Pros And Cons Of The 14th Amendment

1525 Words 7 Pages
As the dust settled after the Civil War, the United States looked to rebuild and bring back together their broken country. In the South, the people were defeated and under the control of the North which resulted in the lives of the freed slaves becoming somewhat improved. But it was not long after that the ex-confederate states started to revert to their ways of treating the blacks as inferior. They passed a series of laws to attempt to restrict black’s freedom and continue to keep them as a workforce, known as the “Black Codes”, such as a law passed in Missouri which forced black adults to have a job or go to jail until able to pay a fine. This debt would then be paid off by a white who could use the jailed person for labor, therefore essentially …show more content…
Doug Hammerstromm, an attorney at law, gives the statistic that “Of the 150 cases involving the Fourteenth Amendment heard by the Supreme Court ... 15 involved blacks and 135 involved business entities”. What started these cases was when railroads in Illinois complained to the state that the taxes on them violated due process because corporations were taxed differently. Next, Kentucky railroads complained of the same thing, and also claimed that corporations can be classified as “persons” under the 14th Amendment. Businesses gained the title and protection of being a person after Chief Justice said “(t)he court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are of that opinion that it does”. This resulted in the taxes being lifted (Hammerstromm). The 14th Amendment was not only not effective in protecting the rights of blacks, it resulted in the courts granting more shields for corporations and …show more content…
As mentioned before, blacks held jobs that provided little to no pay. Also the jobs were more often the most dangerous tasks that people would be asked to do. A claim that resurfaces multiple times throughout the history of Jim Crow laws is that both white and black people have the same opportunity, in this case an occupation, but time and time again it is not equal. This is also seen when it comes to education systems in place during the time period. Public schools for black children were opened for the first time after the civil war, but the conditions of the schools were atrocious. The buildings, much like every other building designated for “colored”, were in no way close to the conditions of the buildings that the white students attended. The schools received less funding, the teachers were not as adequate as others, and the children learned less, if anything at all. This sets up a foundation for the black race to stay at a disadvantage. Even at a higher level of education, such as in the case of Berea College V. Kentucky, laws forbid white and black students in the same classroom, even though the college accepted both students. The idea of segregation in education at all levels was not equal, even if the institutions were available. An example of other buildings being segregated causing blacks hardship is the case

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