Constitutional Amendment Dbq

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After the Civil War in 1865, Republicans in Congress introduced a series of Constitutional Amendments to secure civil and political rights for African Americans. The right that gave black men the privilege to vote provoked the greatest controversy, especially in the North. In 1867, Congress passed the law and African American men began voting in the South, but in the North, they kept denying them this basic right (“African Americans,” 2016). Republicans feared that they would eventually lose control of Congress on the Democrats and thought that their only solution was to include the black men votes. Republicans assumed that all African American votes would go to all the Republicans in the North, as they did in the South and by increasing the…show more content…
In his speech he explained why they wanted the right to vote, “If the Negro knows enough to pay taxes to support government, he knows enough to vote; taxation and representation should go together... ” (“African Americans,” 2016). In 1869, when Congress debated on the Fifteenth Amendment, the first ever black national meeting of African Americans took place in the convention in Washington, D.C and those who attended the convention spent time meeting with member of Congress, encouraging them to pass a strong Amendment guaranteeing black male suffrage worldwide (“African Americans,” 2016). Democrats feared ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, because they believed that it would create 170,000 loyal black Republican voters in the North and West and to vote against it, they claimed that it restricted the states’ rights to run their own election and also that the low literacy of the black population would affect the votes (“African Americans,” 2016). Despite all Democratic oppositions, the Republicans won ratification victories and in March 30, 1869, President Grant officially proclaimed the Fifteenth Amendment as part of the Constitution. Washington and many other cities celebrated while more than 100,000 blacks paraded through Baltimore, but the victory did not last. While Republicans obtained African American voters in the North, the South was an entirely different situation; Ku Klux Klan and other violent racist groups intimidated black men into voting and those who did vote had their homes burned down, as well as churches and schools (“African Americans,” 2016). A few years later, Southern states required the blacks to pay voting taxes, pass literacy tests and undergo many other unfair restrictions. After 75 years, African American voting rights were once again enforced in the
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