14th Amendment

Timeline created by LCarter
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention
    In our country's early years, our founding fathers stated that all people are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Although they stated that all people are equal, our founding fathers stated in the 3/5 compromise that every 5 slaves would be equal to 3 people which is not only hypocritical but would pose a problem later concerning the 14th Amendment.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    Dred Scott was a former slave who argued that, because he resided in a free state, he should be entitled to his freedom. The Supreme Court ruled that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States. This ruling was eventually overturned by the 14th Amendment which granted citizenship to all former slaves
  • Reconstruction

    After President Lincoln's assassination, Vice President Andrew Johnson was tasked with reuniting the divided nation. Although Johnson supported emancipation, he did not agree with Congress on how reconstruction should proceed. In 1866, Congress, for the first time in history, overrode President Johnson's veto and created the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This new act reinforced the newly ratified 13th Amendment and many thought an additional amendment was needed to make the new legislation stronger.
  • Thaddeus Stevens

    Thaddeus Stevens
    In late April, Representative Thaddeus Stevens introduced a plan that would combine several legislative decisions regarding race into one singular amendment. In June, both the House and the Senate voted on the bill and it was then sent to the states for ratification.
  • Opposition to the Bill

    Opposition to the Bill
    As the bill made its way through the ratification process, it was clear that President Johnson and the Southern States completely opposed the bill but because Johnson was a Democrat and both the House and Senate had a Republican majority it meant that the bill went through pretty easily. Southern states also opposed it but were required to ratify the 13th and 14th Amendments in order to regain congressional representation.
  • Ratification

    Finally, on July 9, 1868, Louisiana and South Carolina voted to ratify the 14th Amendment. This made up the necessary 2/3 majority and officially turned the bill into the 14th Amendment.
  • The Amendment Itself

    The Amendment Itself
    The 14th Amendment states that all people, born or naturalized in the United States, are citizens and are granted equal protection under the law. This mostly pertained to recently freed slaves.
  • Issues with the 14th Amendment

    The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to all people in the United States. It was an extremely important Reconstruction Act and a very important amendment to the Constitution. After its ratification though, problems arose. For instance, it specifically says male and mentions nothing about women's rights. It also specifically excludes Native Americans who had to fight several more decades to receive the same rights and freedoms. Both groups were outraged about their exclusion.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    Louisiana created laws that stated that blacks and whites must ride in separate but equal train cars. In 1892, Homer Plessy refused to give up his seat in a white train car and said that the laws violated the 13th and 14th Amendments. The Supreme Court ruled that as long as the train cars were equal, it satisfied the 14th Amendment. This became one of many cases that dealt with the 14th Amendment.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    Following Plessy v. Ferguson many years later, Brown v. Board of Education simply stated that separate was the opposite of equal regardless of the "equality" of the facilities and therefore in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. As a result, public schools became unsegregated.