For four long years, a war raged on, a war being fought for the freedom of slaves. These men and women were held in bondage and seen as property by their owners. Brothers fought against brothers, to preserve the union, but also for the rights of African- Americans held in slavery. The war’s end brought a victory for the Union and freedom for the slaves. With Lincoln’s influence, constitutional amendments were ratified that provided the newly freed slaves with the right to vote and US citizenship. These amendments will provide a foundation for all civil rights for all Americans in years to come.
The thirteenth amendment was ratified on December 6, 1863. This amendment abolished slavery and forbade forced labor, except as punishment for a crime. (Doc 2) Before the Civil War, men and women were victims of tyranny and were held against their will under the command of their owners. After the Battle of Antietam in the Civil War, President Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation. He stated that any slaves in the states that were in rebellion against the Union, were declared free. (Doc 1) When the thirteenth amendment was passed, it was official that all men, women, and children held in slavery were declared free people in the country. Today, slavery does not exist in the United States, and never will in the future because of this amendment.
The fourteenth amendment was ratified on July 9, 1868. This amendment guaranteed equal treatment and citizenship for all people in the country. (Doc 3) In 1857, years before the Civil War, Dred Scott took his case to win his freedom to the Supreme Court. The court ruled that slaves, such as Scott himself, who escaped to free states must return to their masters. (Doc 5) African- Americans were viewed as property in the white man’s eyes, They were sold and treated like livestock, but they had no choice for any other kind of treatment. These people were bound to the laws of slavery, until the Emancipation