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14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment wrote the Declaration of Independence’s promise of freedom and equality into the Constitution. It transformed the Constitution forever. And it’s at the heart of what many scholars refer to as America’s “Second Founding.” Even so, the 14th Amendment is the focus of many of the most important constitutional debates (and Supreme Court cases) today. In many ways, the history of the modern Supreme Court is really a history of modern-day battles over the 14th Amendment’s meaning. Nearly every constitutional case that you care about today turns on the text that we just read.

Big Questions

How did the 14 Amendment transform the Constitution?

How does the 14th Amendment promote equality? How does it protect freedom?

Slavery in America - Visit Companion Unit

Slavery was embedded into America’s fabric by the time of the ratification of the Constitution. Do you think this affected how long slavery lasted in America and how it ended?

Video: Scholar Exchange: Battles for Equality in America - The 14th Amendment– Advanced Level
Video: Scholar Exchange: Battles for Equality in America - The 14th Amendment– Introductory Level
Video: Scholar Exchange: Battles for Equality in America: The 14th Amendment with Christopher Riano
Video: Eric Foner on the creation and contents of the 14th Amendment.
Video: Overview Lesson:
The 14th Amendment
Video: The Dred Scott Decision With Justice Neil Gorsuch
Video: The Black Codes & The South Carolina State Convention: A Theatrical Performance

Classroom Materials

Scholar Exchange Briefing Document

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Scholar Exchange Slides

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Explore 14th Amendment Questions

More For The Classroom

Scholar Exchanges

Part lecture and part lively conversation, these online classes allow students, teachers, and parents can join in discussions with scholars on core Constitutional topics.

Professional Development

Join other educators for a variety of programs that enhance your teaching of the Constitution.

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