could protect the civil rights of the blacks and reorganize the southern economy. After much effort of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction and other bodies, the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 was passed and further fourteenth and fifteenth amendment were introduced in the constitution to enhance the protection of the former slaves (Ferrell 91).
The constitution amendments and the Civil Rights Act, propagated reunification of the southern Union, restoring the United States of America (Ferrell 91). Both the south and north economies expanded, while the former slaves given some rights to vote. The former slaves, in the south, were allowed to access education, thus contributing to the improved lives of the black community. However, the reconstruction process resulted into the law being brought into disrepute, whereby the court was placed under extreme political pressure and personal element was indeed witnessed in the judiciary. Furthermore, divisions in the federal government over the Reconstruction caused a failure to solving sectional wounds, eliminating the freed slaves’ newly gained civil liberties, which would have brought about long-term racial integration (Ferrell 91). The former black slaves, in the South, were continuously denied fundamental social rights, while the rich whites in the North, continued to dominate economically and politically in the country, sidelining the blacks, who fought for such rights during the Reconstruction period.
The Reconstruction process failed to bring total change to the black communities, in the south, who had fought for the civil rights, for many years. Although the people, in the south, could enjoy some rights such as voting and education, the northern people could still oppress them politically, socially and economically.
Ferrell, Claudine L. The Abolitionist Movement. Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.