History Study Guide 201

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Thirteenth Amendment
* The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On December 18, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed it to have been adopted. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted after the American Civil War.

Fourteenth Amendment
* adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. * Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Supreme Court's ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that had held that people of African descent could not be citizens of the United States.[1] * Its Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural rights. * Its Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in United States education. In Reed v. Reed (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that laws arbitrarily requiring sex discrimination violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Fifteenth Amendment
* prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (for example, slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870.

Black Codes
* The Black Codes were laws in the United States after the Civil War with the effect of limiting the civil rights and civil liberties of blacks. Even though the U.S. constitution originally discriminated against blacks and both Northern and Southern states had passed discriminatory legislation from the early 19th century, the term "Black Codes" is used most often to refer to legislation passed by Southern states at the end of the Civil War to control the labor, migration and other activities of newly-freed slaves.

grandfather clause
* The concept originated in late nineteenth-century legislation and constitutional amendments passed by a number of U.S. Southern states, which created new literacy and property restrictions on voting, but exempted those whose ancestors (grandfathers) had the right to vote before the Civil War. The intent and effect of such rules was to prevent poor and illiterate African American former slaves and their descendants from voting, but without denying poor and illiterate whites the right to vote. Although these original grandfather clauses were eventually ruled unconstitutional, the terms grandfather clause and grandfather remain in use, with no connotation regarding the justness of these provisions when applied in other areas.

poll tax
* tax of a portioned, fixed amount applied to an individual in accordance with the census (as opposed to a percentage of income). When a corvée is commuted for cash payment, in effect it becomes a poll tax (and vice versa, if a poll tax obligation can be worked off). Head taxes were important sources of revenue for many governments from ancient times until the nineteenth century. There have been several famous (and infamous) cases of head taxes in history, notably in parts of the United States with the intent of disenfranchising poor people, including African Americans, Native Americans, and white people of foreign descent

literacy tests
* refers to the government practice of testing the literacy of potential citizens at the federal level, and potential voters at the state level. The federal government first employed literacy tests as part of the...
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