15th Amendment is ratified

Randolph Hollingsworth's picture

The 15th Amendment is ratified February 3, 1870. Again, like the 13th and 14th Amendments before it, the 15th Amendment is not ratified by the Kentucky legislature at the time. This amendment to the U.S. Constitution emphasizes that 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." The disagreements between the leaders of the American Equal Rights Association seeking universal suffrage have already led to the fragmentation of the movement into two separate national organizations: the National Woman Suffrage Association (with Anthony and Stanton lobbying against the amendment if it did not rectify the gender exclusion of the 14th Amendment) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (with Stone, Howe, Douglass and Blackwell). However, both groups lost out in their efforts for full enfranchisement. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, the states effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.



"15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Primary Documents in American History. The Library of Congress. April 25, 2017. https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/15thamendment.html.

Trent, Noelle. "Women’s History Month: The Legacy of the Fight over the 15th Amendment" Black Perspectives. African American Intellectual History Society Inc. March 2, 2015. http://www.aaihs.org/womens-history-month-the-legacy-of-the-fight-over-the-15th-amendment/.


This post is part of the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project portal on H-Kentucky - you can see the post in context within the Timeline here: https://networks.h-net.org/kentucky-woman-suffrage-timeline.