Our Living Constitution, Part 2 - Reading Comprehension
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Our Living Constitution, Part 2 Reading Comprehension
Our Living Constitution, Part 2 reading comprehension (sample is shown below)
Our Living Constitution, Part 2
By Phyllis Naegeli
1 In the 20th century, many things happened. There were two world wars. Many other conflicts and smaller wars occurred. America was becoming a world power. All the time, our country was growing and changing. And our laws had to change with us.
2 Amendment 16 says Congress can tax incomes. After the Civil War, Congress passed an income tax. America needed to pay its war debts. At first, the Supreme Court said it was O.K. Then it changed and said it wasn't O.K. because it was a direct tax. It needed to be evenly divided by population according to the Constitution. Congress decided to change the Constitution. They passed the 16th Amendment. Now we have an income tax. The government has the money it needs to run many programs.
3 Amendment 17 changed the way senators are elected. Article 1 of the Constitution says state legislatures will pick senators. This amendment says the people will elect the senators in their state. Now, senators are accountable to the people they serve.
4 Amendment 18 outlawed alcoholic beverages. Many people didn't like alcohol. They thought if it were outlawed, things would be better. They believed it would make people good. These people convinced Congress that they were right. Amendment 18 was ratified in 1919. After it was added to the Constitution, it was hard to enforce. The government didn't have enough people to find those who disobeyed the law. Some people said their rights were taken away by this amendment. It was repealed by Amendment 21 in 1933.
5 Amendment 19 gave women the right to vote. In the mid-1800s, women started asking to be able to vote. It took a long time for them to get that right. Women held rallies, conventions, protests, and even hunger strikes. Women who participated in these actions were called "suffragettes." One amendment went to Congress in 1877, but it didn't pass. Finally, in 1919, Congress acted. Now women who meet the set age can vote.
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