The fourteenth amendment reconstruction was generally a proposal intention that was objectively driven by the congress on thirteenth June in the year eighteen sixty-six. It was a serious effort commitment by the congress to propose it in the United States constitution as they had wished before. In order for this proposal to have become an official amendment, it was subjected to different trials and procedures which were to be successfully handled in order to be official as an amendment. Basically, the proposal has to achieve the ratification by the representative legislatures, who were supposed to be an origin from the required states in order for the proposal to achieve a successful amendment. Though the amendment was to empower, it was rejected by most states who were from the southern states, though this was not in a position of stopping the implementation since the requirement was fulfilled which was a ratification by the three-fourth of the states , known as the ‘Reconstruction’ Considering the continuous positive progress that the proposal achieved, on twentieth July, eighteen sixty-eight, the amendment was able to be ratified and William Seward who was the state's secretary confirm the certification on the amendment ratification, later after all the required procedure met , it was with pride fulfilling the intention of congress and was finally added to the federal constitution (Collins).
Purpose of the 14th Amendment
Purposefully the fourteenth amendment was to serve an integral role to some of the individuals who were by that time considered strangers in the united state; it granted the power for one to become a citizen through giving citizenship to all the individuals and members who were naturalized and born in the United States, generally this were a group of slaves who obtained their freedom and were now free after the civil war. In reference to (Scaturro) the fourteenth amendment had an important role to play as it was projected by the congress. Firstly, the amendment was to help in the addressing of the rights of citizens, it was to offer support and protection to the citizens rights considering the tradition which at one point was oppressive in nature and didn’t give freedom to all .additionally, the proposal was raised to curb the uncertainty and the level of discrimination, that was being experienced during the that time, some selected people had no freedom to do a lot of things and were existing and being kept as slaves to just work and not to be seen and heard. The amendment was to offer a solution to the improper treatment of the men who were freed after the war was over, through being granted citizenship, the amendment was so helpful , they become citizens who were now had the total right to enjoy their rights as part and parcel of one family of united states.
Since 14th amendment was favoring both African American and women, both the two parties tried taking advantage it; women mostly used it to demand their rights to be recognized as useful member of the society, they fight and demonstrated to sensitize on the prevention of woman discrimination, women wanted themselves to respected and to be recognized as useful members of the society. In this case, the amendment worked in their favor since they were able to fight for their rights. African American t one point became so rebellious and was now using the amendment to gain respect and make them known (Scaturro)
Notably, this amendment was beneficial to humanity since it was able to forbid any state to deny any individual liberty, life or property without the proper process of using the law. It also forbids denial of any individual within its jurisdiction the fairness and balance protection of the law. The rule was applied to all black Americans except the Indians and the barred, who didn’t enjoy this privilege.
The 14th amendment was so integral and crucial since it was able to solve and address apportionment. This gave Blacks the respected they were craving for , the dignity and the stipulation of being appreciated and being able to identify as a whole individual and not half as the white ; used to refer to them before. Blacks were viewed as kids who were not able to reason as a grown up and make a sound decision, this made black people be either be seen as kids or a half a human being whose brain have not well developed. With the 14th amendment, this perception was removed and blacks were now being able to be counted as one whole individual, evidently in the constitution, before when it comes to counting, or recognizing the presence of a black person, they were being counted as a fifth of an individual. This was not fair and it was a strategy to undermine black and make them work hard for the white people.
Effects of the 14th Amendment on constitutional law
Additionally, the application of the 14th amendment had a great impact on how the government of united states was functioning, it placed a limiting standard on the amount of power the state government could own, this was contrary to the past where the state government had all the power which were even frustrating black people. Most of the protection that was implemented and added to the bill of right was only not active in the federal government; the same bill also impacted and was implemented in the states (McKitrick). This withdrew some power that state had and some restriction when it comes to the bill of rights was implemented.
Limitation of the Amendment
Considering all the good benefit that was associated with the fourteenth amendment especially to the black community, the 14th amendment was still in it circles associated with some limitation that the black didn’t enjoy. Though blacks were granted the full freedom and the ability to become citizens of United States through birth and naturalization, they didn’t enjoy the freedom to vote for the best leader of their choice. This still made them separated since they started feeling like they are not part of the full citizenship if they cannot vote and even elect the best leader to rule them. Blacks grievances of not being given the opportunity to votes were later considered in the fifteenth amendment, which took place in the eighteen seventy.
Additionally, the 14th amendment made blacks have equal rights, when the federal law was involved and put into consideration. This was in return inserted pressure and at one point the federal government faced a lot of challenges implementing and hindrance in the policies enforcement. In most parts of the south, blacks were murdered and even kept franchised through methods like the poll taxes and the literacy test (Halbrook). Some groups that were dangerous for example as Ku Klux made a tough reconstruction by murdering the black people and even leaders from the republican side.
Section of the Amendment
Basically, the first section of the fourteenth amendment, focused on immunities clauses which focused mostly on fighting against racism, it was majorly implemented to support the black and ,due process clause, was able to protect an individual through protecting individuals deprivation of life ,property, and liberty. In citizenship clauses a wider definition of citizenship, various ways one can be a citizen of united states and the role and responsibility of a citizen, privileges clauses, and the equal protection clauses (Berkin et al.).
In conclusion, the 14th amendment worked very hard in resolving one of the pre-civil war issues that were mostly affecting the African American, the amendment was in return quite beneficial since, it acted like a bridge, which brought the connection between slavery and total freedom. Blacks could receive citizenship through naturalization and through birth; this was a breakthrough from slavery since they were given the sense of belonging by acquiring citizenship. Through the amendment, the African America were given the confirmation of different opportunities rights and privileges of a normal citizen with equal protection of the law, this amendment was a breakthrough for African American.
Berkin, Carol et al. Making America: A History of the United States, Volume I: To 1877. Cengage Learning, 2007. Print.
Collins, Charles Wallace. The Fourteenth Amendment and the States: A Study of the Operation of the Restraint Clauses of Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013. Print.
Halbrook, Stephen P. Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998. Print.
McKitrick, Eric L. Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction. Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
Scaturro, Frank J. The Supreme Court’s Retreat from Reconstruction: A Distortion of Constitutional Jurisprudence. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000. Print.
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