Essay Sample on The 16th Amendment to the Constitution

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  721 Words
Date:  2022-09-07


The 16th amendments to the constitution, this is the alteration and addition of law in the existing constitution which was passed by the federal government of United States of America in 1913. The amendment gives Congress the capacity to conduct a tax levy from all sources of income without sharing it with other states based on census regards (Vile, 2015). The ratification of amendment by Delaware which was the thirty-sixth state made the amendment to be implemented. The breakdown of the amendment was as follow "The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." The paper is discussing some of the fighting's that led to the amendments, advantages of the amendments and voices of anti-amendment (Ginsburg & Ganzorig, 2017).

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The amendment was passed as a result of federal government wanting to generate more income. During that government together with the majority of the people believe taxing the individual's income will provide a stable and more income than in tariffs. The income disparity between the rich and the poor made the government consider imposing taxes on income based on the state of wealth by individuals to bring out fairness. For instance, the notion" the rich "to obtain "too much wealth" hence direct income taxation has to be introduced to "the rich" so that they can pay "fair share." Therefore the government and majority of people in the middle class find it necessary for amendments of the existing constitution (Goodnow, 2017).

The second fight that leads to the amendment of the constitution was the fact that more money was needed to fund the civil war in World War II. The government needed to raise more money that can be used during the war to buy weapons and the only way the government can raise more taxes was by imposing direct income taxes together with tariffs. At the same time, after the World War II, there was the urge of the states to improve their economy through industrialization. Therefore, the extra revenue collected on income taxes was used to create more industries leading to an industrial revolution in the USA, where new weapons were manufactured to be used during the war (Goodnow, 2017).

The pros of the 16th constitution amendments to the federal state government were that the government is able to collect more revenue from income taxes as opposed to tariffs only. The extra revenue collected is used to improve social amenities in each state. Additionally, the amendment was passed by majority states that mean the opinion and views of most citizens were expressed. The direct income tax also ensures that there is no a wide gap of income disparity in the country since the rich are taxed more than the poor (Spithoven, 2016).

However, during the implementation of the amendments, many anti-amendments emerged. The tax was not imposed immediately since from the case Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company in 1895 the court ruled that it is unconstitutional to tax direct income of individuals. Other individuals who were not supporting the law felt that the governments are corrupt and they are concerned about people interest. For instance, from Owen King believed that and I quote "It was passed to trick the public into believing that they were required to pay tribute to exercise a right" (Albert, 2015).


In conclusion, the 16th constitution amendments have enabled the federal state government to collect more revenue compared to when they depend on tariffs only. The push for the amendments was a result of getting more money to be used in the World War II and dismantle the income disparity between the rich and the poor. Though, was supported by majority some individual felt that the government was corrupt and extra income taxation was just part to satisfy their self-interest.


Albert, R. (2015). The progressive era of constitutional amendment. Revista de Investigacoes Constitucionais, 2, 35.

Ginsburg, T., & Ganzorig, G. (2017). When courts and politics collide: Mongolia's constitutional crisis. In Public Law in East Asia (pp. 77-93). Routledge.

Goodnow, F. J. (2017). Politics and administration: A study in government. Routledge.

Spithoven, A. (2016). The Influence of Vested Interests on Healthcare Legislation in the USA, 2009-2010. Journal of Economic Issues, 50(2), 630-638.

Vile, J. R. (2015). A companion to the United States Constitution and its amendments. ABC-CLIO.

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