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The Fourteenth Amendment as an Ending: Constitutional Beginnings and the Demise of the War Power

The Fourteenth Amendment as an Ending: Constitutional Beginnings and the Demise of the War Power <p>Abstract:</p><p>Since its enactment and ratification, savvy observers have viewed the Fourteenth Amendment as a vindication of the military experience of the Civil War. Bullets and bayonets in wartime led to peacetime citizenship in Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment and to peacetime ballots that were first protected in Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment and then bolstered in the Fifteenth Amendment. But there is another story to tell as well, one in which the Fourteenth Amendment is not the beginning of a new constitutional story, or at least not only the beginning of a new story, but also a betrayal and an ending. In important respects the Fourteenth Amendment helped to close out the righteous form of power that had emerged in the antebellum era as a solution to the glaring injustice of slavery. This crucial authority was the federal government&apos;s war power. Stories of vindication and of new beginnings are not wrong. But they make it all too easy to miss the Fourteenth Amendment&apos;s role as part of a complicated denouement of the wartime experience, one that embodied the war&apos;s triumphs but also blunted their force and pace. The Fourteenth Amendment abandoned a vital chapter of American history even as it occasioned a new one whose results are still unfolding.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Fourteenth Amendment as an Ending: Constitutional Beginnings and the Demise of the War Power

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>Since its enactment and ratification, savvy observers have viewed the Fourteenth Amendment as a vindication of the military experience of the Civil War. Bullets and bayonets in wartime led to peacetime citizenship in Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment and to peacetime ballots that were first protected in Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment and then bolstered in the Fifteenth Amendment. But there is another story to tell as well, one in which the Fourteenth Amendment is not the beginning of a new constitutional story, or at least not only the beginning of a new story, but also a betrayal and an ending. In important respects the Fourteenth Amendment helped to close out the righteous form of power that had emerged in the antebellum era as a solution to the glaring injustice of slavery. This crucial authority was the federal government&apos;s war power. Stories of vindication and of new beginnings are not wrong. But they make it all too easy to miss the Fourteenth Amendment&apos;s role as part of a complicated denouement of the wartime experience, one that embodied the war&apos;s triumphs but also blunted their force and pace. The Fourteenth Amendment abandoned a vital chapter of American history even as it occasioned a new one whose results are still unfolding.</p>

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 2, 2020

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