Positive And Negative Effects Of The 18th Amendment Essay

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In the nineteenth-century, the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, was ratified. Many believed that the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery overall, but that is not the case. After ratification, slavery was a form of punishment used on convicted criminals. According to the United States Constitution, the Thirteenth Amendment states that, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (p. 4). This amendment removed the ability to gather free slaves that did not commit a crime. The enactment of the Thirteenth Amendment created many negative effects that resulted in a new prison …show more content…

These laws also referred to white men and women as well. The amount of prisoners during this time was at an all-time high. Julian Hawthorne, a criminal arrested for mail-fraud, believed that the prison system obtained “’… five hundred thousand slaves, white and black each year’” (p. xiv). These criminals did not stay locked up, they all were put to work. Criminals were usually sent to “railroad companies, coal mines, canal companies, plantation owners, brickyards, and sawmills in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas” (p. 5). Prisoners were sent wherever labor was needed in the South. The work conditions of cheap labor were harsh and brutal. Some of the harsh conditions included malnutrition from the lack of food provided, one shower a week, and overcrowding (p. xii). Prison life was so brutal that the life expectancy of a labor worker was only 2 …show more content…

The prison system has evolved over time now that the truth from the past has been exposed. What caused the prison to become brutal was from the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Before the approval of the amendment, many prisons considered the idea of rehabilitation, or allowing convicted criminals to work and rebuild themselves into better people and citizens, but many believed that prisoners should be punished. When the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, it only ceased chattel slavery. Slavery was legal only for punishment purposes in prison. Since it was legal for punishment purposes, the states began convicting slaves and other people for crimes to have a “supply of cheap labor” (p. xii). Whenever the state needed work done or if money was needed, police would go out and gather slaves. The conditions they were in during their prison sentence was so harsh that many only lived up to 2 years. Many convicted slaves were innocent, but that did not matter. African Americans were not open to obtaining a normal and free life as they were vulnerable. The Thirteenth Amendment basically kept them under control instead of receiving the freedom they deserved. The Thirteenth Amendment resulted a negative effect upon the American

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