Fifteenth Amendment

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Fifteenth Amendment

The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

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 Fifteenth Amendment was ratified by the states in 1870 and also gave Congress the power to enforce such rights against governments that sought to undermine this guarantee through the enactment of appropriate legislation. Enforcement was, however, difficult as states employed grandfather clauses and other eligibility requirements to maintain racial discrimination in the electoral process.


Elections; Voting.

References in periodicals archive ?
Specific Amendments were proposed to have all eligible citizens become voters: Amendment XIII (Slavery prohibited), 1865; Amendment XIV (Citizenship defined), 1868; Amendment XV (Right to vote by certain citizens defined), 1870; Amendment XIX (Defined voting for women), 1920; Amendment XXIII (Electors for the District of Columbia), 1961; Amendment XXIV (Prohibited poll tax to vote), 1964; and Amendment XXVI (Voting for 18 year olds), 1971.
Those changing sentiments were given expression in the Progressive Movement, and culminated in 1912 with the approval by a supermajority of state legislatures of Amendment XV of the Constitution, giving Congress "the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census enumeration.