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1. 13th Amendment
13th Amendment Today we all celebrate Abraham Lincoln as the man that issued the Emancipation Proclamation and ended slavery in the United States.  But did the Emancipation Proclamation actually end slavery for good?  The answer is no.  Lincoln, concerned that others might see his proclamation as a temporary order meant to hurt the rebel states push for the 13th amendment, whic..
2. 20th Amendment
20th Amendment The 20th amendment is a simple amendment that sets the dates at which federal (United States) government elected offices end.  In also defines who succeeds the president if the president dies.  This amendment was ratified on January 23, 1933.What is the text of the 20th amendment?Section 1 The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20t..
3. 21st Amendment
21st Amendment This is another simple amendment that ended Prohibition in the United States.  Prohibition has been instituted through the 18th Amendment, with the backing of the Temperance movement.  The 21st amendment was an admission of the terrible failure of prohibition, which led to people disrespecting the law and criminals to do well selling illegal alcohol to those that want..
4. 22nd Amendment
22nd Amendment What is the 22nd amendment?The 22nd amendment limits the president to only two 4 year terms in office.  Before the 22nd amendment, Presidents traditionally served two terms, following the example of George Washington.  Franklin D Roosevelt broke this tradition during his presidency and served four terms, as World War II and the Great Depression convinced him to run fo..
5. 23rd Amendment
23rd Amendment The 23rd amendment gives residents of Washington DC the right to vote for representatives in the Electoral College.  Remember that the Electoral College chooses our next president, based on the voting within their state.  Since DC is not a state, its residents were not allowed to vote for President as well as elected voting representative to Congress.  Today, DC ..
6. 24th Amendment
24th Amendment The 24th amendment was important to the Civil Rights Movement as it ended mandatory poll taxes that prevented many African Americans.  Poll taxes, combined with grandfather clauses and intimidation, effectively prevented African Americans from having any sort of political power, especially in the South.  When the 24th amendment passed, five southern states, Virginia, ..
7. 26th Amendment
26th Amendment When you turn 18 you will be able to vote in all elections, be it state, local or federal.  However, the voting age was not always 18.  The move to lower the voting age was the last barrier on voting that was corrected by an amendment to the Constitution.  Other restrictions on women and minorities were lifted by the 15th and 19th amendments and poll taxes, which..
8. 27th Amendment
27th Amendment The 27th amendment is unique in that it took nearly 200 years since it was proposed to actually be ratified by the states.  The 27th amendment deals with pay raises or decreases for members of Congress.  Changes to Congressional pay must take effect after the next term of office for the representatives.  This means that another election would have had to occur be..
9. A Quick Guide to Edmund Randolph
Founding Fathers: Edmund RandolphEdmund Randolph was born on August 10, 1753, in Tazewell Hall, Williamsburg, Virginia. His parents were John Randolph and Ariana Jenings. Edmund Randolph attended the College of William and Mary and afterwards continued his education by studying the law under his father.When the American Revolution broke out, Edmund Randolph and his father follo..
10. A Quick Guide to Elbridge Gerry
Founding Fathers: Elbridge GerryElbridge Gerry was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence, but was opposed to the Constitution and did not sign that. In 1810, Gerry was elected Governor of Massachusetts. Here, he became well known for creating electoral districts for political gain, which is now known as "gerrymanderi..
11. A Quick Guide to George Mason
Founding Fathers: George MasonGeorge Mason was born on December 11, 1725 on a farm in Fairfax County, Virginia. He is most famous for leading Virginia patriots during the American Revolution and his idea of inalienable rights, which influenced Thomas Jefferson when he was writing the Declaration of Independence. As a member of the Constitutional Convention, George Mason advocat..
12. A Quick Guide to Gouverneur Morris
Founding Fathers: Gouverneur MorrisGouverneur Morris was born on January 31, 1752 at Morrisania estate, in Westchester County, New York. His family was very well off and had a long record of public service. His older half-brother, Lewis, was also a founding father who signed the Declaration of Independence.Gouverneur Morris was educated by private tutors and later attended a Hu..
13. A Quick Guide to James Wilson
Founding Father: James WilsonJames Wilson was born in September the 14th, 1742 in Scotland. Here, he went to the Universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. James Wilson never finished his studies or got his degree, since in 1765 he sailed for the New World. With the help of some letters of introduction, James Wilson became a tutor for a short time at the College of Ph..
14. A Quick Guide to John Dickinson
Founding Father: John DickinsonJohn Dickinson was born on November 18, 1732 at the Crosiadore estate, near Trappe in Talbot County, Maryland. John Dickinson was the second son of Samuel Dickinson, who was a prosperous farmer, and his second wife, Mary Dickinson. In 1740, John Dickinson’s family moved from Maryland to Kent County, Delaware. Here, private tutors were hired to e..
15. A Quick Guide to John Witherspoon
John Witherspoon was born near Edinburgh, Scotland on February 5, 1723 into a ministerial family. He went to the University of Edinburgh at the age of 13 and got his Master of Arts in 1739 and his degree in divinity 4 years after. John Witherspoon married Elizabeth Montgomery, and had ten children with her, but only five of them survived. President of the College of New Je..