14th Amendment

The second of the Reconstruction Amendments, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, and stated that all people born or naturalized in the United States are citizens. A response to the emancipation of formerly enslaved people, the 14th Amendment drew opposition from Southern states.
U.S. Constitution
Grade Level

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.


This text is in the public domain
Text Dependent Questions
  1. Question
    Reread the first part of Section 1.
    Who is considered a citizen of the United States?
    Anyone born or naturalized in the United States.
  2. Question
    What are those citizens promised?
    They are promised equal protection of the law, all privileges that come with being a citizen o the U.S. and due process of the law, meaning states cannot pass unfair laws.
  3. Question
    Reread Section 2.
    Section 2 describes how congressional representation is determined. Restate in your own words who is considered a "whole person" in these calculations.
    Any male over the age of 21, who has not participated in rebellion or another crime, is eligible to vote, excluding Indians who are not taxed.
  4. Question
    Reread Section 3 and 4
    What stipulations did Congress create for 1) making it more difficult for former Confederate leaders to hold political office and 2) ensuring that the Confederate states were not repaid for debts incurred during the Civil War?
    1-- Any former Confederate leader would need two-thirds of Congress to vote in his favor in order to run for office.
    2-- Any debt owed to the Confederate states did not need to be repaid.
Reveal Answers