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Study Notes


AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

There have been 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution since 1787, with the first 10 of these being ratified almost immediately after the ratification of the Constitution itself, otherwise know as the bill of rights.

There are arguably some amendments which have had more of an impact in U.S. Politics than others. Whilst you don't need to know all the amendments in huge detail, you should have an awareness of them.

For the first 10 Amendments see The Bill of Rights

11th Amendment

Ratified 1795 – States are immune from legal cases brought by non citizens

12th Amendment

Ratified 1804 – Revises presidential elections through the creation of the ticket system so that the Vice President was not whoever came second

13th Amendment

Ratified 1865 – Abolition of Slavery

14th Amendment

Ratified 1868 – Defined Citizenship, established Due Process and Equal Protection Clause

15th Amendment

Ratified 1870 – Forbids restrictions on voting based on race or colour.

16th Amendment

Ratified 1913 – Income Tax powers granted to Congress

17th Amendment

Ratified 1913 – Established direct elections for US Senators.

18th Amendment

Ratified 1919 – Introduced prohibition for the manufacture of sale of alcohol.

19th Amendment

Ratified 1920 – Votes for Women – Forbids sex to be a discriminating factor in voting

20th Amendment

Ratified 1933 – Changes the date for the start of Presidential and Congressional terms

21st Amendment

Ratified 1933 – Repeals the 18th Amendment

22nd Amendment

Ratified 1951 – Introduces the two term limit for Presidents.

23rd Amendment

Ratified 1961 – Gives District of Columbia votes in the Electoral College

24th Amendment

Ratified 1964 – Prohibits the introduction of a poll tax

25th Amendment

Ratified 1967 – Clarifies rules surrounding the succession to the Presidency and the response to disabilities of the President.

26th Amendment

Ratified 1971 – Establishes 18 years old as the voting age throughout the US

27th Amendment

Ratified 1992 – Congressional salary changes do not take effect until the new Congress is assembled.

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