Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


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Approved by the U.S. Congress in June 1866 and pronounced ratified by the states on July 28, 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment extended citizenship and rights to the freed slaves and excluded many prominent former Confederates from government. The Fourteenth Amendment also revised the formula for congressional reapportionment and settled the status of debts incurred during the Civil War.

Even before the Civil War ended, President Abraham Lincoln had wrestled with Congress over how to...