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What are some majpr Constitutional Amendments and congressional acts enaced after 1865...

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daphne00 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted November 9, 2013 at 1:52 PM via web

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What are some majpr Constitutional Amendments and congressional acts enaced after 1865 have brought the United States into closer alignment with the motto E pluribus unum?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 9, 2013 at 2:20 PM (Answer #1)

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The idea of "out of many, one" seeks to bring consensus to the variance that is intrinsic to American identity. Certain Constitutional Amendments have reinforced this reality.  One such example would be the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.  These amendments were passed after the Civil War.  They were intended to Constitutionally enfranchise African- Americans, individuals of color who were marginalized in American society.  The abolition of slavery, institutionalization of citizenship rights, as well as voting rights helped to ensure that people of color would be brought into the unifying force of the Constitution.  The 19th Amendment was another Constitutional force that sought to reinforce the idea of "E Pluribus Unum." Prior to the 19th Amendment, women were marginalized in terms of establishing voting power.  The work of the suffragists in the Progressive Era helped to establish that women would no longer be Constitutionally excluded from being a voice in "one nation."  The Constitutional Amendment that conferred upon women the right to vote helped to make out of many, one.  This same pattern is seen in the 26th Amendment, in which the voting age was lowered to 18.  Young people could now partake in the unifying power of American democracy.  One could even argue that the 23rd Amendment sought to make from many, one.  Through this amendment, Washington, D.C. is granted representation in the Electoral College.  In doing so, Washington, D.C. is made to be a part of a whole, as opposed to being an element that is silent.  These Constitutional Amendments have helped to bring the United States into closer alignment with the motto of "E Pluribus Unum."

One of the most significant acts of Congress that helped to enhance the motto that "of many, one," would be the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This act sought to outlaw discrimination based on race and the denial of opportunity that was such a part of American History.  In this act, President Johnson was able to bring from people of color into the American narrative.  Another example of Congressional legislation that sought to make "from many, one" would be the New Deal legislation that President Roosevelt created in response to the Great Depression.  Congressional acts such as Tennessee Valley Authority Act and the National Housing Act sought to bring individuals who were suffering from economic challenges into the American narrative of prosperity and hope for the future.  From these varied conditions, Congressional actions like these can be seen as embracing the motto of "from many, one."

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