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By Carrie Fredericks

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MCPHERSON, Clerk of the House of Representatives. W. FORNEY, Secretary of the Senate. 46 The Passage of the Fourteenth Amendment Eric Foner In the following selection, Eric Foner discusses the background for passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Radical Republicans had hoped that the amendment would give rights to all men. According to Foner, the amendment fell short of what the Republicans had envisioned because it still allowed states to deny certain rights to black men. The importance of the Fourteenth Amendment in relation to the other two Reconstruction amendments is discussed, along with how all three amendments fared after ratification.

1866, and of the independence of the United States of America the ninetieth. WILLIAM H. SEWARD. ] JOINT RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 44 Historical Background on the Fourteenth Amendment Resolved by the Senate and House of Representative of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (two-thirds of both houses concurring,) That the following article be proposed to the legislatures of the several States, as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said legislatures, shall be valid as part of the Constitution, namely: ARTICLE 14.

Their failings—especially the fact that they failed to extend to women the same rights of citizenship afforded black men—suggest the limits of change even at a time of revolutionary transformation. Reconstruction Is Fleeting Moreover, the history of these amendments underscores that rights, even when embedded in the Constitution, are not self51 Due Process enforcing, and cannot be taken for granted. Reconstruction proved fragile and short-lived. Traditional ideas of racism and localism reasserted themselves, Ku Klux Klan violence disrupted the Southern Republican party, and the North retreated from the ideal of equality.

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