February 3, 2014

OURstory: 15th Amendment

On this date in 1870 the 15th amendment was ratified. Republicans wanted the 15th Amendment passed to obtain the vote of the freed slaves.

Section 1. 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.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The 15th Amendment ensures the right to vote to all male citizens of the United States, regardless of color or previous condition of servitude. The 15th Amendment opened the door for the elections of African Americans to the US Congress and to Southern local and state offices.

Many women suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony had worked alongside Black suffragists like Frederick Douglass to gain suffrage for both groups. But when the 15th Amendment passed, it angered many women suffragists terribly, and some of them even spoke out against Black suffrage.
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