SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – Few amendments are tied as closely to and as dependent upon others before it as the 15th.
But the right provided in it is independently unique and historic.
The last of the Reconstruction Amendments that helped provide civil rights to freed slaves, the 15th guaranteed the right to vote to all men regardless of race or previous status as a slave. It also prohibited any state from denying that right.
"This last piece of the puzzle effectively gave African American males voting rights and clearly without those sorts of things some of the other previous protections would be sort of hollow,'' said Georgia Southern University Political Science professor Dr. Brett Curry. "And so this has been an important step as well and it's continued to be an important step throughout the rest of American history.
The 15th Amendment was ratified in February of 1870, giving freed slaves the right to vote 50 years before women were provided that right by the 19th Amendment in 1920.