Fifteenth Amendment: Voting Rights(1870)


                     Above picture is the primary document of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, in which it prohibits any state and federal governments from denying any citizen the right to vote based on their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” According to the textbook “Give Me Liberty”, this amendment was first approved  in February 1869.  It was ratified on February 3, 1870. Fifteenth Amendment not only gives every citizen in the United States a right to vote but also it ended the segregation of blacks. “With the Fifteenth Amendment, the American Anti-Slavery Society disbanded, its work, its members believed, now complete.” (Give Me Liberty: 540)

                        However, this amendment did not give the voting rights to women, it only granted African American the right to vote. Fifteenth Amendment is the third of the Reconstruction Amendments. It contains two sections:

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude–

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.





David Blight’s book “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” basically is a book of collective memory of Americans, Blacks and Whites. Based on Eric Foner’s book review, this book sounds interesting to me because as a person who has never gone through the real war, I really want to know more inside stories of Civil War besides what we have learned from the textbooks. I would recommend this book to people who have gone through the Civil War and who might interesting to know more about the consequences of Civil War from different perspectives.

As Eric Foner says in his book review, “memory is a product of history”. I completely agree with him since that sometimes what people remembered is the consequences of the history. Many historical events were been remembered in so many ways, such as in novels, in monuments and most important it is stored in people’s mind. Historical memory sometimes can reveal things that people usually did not notice. One disadvantage of that is people see things from different perspectives, so it is up to the historian to judge.

The Nanking Massacre which happened in China in 1937 is one of the examples which are remembered in many different ways. The memory of Nanking Massacre reflected in novels, movies, and monuments. I remember my teacher showed us a movie of Nanking Massacre in which it contents many of people’s accounts of what happened in Nanking Massacre.

I think different memories are politically motivated because people usually want to have positive thoughts about such figure or such event; thus, it is very hard to tell whether a person’s account is reliable or not.


Your “NO PRIVACY” Afterlife

Back in the day, when there was no computer or any other technologies, historians had to collect the historic facts from the words of people or the heritage that has been preserved. Recently, the Library of Congress claims that they would “digitally archive every public tweet.”(Lauren) That means whatever you have post on Twitter, including pictures, videos, status, comments, will all be archived digitally in the Library of Congress. Like what Lauren mentions in his or her article “Archiving Tweets”, Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions. Now the future historians will not need to dig through textbooks, all they have to do is to look at what the Library of Congress have digitally archived.

In the future, due to our new technology, historians will probably just get the information from the Library of Congress, and see what us, this generations have done. It is very different from the past. I remember for Chinese history, historians usually have to walk door to door to interview people who have been through any historic events. But since now, the Library of Congress has declared to archive digitally every public tweet; it is easier for future historians to get the information.

However, is everything on the Twitter relevant and true? Not really, and people will have NO PRIVACY at all. K.C. Johnson asks the question “How does the United States Government store its secrets? In shoeboxes?” If everything we have done will be observed by the government, then what about the secrets of the government, who will know the inside stories?  Finally, not only that we do not have our own privacy, it is also irrelevant to collect facts from Twitter.