Slavery was a key issue in America's past. Most of the framers who wrote the Constitution owned slaves. It has been the status quo for a long time. It was not until Abraham Lincoln was elected President that African Americans were treated contemptuously, especially in the South. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all the slaves. This, along with other factors, eventually sparked the Civil War between the North and the South, a huge war between two of the nation's greatest commanders, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil War Amendments if you will, soon followed the end of the war and granted equal rights to African Americans, It took a while before these laws were put into effect. Nowadays, African Americans have the same rights as other people.
Copyright © 1997 Jonathan Chin & Alan Stern