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After the War
When the Civil War ended, there were many wounds to heal, both physical and spiritual, but there was a sense of hope for the future. Unfortunately, that hope was crushed just days after the war's end when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth.
The attempts to continue to reunite the nation continued for several years and included the passage of three Constitutional amendments. The Amendment 13 abolished slavery everywhere withing the United States. Amendment 14 provided several important rights for all Americans. These rights included defining citizenship, thereby assuring that the former slaves could not be denied the status of citizens; guaranteeing the equal protection of the laws for all; and ensuring that the states would follow due process of law. Amendment 15 guaranteed that the right to vote could not be denied on the basis of race. The passage of these amendments began the long road to equal treatment for all U.S. citizens.