In addition to the historical period in which they were enacted, what do the three amendments have in common that lead historians to group them together?


What situation did the three amendments seek to change?


What was/were the amendments’ major contribution(s)? What makes them important?


Why do you think the federal government took the action of amending the Constitution?


Why weren’t the decisions left to the individual states, as most decisions about voting rights had been in the past?



Students should consider the following in their response: The passage of the Reconstruction Amendments said that African American men had the right to vote, but did not ensure that they would be able to vote. In fact, in many Southern states, leaders, law-makers, law-enforcers, and other white citizens often made it impossible for black men to exercise their ri