RATIFIED AND UNRATIFIED AMENDMENTS TO THE U.S CONSTITUTION

The United States Constitution has been ratified several times since it was adopted to accommodate the rights of American citizens. The changes were necessary in accommodating the change in times as the country expanded in both economy and population. The amendment forms the bill of rights as promoted by the constitution. The essay is an analysis of the amendment XXVI which Congress passed on 23 March 1971 and the amendment XXVII that was proposed on 25 Sep 1789 but ratified on May 7, 1992.

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The 26th amendment aimed to change the voting age from 18 to 23 years. This amendment was influenced by the fact that Americans youth were recruited for military service hence had the ability and the right as other citizens to participate in general elections. The amendment further restricted the interference of the law by the congress and states on accounts of age. During the World War II and the Vietnam War, the government was recruiting youth with the age of 18yrs to join the military. These facts put the pressure on the need for changes with an argument that these youths were capable of defending their country were also capable of choosing their leaders. In addition, the need for more votes required increasing the voter turnout. This led to the Congress ratifying the amendment and President Nixon signed into law. The amendment created a change in status quo for the youthful generation that assigned them the responsibility of citizenship.

The second section gave the congress the power using appropriate legislation enforce the amendment. It is the responsibility of the congress to ensure that it enforces the necessary legislation to safeguard the law by ensuring all the states ratify it in their respective constitutions. This measure was undertaken after the Supreme Court ruled the law before being ratified was applicable to the federal level and not the state or the local level elections.  To settle this discrepancy, the congress adopted the amendment that defined the minimum age at which the youth could be allowed to vote.

 The youths have the power and the idea necessary to transform every leadership structure in any country. They are the most energetic of the generation and portray the nation’s ability in workforce and military. The American constitution ignored these important contributions of the youths as agents of change. After all, they were registered for service with such an early age of i8yers. They therefore had the right to contribute on choosing the government that they felt rightfully represented their agenda, as they desired.

The 27th amendment was ratified in 1992 after first being proposed in the year 1789. It aimed to curb the greed of those in power to allocate themselves higher salaries against the will and the wishes of the American citizens. The law stated that for compensations on the services of the senators and the representative without the intervention of the representative election. The amendment had to wait over 200 years to be ratified indicating the reluctance of the preceding congress to amend into law that affected their own interests.

The amendment also reveals that the founders of the American constitution at those early times were well aware that congress could easily use their power to later their remuneration and intend to avoid. In addition, the longtime taken to ratify this amendment is also a confirmation of the fears of the original proposers of the bill. It is the nature of human in every part of the world to serve their interests firsts. The ratification of this amendment reduced such probability by making it hard for congress to alter their salaries 

Since the adoption of the American constitution in 1879, the country has come a long to achieve its respected stratus on human rights. First the abolishment of slavery, the grant of women the right6s to vote and finally lowering of the voting age from 22years to 18 years to enable more youths to participate in democracy.  Over two decades have passed since the last amendment was enacted. The 26th amendment was crucial in balancing the military age and the voting age to mark the initial age of responsibilities in leadership.

The amendments to the constitution   have made it relevant to the current changes in the world in terms of democracy and human rights. The 26th and the 27th amendments, though the last changes to the constitution from the original copy in the 1879. America. However, the youth have not fully embraced the right to participate in leaders as their turn out still remains low as compared to the adult turnout. The reasons can be attributed to the lack of information of the importance of voting and it is the only way for youths to influence the leadership that they desire. It is estimated that youth turnout only significantly improved in the election of president bill Clinton in 1992 and the election of barrack Obama in 2008.

Works cited:

Strickland, Ruth Ann. “The Twenty-Seventh Amendment and constitutional change by stealth.” PS: Political Science & Politics 26.04 (1993): 716-722.

Wright, David L. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment as a Teachable Moment: Young Adult Voter Turnout in US Elections, 1972-2006. Diss. Columbia University, 2013.


[1] Wright, David L. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment as a Teachable Moment: Young Adult Voter Turnout in US Elections, 1972-2006. Diss. Columbia University, 2013.

[2] Strickland, Ruth Ann. “The Twenty-Seventh Amendment and constitutional change by stealth.” PS: Political Science & Politics 26.04 (1993): 716-722.