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Timeline

The 10th Amendment says that the federal government has only those powers specifically granted by the Constitution. These powers include the power to declare war, to collect taxes, to regulate interstate business activities and others that are listed in the articles. Any power not listed is left to the states or the people.

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This is a timeline of the context for the 12th Amendment, which allows candidates for president and vice president to run on the same ticket.

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The 13th Amendment, one of the Reconstruction era amendments, abolished slavery.

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The 14th Amendment granted U.S. citizenship to former slaves and contained three new limits on state power: a state shall not violate a citizen’s privileges or immunities; shall not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and must guarantee all persons equal protection of the laws.

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The 15th Amendment prohibits using race as a factor to determine which citizens can vote.

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The 16th Amendment states that Congress has the power to tax incomes, from whatever “source” derived, without having to go through “apportionment.”

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The 17th Amendment provides for the popular election of U.S. senators. This timeline shows the related major legislation and Supreme Court cases.

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The 18th Amendment makes illegal the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.”

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The suffrage movement leads to Congress’ approval of the 19th Amendment, which reads: “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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

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The 20th Amendment moves the start of the president’s new term from March 4 to January 20. It also provides for succession plans if the newly elected president of vice president is unable to assume his or her position.

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The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which implemented Prohibition, a band on the sale of alcohol. The regulation of alcohol was returned to the states.

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The 22nd Amendment limits an elected president to two terms in office, a total of eight years.

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The 23rd Amendment gives residents of the District of Columbia the right to have their votes counted in presidential elections. D.C. residents have only one non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives.

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The 24th Amendment eliminates the poll tax, a state fee on voting. Poll taxes were used to keep low-income citizens from participating in elections.

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The 25th Amendment was passed in order to clarify what happens upon the death, removal, or resignation of the president or vice president and how the presidency is temporarily filled if the president becomes disabled and cannot fulfill his responsibilities.

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In 1971, the 26th Amendment is added to the Constitution, permanently lowering the voting age for all elections to 18.

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The 27th Amendment prevents members of Congress from granting themselves pay raises during the current session. Rather, any raises that are adopted must take effect during the next session of Congress.

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This timeline addresses U.S. Supreme Court cases related to affirmative action.

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This timeline provides milestones for events and U.S. Supreme Court cases related to civil liberties.

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This timeline provides milestones for education and education policy in the United States.

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This timeline provides milestones for events and policy decisions regarding energy and the environment.

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The framers of the Articles of Confederation at the Constitutional Convention caution against an imbalance of power among the branches of government. To protect against that pitfall, they enumerate a system of checks and balances and outline broad but contained rights for each of three branches.

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Article III of the Constitution establishes that there shall be a Supreme Court and other lower federal courts that Congress can create. Because Article III does not include many specifics about the structure of these courts, as one of its first orders of business, Congress passes the Judiciary Act of 1789.

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This timeline addresses milestones in the civil rights movement, women’s rights movement, and immigration and citizenship.

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This timeline provides milestones regarding health care and government policies through American history.