Differing interpretations of the amendment have fueled a long-running debate over gun control legislation and the ...read more, Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. By the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all African Americans in the states of the former Confederacy were again disenfranchised. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on February 3, 1870. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965, aimed to overcome all legal barriers at the state and local levels that denied African Americans their right to vote under the 15th Amendment. Despite the amendment, by the late 1870s discriminatory practices were used to prevent blacks from exercising their right to vote, especially in the South. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Although black Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and a dozen other black men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures and many more held local offices. Many African Americans were even elected to public office during the 1880s in the states that formerly had constituted the Confederate States of America. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that legal barriers were outlawed at the state and local levels if they denied African-Americans their right to vote under the 15th Amendment.". Premium Membership is now 50% off! Omissions? Still, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gave African-American voters the legal means to challenge voting restrictions and vastly improved voter turnout. Chelsey Parrott-Sheffer was a research editor at Encyclopædia Britannica. All Rights Reserved. Watch ROOTS now on HISTORY. Specifically, it confirms the right to vote and lists conditions that are illegal to deny another person the right to vote. Women would not receive that right until the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. In the ensuing decades, various discriminatory practices including poll taxes and literacy tests—along with Jim Crow laws, intimidation and outright violence—were used to prevent African Americans from exercising their right to vote. The long debate over lowering the voting age began during World War II and intensified during the Vietnam War, when young men denied the right to vote were being conscripted to fight for their ...read more. The 15th Amendment states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The 15th Amendment granting African-American men the right to vote was adopted into the U.S. Constitution in 1870. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including former slaves—and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.” One of three amendments passed during the Reconstruction ...read more, The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865 in the aftermath of the Civil War, abolished slavery in the United States. In the same year, Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African-American to sit in the U.S. Congress, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Fifteenth-Amendment, Cornell University Law School - Legal Information Institute - Fifteenth Amendment, Fifteenth Amendment - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). In 1867, following the American Civil War and the abolishment of slavery, the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress passed the First Reconstruction Act over the veto of President Andrew Johnson. Fifteenth Amendment, amendment (1870) to the Constitution of the United States that guaranteed that the right to vote could not be denied based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The amendment complemented and followed in the wake of the passage of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments, which abolished slavery and guaranteed citizenship, respectively, to African Americans. One day after it was ratified, Thomas Mundy Peterson of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, became the first black person to vote under the authority of the 15th Amendment. The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: Section 1. Though the Union victory had given some 4 million slaves their freedom, the question of ...read more, The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech, religion and the press. Black Friday Sale! With the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican Party to power, which brought about radical changes across the South. Despite the amendment, by the late 1870s discriminatory practices were used to prevent blacks from exercising t… Corrections? Watch the groundbreaking series reimagined. The 15th Amendment granting African-American men the right to vote was adopted into the U.S. Constitution in 1870. Fifteenth Amendment. Despite the amendment, by the late 1870s discriminatory practices were used to prevent blacks from exercising their right to vote, especially in the South. The 13th Amendment states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly ...read more, The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest. In Shelby County v. Holder (2013), however, the Supreme Court struck down the section of the VRA that had been used to identify covered jurisdictions, effectively making the preclearance requirement unenforceable. Section 2. The act divided the South into five military districts and outlined how new governments based on universal manhood suffrage were to be established. In 1848, the movement for women’s rights launched on a national level with the Seneca ...read more, The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution addresses what happens to the presidency and vice-presidency if the president and/or vice president dies, resigns or becomes incapacitated or disabled.