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14th Amendment, U.S. Constitution
14th Amendment and the Bill of Rights

Proposal and Ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution

Proposal and Ratification
 
The Congress proposed the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on June 13, 1866. Per Article Five of the Constitution, twenty-eight of the thirty-seven states were needed for ratification of the 14th Amendment. By July 9, 1868, twenty-eight states had ratified the Amendment:
 
 
# State Date
1 Connecticut Jun 25, 1866
2 New Hampshire Jul 6, 1866
3 Tennessee Jul 19, 1866
4 New Jersey Sep 11, 1866
5 Oregon Sep 19, 1866
6 Vermont Oct 30, 1866
7 Ohio Jan 4, 1867
8 New York Jan 10, 1867
9 Kansas Jan 11, 1867
10 Illinois Jan 15, 1867
11 West Virginia Jan 16, 1867
12 Michigan Jan 16, 1867
13 Minnesota Jan 16, 1867
14 Maine Jan 19, 1867
15 Nevada Jan 22, 1867
16 Indiana Jan 23, 1867
17 Missouri Jan 25, 1867
18 Rhode Island Feb 7, 1867
19 Wisconsin Feb 7, 1867
20 Pennsylvania Feb 12, 1867
21 Massachusetts Mar 20, 1867
22 Nebraska Jun 15, 1867
23 Iowa Mar 16, 1868
24 Arkansas Apr 6, 1868
25 Florida Jun 9, 1868
26 North Carolina Jul 4, 1868
27 Louisiana Jul 9, 1868
28 South Carolina Jul 9, 1868
29 Alabama Jul 13, 1868
30 Georgia Jul 21, 1868
31 Virginia Oct 8, 1869
32 Mississippi Jan 17, 1870
33 Texas Feb 18, 1870
34 Delaware Feb 12, 1901
35 Maryland Apr 4, 1959
36 California May 6, 1959
37 Kentucky Mar 18, 1976

Sources: Library of Congress (Primary Documents in American History); U.S. Constitution Online; National Archives United States Constitution

Recommended Reading: Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America. Publishers Weekly: In December 1865, the 39th Congress had urgent business, says Epps in this passionate account of Reconstruction politics. If the former Confederate states were readmitted to the Union, ex-slaves would swell those states' congressional power, but without congressional protection, the freedmen would never be allowed to vote, and the Southern white elite would have disproportionate influence in the federal government. Epps follows every twist of Congress's response to this problem, and his energetic prose transforms potentially tedious congressional debates into riveting reading. Continued below…

He illuminates the fine points, such as the distinction in the 19th century between civil rights—relating to property and employment, which many thought blacks should have—and political rights, which some thought only educated men of wealth should have. Congressmen were not the only people energized by the conundrums of electoral representation. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton petitioned for women's suffrage on the same grounds as blacks. While Congress hammered out the 14th and 15th Amendments, white Southerners were putting in place the Jim Crow codes that would subvert those amendments until the 1960s. As constitutional scholar and novelist Epps (The Shad Treatment) notes in a rousing afterword, there are many corners in which they are not fully realized today.

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Recommended Reading: No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights. Library Journal: Curtis effectively settles a serious legal debate: whether the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights guarantees and thereby inhibit state action. Taking on a formidable array of constitutional scholars, with the Attorney General in the wings, he rebuts their argument with vigor and effectiveness, conclusively demonstrating the legitimacy of the incorporation thesis. Continued below...

He does so by placing the Amendment in the stew of history: by examining first the historical context, and then Republican ideology as reflected in legislative debate over the 13th and 14th amendments as well as over the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Taking the legal story down to the present, Curtis traces the Court's gradual acceptance of incorporation, until Cardozo in Palko and then until the Burger Court. A bold, forcefully argued, important study.
 

Recommended Reading: We the People: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Supreme Court. Description: Several of the most divisive moral conflicts that have beset Americans in the period since World War II have been transmuted into constitutional conflicts and resolved as such. In his new book, eminent legal scholar Michael Perry evaluates the grave charge that the modern Supreme Court has engineered a "judicial usurpation of politics." Continued below...

In particular, Perry inquires which of several major Fourteenth Amendment conflicts--over race segregation, race-based affirmative action, sex-based discrimination, homosexuality, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide--have been resolved as they should have been. He lays the necessary groundwork for his inquiry by addressing questions of both constitutional theory and constitutional history. A clear-eyed examination of some of the perennial controversies in American life, We the People is a major contribution to modern constitutional studies.
 

Recommended Reading: America's Constitution: A Biography (Hardcover). Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. You can read the U.S. Constitution, including its 27 amendments, in about a half-hour, but it takes decades of study to understand how this blueprint for our nation's government came into existence. Amar, a 20-year veteran of the Yale Law School faculty, has that understanding, steeped in the political history of the 1780s, when dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation led to a constitutional convention in Philadelphia, which produced a document of wonderful compression and balance creating an indissoluble union. Amar examines in turn each article of the Constitution, explaining how the framers drew on English models, existing state constitutions and other sources in structuring the three branches of the federal government and defining the relationship of the that government to the states. Continued below...

Amar takes on each of the amendments, from the original Bill of Rights to changes in the rules for presidential succession. The book squarely confronts America's involvement with slavery, which the original Constitution facilitated in ways the author carefully explains. Scholarly, reflective and brimming with ideas, this book is miles removed from an arid, academic exercise in textual analysis. Amar evokes the passions and tumult that marked the Constitution's birth and its subsequent revisions. Only rarely do you find a book that embodies scholarship at its most solid and invigorating; this is such a book.

 

Recommended Reading: Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Library of Religious Biography). Description: Since its original publication in 1999, "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" has garnered numerous accolades, including the prestigious 2000 Lincoln Prize. Allen Guelzo's peerless biography of America's most celebrated president is now available for the first time in a fine paperback edition. The first "intellectual biography" of Lincoln, this work explores the role of ideas in Lincoln's life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture. Written with passion and dramatic impact, Guelzo's masterful study offers a revealing new perspective on a man whose life was in many ways a paradox. As journalist Richard N. Ostling notes, "Much has been written about Lincoln's belief and disbelief," but Guelzo's extraordinary account "goes deeper."

 

Recommended Reading: A Short History of Reconstruction. Review: In an attempt to document the important issues of reconstruction, Eric Foner compiled his book Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. Foner addresses all the major issues leading up reconstruction, and then finishing his book shortly after the end of reconstruction and the election of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.  In the preface of his book, Foner discusses the historiography of Reconstruction. He notes that during the early part of the twentieth century many historians considered Reconstruction as one of the darkest periods of American history. Foner notes that this viewpoint changed during the 1960s as revisionists shed new "light" on reconstruction. The revisionists saw Andrew Johnson as a stubborn racist, and viewed the Radical Republicans as "idealistic reformers genuinely committed to black rights." The author notes that recent studies of reconstruction argue that the Radicals were actually quite conservative, and most Radicals held on to their racist views and put up very little fight as the whites once again began to govern the south. Continued below...

Foner initially describes the African-American experience during the Civil War and Reconstruction. He argues that African-Americans were not simply figures that took little or no action in the events of the day, and notes the enlistment of thousands of African-Americans in the Union army during the war. Foner also notes that many of the African-Americans that eventually became civil leaders had at one time served in the Union Army. He states, "For men of talent and ambition, the army flung open a door to advancement and respectability." He notes that as reconstruction progressed, African-Americans were the targets of violence and racism. Foner believes that the transition of slaves into free laborers and equal citizens was the most drastic example of change following the end of the war. He notes how African-Americans were eventually forced to return to the plantations, not as slaves but as share croppers, and were thus introduced to a new form of slavery. He argues that this arrangement introduced a new class structure to the South, and states "It was an economic transformation that would culminate, long after the end of Reconstruction, in the consolidation of a rural proletariat composed of a new owning class of planters and merchants, itself subordinate to Northern financiers and industrialists.” The author illustrates how both blacks and whites struggled to use the state and local governments to develop their own interests and establish their respective place in the evolving social orders. Another theme that he addresses in this excellent study is racism itself and the interconnection of race and class in the South. Another subject he addresses is the expanded presence of federal authority, as well as a growing idea and commitment to the idea that equal rights belonged to all citizens, regardless of race. Foner shows how both Northern and Southern blacks embraced the power to vote, and, as Reconstruction ended, many blacks saw the loss of suffrage and the loss of freedom. Foner illustrates that because the presence of blacks at the poll threatened the established traditions, corruption increased, which helped to undermine the support for Reconstruction. The former leaders of the Confederacy were barred from political office, who were the regions "natural leaders," a reversal of sympathies took place which portrayed the Southern whites as victims, and blacks unfit to exercise suffrage. Reconstruction affected the North as well, but argues that it was obviously less revolutionary than it was in the South. Foner notes that a new group of elites surfaced after the war, industrialists and railroad entrepreneurs emerged as powerful and influential leaders alongside the former commercial elite. The Republicans in the North did attempt to improve the lives of Northern blacks. However, there were far fewer blacks in the North, so it was more difficult for blacks to have their agendas and needs addressed in the local legislatures. He states, "Most Northern blacks remained trapped in inferior housing and menial and unskilled jobs." Foner adds that the few jobs blacks were able to acquire were constantly being challenged by the huge influx of European immigrants. Foner's subject is definitely worthy of his original volume. Reconstruction is a subject that can still be interpreted in several ways, including the revisionist school of thought. Foner, however, seems to be as objective as possible on this subject, and has fairly addressed all major issues that apply.
 

Recommended Reading: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States) (Hardcover: 952 pages). Description: Published in 1988 to universal acclaim, this single-volume treatment of the Civil War quickly became recognized as the new standard in its field. James M. McPherson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this book, impressively combines a brisk writing style with an admirable thoroughness. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War including the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Continued below...

It flows into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering by each side, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as Manifest Destiny, Popular Sovereignty, Sectionalism, and slavery expansion issues in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict. The South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war, slavery, and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty. . Perhaps more than any other book, this one belongs on the bookshelf of every Civil War buff.

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