Amendments 11-27
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Amendments 11-27

Today we will learn about amendments 11 through 27. Amendments are changes to the Constitution, so, they come at the very end after the preamble and the articles. We have 27 amendments total but, today we will learn about numbers 11 through 27. Let’s jump right in with the 11th
amendment The 11th amendment deals with lawsuits against states, when a citizen of one state or a foreign country wishes to sue a state, it may not do so in federal court, it must do so in the state’s court, this protects the power of the states. Next up is the 12th amendment. The 12th amendment outlines the procedure for electing the President and Vice President. Before the 12th amendment the presidential candidate who came in second place became vice president. This caused some obvious problems because candidates who had run against each other and did not get along were now required to work closely together. The 12th amendment allows you to run for either the Presidency or the Vice Presidency but not both. Collectors cast their votes separately; one for the Presidential candidate and
one for the Vice Presidential candidate. Next the 13th amendment. The 13th amendment abolished slavery. Abolished means to formally put an end
to. So, the 13th amendment officially ended slavery within the United States. The 14th amendment defined who is considered a citizen of the United
States. Anyone born or naturalized in the United
States is considered a citizen. Naturalized means you are not born a
citizen but you have gone through the legal process of becoming a citizen. This allowed former slaves to officially be considered citizens of the United States. The 15th amendment established voting rights for former slaves. It states that no state can deny a person the right to vote based on race, color, or
previous condition of servitude. The 16th amendment is one of the least popular amendments as it established the modern income tax. It states that Congress may tax an individual’s income and they currently do so every April 15th. Next up, the 17th amendment calls for the direct election of Senators. Before the 17th amendment, citizens didn’t get to vote for their senators; instead, senators were chosen by State Legislatures, which are lawmakers within states. Now citizens get to choose their two senators by voting in an election every 6 years. The 18th amendment is known as the prohibition amendment. Prohibition means to forbid something usually by law. The 18th amendment
prohibited alcohol within the United States. Specifically, it prohibited Americans from making selling or transporting alcoholic beverages. Like the 18th amendment, the 19th amendment is also known by a nickname: suffrage. Suffrage means the right to vote. And the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. The 20th amendment takes care of two different pieces of business. First, it sets the dates for the terms of office. Congress begins their term on January 3rd, the President’s term begins on January 20th. Second, the 20th amendment goes over presidential succession. Succession means inheriting a title or job. In this case the Vice President succeeds as President if the current President is unable to finish his term. The 21st amendment is unique because it is the only amendment that repeals or cancels another amendment. The 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment, which meant that alcohol was again legal in the United States. The 22nd amendment goes over the
Presidential term limits. The President may serve no more than two terms. And if someone like a Vice President took over more than two years of a President’s term, they may only run for one additional term. The 23rd amendment gave
Washington DC three Presidential electors. Essentially giving its residents the right to vote in presidential elections. Before this amendment, residents of Washington DC didn’t have any electors to cast votes for them because, they are considered a federal district and not a state. But now, they receive three electors; the same number as the least populous states and their residents are now represented
in Presidential elections. The 24th amendment outlawed poll taxes. A poll tax was a fee you had to pay in
order to vote. If a person didn’t have the money to pay then they couldn’t vote. The 24th amendment made poll taxes illegal. The 25th amendment deals
with presidential disability and succession. If the President is temporarily disabled due to an illness, surgery, etc., Congress must be notified in writing and the Vice President will take over for the time being. If the President dies, resigns, or is impeached, the Vice President becomes President and then chooses a new Vice President with Congress’ approval. The 26th amendment set the voting age at 18. Before this amendment, most states required residents to be 21 years old to vote. However, the 26 amendment states that any citizen 18 or older has the right to vote in federal and state elections. And finally, the 27th amendment states that congressional pay increases do not go into effect until the next term. This means that if Congress votes to increase their own pay, that pay raise will not go into effect until after the next election when the new term starts.

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