Evolution of the Natural Citizenry

  • Pre Civil War

    Citizenship was not set in stone quite yet. There were theories regarding who had citizenship and who did not. One view was only those who were citizens under state law, were citizens of the United States. Another view was that federal law should imply who has the right to citizenship in regards to where someone was born which raises the question of natural-born citizens.
  • Dred Scott v. Sanford

    Dred Scott, who was a slave under Sanford, sued him on the grounds of being a slave brought to a free state, wanting the rights he believed he had to be free, as well as a citizen. Dred was denied any form of citizenship by Chief Justice Taney on racial grounds. This raised concerns as most black people in free territories were considered citizens prior to this lawsuit.
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    Republican Party Wins Control of the White House

    The Republican Party was strongly against Scott v. Sanford. The foundation around the Republican Party was the idea to abolish slavery. In 1860 when the White House was under Republican rule, Lincoln's admin took the stance that free blacks were in fact citizens. in 1866, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act which granted anyone born or naturalized in the US is a citizen, no matter their race.
  • "Black Codes"

    "Black Codes" were laws that were instated shortly after the ratification of the 13th amendment which freed the slaves. These laws restricted former slaves day to day lives in the south. They told them how they could work and how much they would be compensated, furthermore, taking their voting rights away, lay hold of children for labor, and dictate how and where they live.
  • Fourteenth Amendment

    While the fourteenth amendment did not directly deal with citizenship in the drafting stages, the Senate would eventually add the first sentence of the amendment which conceded national and state citizenship. This amendment applied to all people no matter their race, however, there were still some controversies surrounding the grant of citizenship.
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    Jim Crow Laws

    The Jim Crow Laws were passed solely for the separation of whites from people of color. These discriminatory laws proposed in the south were to ensure absolute separation. This segregation went as far as to block blacks from the same schools, restaurants, parks, theaters, and even cemeteries. These laws reached local and state levels. In the late 1940s, views starting shifting and change was coming as segregation began coming to an end with influences from Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, etc...
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    Civil Rights Movement

    The Civil Rights Movement is what truly gave every natural-born citizen in the US the treatment and dignity they deserved from day one. The Civil Rights activist that helped make such a remarkable difference include, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, and many more. These individuals held peaceful protests and were brutally assaulted by police. This reconstricting period ended in victory in 1968 when people of color were finally accepted & treated with respect.