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14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Library of Congress

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” By directly mentioning the role of the states, the 14th Amendment greatly expanded the protection of civil rights to all Americans and is cited in more litigation than any other amendment.  

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation

This collection contains congressional publications from 1774 to 1875, including debates, bills, laws, and journals.

  • June 8, 1866 – The Senate passed the 14th Amendment by a vote of 33 to 11.
  • June 13, 1866 – The House of Representatives passed the 14th Amendment by a vote of 120 to 32.
  • June 16, 1866 – The text of the 14th Amendment can be found in the United States Statutes at Large, volume 14, page 358 (14 Stat. 358).
  • June 22, 1866 – President Andrew Johnson submitted a message to Congress announcing that the Fourteenth Amendment had been sent to the states for ratification. Johnson voiced his displeasure with the amendment by stating that his actions should “be considered as purely ministerial, and in no sense whatever committing the Executive to an approval or a recommendation of the amendment to the State legislatures or to the people.”
  • July 28, 1868 – Secretary of State William Seward issued a proclamation certifying the ratification of the 14th Amendment by the states.

Search in the 39th Congress to find additional legislative information on the 14th Amendment.

African American Perspectives: Materials Selected from the Rare Book Collection

“African American Perspectives” gives a panoramic and eclectic review of African American history and culture from the early 19th through the early 20th centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900.

National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection

The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) is a library of nearly 800 books and pamphlets documenting the suffrage campaign. They were collected between 1890 and 1938 by members of NAWSA and donated to the Rare Books Division of the Library of Congress on November 1, 1938. The bulk of the collection is derived from the library of Carrie Chapman Catt, president of NAWSA from 1900-1904, and again from 1915-1920.

  • Suffrage conferred by the Fourteenth amendment : woman’s suffrage in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, in general term, October, 1871 : Sara J. Spencer vs. The Board of Registration, and Sarah E. Webster vs. The Judges of Election : argument of the counsel for the plaintiffs : with the opinions of the court

America’s Library

Jump Back in Time: 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

The Chronicling America site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the 14th Amendment.

A selection of articles on the 14th Amendment includes:

Congress.gov

Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation

The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated) contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law. This regularly updated resource is especially useful when researching the constitutional implications of a specific issue or topic. It includes a chapter on the 14th Amendment.

Exhibitions

African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

This exhibition showcases the African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displays more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom

This exhibition, which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, explores the events that shaped the civil rights movement, as well as the far-reaching impact the act had on a changing society.

Law Library of Congress

Fourteenth Amendment and Citizenship

Law Library of Congress page on the Fourteenth Amendment and the history of the citizenship clause.

Today in History

July 28, 1868

On July 28, 1868, Secretary of State William Seward issued a proclamation certifying without reservation that the Fourteenth Amendment was a part of the Constitution.

May 18, 1898

The Supreme Court ruled separate-but-equal facilities constitutional on intrastate railroads. For fifty years, the Plessy v. Ferguson decision upheld the principle of racial segregation.

June 2, 1924

On June 2, 1924, Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. The right to vote, however, was governed by state law; until 1957, some states barred Native Americans from voting.

https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/14thamendment.html

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2 Responses to 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

  1. KOYOTE says:

    THAT’S THAT WONKEY PIECE OF “LEGISLATION” THAT MAKES EVERYONE “CITIZENS” BY FORCE, AND RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY DIME THE VICHY GOVERNMENT BORROWS, BY USING US AND OUR RESOURCES AS “COLLATERAL”.
    IT WAS FORCED ON THE PEOPLE BY THE MILITARY, AND IS ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO THE DICTATES OF THE 9TH ARTICLE OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS

    • DL. says:

      I could not have said it better, Koyote. While the 13th Amendment supposedly ends slavery and indentured servitude, the 14th Amendment reverses that and makes us ALL slaves or indentured servants, in ALL CAPS STRAWMEN sense. to say that this crap establishes “civil rights” is insanity!

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