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Constitutional Amendments and American Civil Rights

Constitutional Amendments and American Civil Rights

The Importance of the 14th Amendment to the American Civil Rights

The Fourteenth amendment refers to a reconstructive amendment that was done to the American law and was incorporated into the Constitution on July 9th, 1868. The major concern of the amendment was to address the rights of citizenship and importantly ensure equal protection of the laws. The 14th amendment was significant to Americans in many ways.

The fourteenth amendment ensured that every person born in the USA including native Indians and native slaves had equal rights and responsibilities, and nobody would be punished for committing a crime before the due legal process had taken its course. A fair trial has to first take place before anyone is punished.

Moreover, the amendment negated any discrimination that came about on the basis of race or sex. In as much as voting for members of government was concerned, some people were initially discriminated and only men of 21years of age were allowed to vote (Hughes, 2012).

Significance of the Case of Brown v. Board of Education

The Brown v. Board of education is generally a 1954 landmark case of the Supreme Court in Topeka, Kansas that brought public schooling into existence in America. This judicial decision was actually one of the many legislative efforts that ensured racial equality has been achieved. The efforts to achieve this started the amendment of the civil war law in the US constitution.

The case was significant in the sense that it overturned Plessyโ€™s decision of equal but separate establishment of doctrines. Although the 13th amendment of the American constitution was interpreted so, it could not meet equality for all through segregation of facilities. The 14th amendment that was adopted guaranteed equality in the protection of the law and on that matter, the court ruled that separation of facilities based on race would greatly promote inequality (Cantero, 2008). Brownโ€™s case highly uplifted the human rights and ensured that equality existed for everyone.

Significance of the 19th Amendment for Women

The American 19th amendment for women was ratified on August 18, 1920. The amendment was done to the US Constitution and it granted women the right to vote. The amendment came into being at the time female citizens did not share similar rights with men.

The 19th amendment is very significant to their Constitution in the sense that it gave the women the right to vote as early as 1920. The right was boosted by the 15th amendment which made it illegal for the state or rather the federal to deny any legitimate US citizen the right to vote (Reading through history, 2014).

How the Amendment Changed the Rights of the Women in the Country

Firstly, it opened many doors for most women to be vocal and active in the government and importantly other areas in the society that had been exclusively been managed by men. Additionally, the amendment brought the evolution of the gender roles in the American society. As the women started to vote, they also started to revive their expectations about their roles in the society (Reading through history, 2014).


Cantero, H. (2008, December 1). Brown v. board of education in PBS’ the supreme

Court [Video fie]. Retrieved from

Hughes, K. (2012, December 12). The 14th amendment explained: US government review

[Video file]. Retrieved from

Reading through history. (2014, November 14). History brief: the 19th amendment. [Video

file]. Retrieved from

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