Essay Contest

Fourth Annual Friends of the Lincoln Collection

High School Essay Contest

Civil War Amendments

As a result of the Civil War, there were three amendments passed. The 13th Amendment banned slavery and involuntary servitude. The 14th Amendment defined a citizen as any person born or naturalized in the United States. The 15th Amendment prohibited governments from denying U.S. citizens the right to vote based on race, color, or past servitude.

Please formulate an original response to this prompt:

If you could transport yourself back in time to when the Civil War Amendments were created, what additional amendment would you have written in order to increase the chances that the United States of 2020 would be a nation without racism?

Essay Requirements: 1,000-1,500 words

Eligibility: Indiana High School Students.

Prizes: $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place.

Judging: Individuals designated by the Friends of the Lincoln Collection board will be the sole and exclusive judges. Winners will be announced in February.

Submission: Essays must be received by January 10, 2020. Include your name, grade, and school. File name should be as follows: “YourLastName_FirstName_Lincoln.” (ie. Smith_John_Lincoln). Submit online at under the “Essay Contest” tab.

For More Information: Send inquiries to

For Teachers: View an accompanying lesson plan to use this prompt in your classroom.

Download Essay Prompt

Teacher Lesson Plan

Submission Form

Essay Entry Form
Maximum upload size: 8.39MB


See previous winners here