More Changes Needed - Amendments of the 1900s, Part 1 - Reading Comprehension
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More Changes Needed - Amendments of the 1900s, Part 1 Reading Comprehension
     More Changes Needed - Amendments of the 1900s, Part 1 reading comprehension (sample is shown below)



More Changes Needed - Amendments of the 1900s, Part 1
By Phyllis Naegeli
  

1     The Twentieth Century brought many changes to America and the world. Two World Wars were fought. The United States grew, expanded, and became a world power. Twelve additional amendments were added to the Constitution. Most of these increased the power of the federal government, while limiting the rights of individual states. One main change was occurring - a trend toward nationalism.
 
2     Amendment 16 allows Congress to levy an income tax. After the Civil War, Congress passed an income tax to help pay war debts. The Supreme Court upheld this tax for a time. Then in 1895, the court nullified income taxes calling them direct taxes. Direct taxes needed to be apportioned according to population under Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution. Instead of waiting to see if the Supreme Court would flip-flop again, Congress decided to act. They passed the 16th Amendment on July 12, 1909. It was ratified on February 3, 1913. The amendment gives Congress the power to tax incomes without dividing it up based on population. This amendment gave the federal government an increasing source of funds. It helped to fund the many programs our federal government has today.
 
3     Amendment 17 changed the way senators are elected. Up until this time, senators were elected by state legislatures. When the 17th Amendment was ratified on April 8, 1913, the process changed. Now, the people would directly elect the senators for their state. This amendment reduced the influence individual states have on the federal government and furthered the cause of democracy in America. In addition, it outlined a way to fill vacancies that might occur. It did not change the terms or elections that occurred prior to its ratification. With the people electing their senators, the hope was that the men who took office would be more accountable for their actions. The jury is out on whether this actually occurred.

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