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Download Amendment XIV Citizenship For All (Constitutional by Edited by Jeff Hay PDF

By Edited by Jeff Hay

Starting with the Constitutional modification textual content, every one quantity places a specific modification in old context, examines the way it has been demonstrated within the courts, and provides present controversies and debates.

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Additional resources for Amendment XIV Citizenship For All (Constitutional Amendments: Beyond the Bill of Rights)

Example text

An Indefensible Position No nation, I believe, ever did recognize this absurd doctrine; and the only force it ever had in this country, was that given it by the Democratic party which used the negro as a football for partisan games. The growing importance of the colored race in the United States, now that the entire race is free, will soon cause even the Democratic party to abandon the indefensible position it occupies on this question. That we have six million persons in this Government subject to its laws, and liable to perform all the duties and support all the obligations of citizens, and yet who are neither citizens nor aliens, is an absurdity which cannot survive long in the light of these days of progressive civilization.

Rogers of New Jersey argues before his colleagues in the House of Representatives in 1866 that the proposed Fourteenth Amendment denies individual states the right to enact their own laws with regard to freed slaves. This denial, he asserts, amounts to the establishment of federal tyranny over the states. He is especially concerned with the granting of full citizenship rights, in every state, to all African Americans. This, he fears, might lead to increases in mixed marriage, mixed education, and other manifestations of “equality” between black people and white people.

I might multiply authorities, but I have referred to enough for my purpose. By our law colored persons are citizens of the United States. Of this there can be no reasonable doubt; and we have been too tenaciously devoted to the doctrine “once a citizen always a citizen” to strike out of our column of citizens six million persons in obedience to any such political irrationality as lies buried in the Dred Scott case. But, sir, suppose I should admit for the sake of an argument that negroes are not citizens, would that be an objection to the power of Congress to enact the provision of this bill to which I have called the attention of the House?

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