The 16th-19th Constitutional Amendments

During the early 19th century in the US, the 16th-19th constitutional amendments were passed. These amendments, unlike the ones past before(which supported the rights of the US citizens), instead gave the US government more power. In this week’s essay I will be writing about the 16th-19th constitutional amendments.

The 16th Amendment

The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

The 16th amendment was ratified on February 3rd, 1913. This amendment in simpler terms stated that the US government has the authority to collect an income tax, based on an individual’s income, instead of the population or representation of the state that an individual resides.

The 17th Amendment

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executives thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so constructed as to affect that the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.”

This amendment was ratified on April 8th, 1913. This amendment established the direct election of US senators, by the popular vote. Before this Senators had been chosen by state legislatures.

The 18th Amendment

“Section 1: After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation, thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all the territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is thereby prohibited.”

“Section 2: The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

“Section 3: This article shall have be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission here to the States by the Congress.”

This amendment was ratified on January 16th, 1919. This amendment banned the sale and manufacturing of alcoholic beverages in the United States, for many years, until it was repealed by the ratification of the 21st amendment, which stated that US citizens had the freedom to consume, make, and sell alcohol.

The 19th Amendment

“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 sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The 19th amendment was ratified on August 18th, 1920. This amendment simply states that men and women now have equal rights when it comes to voting in national elections. For many years US women were pushing for the right to vote, with the women’s suffrage movement.


In this essay I covered the 16th-19th American constitutional amendments.

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