The Fourteenth Amendment
December 25, 2019
After Congress and enough states ratified the thirteenth amendment that terminated slavery, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This law declared that “all people born in the United States are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.” The Act equated birth to citizenship.
President Andrew Johnson vetoed that Civil Rights Act, but then on April 5, 1866, the Senate, overrode his veto by a two-thirds majority. The law’s intent was “to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected...