By the end of the Civil War, the Union victory over the Confederate states marked a dramatic change in American history with the abolition of slavery and new amendments written into the U.S. Constitution. Passed in 1868, the 14th Amendment gave Congress special powers to protect and enforce the rights of former slaves in Southern states that adopted the greatest resistance to the new set of liberties afforded African Americans through citizenship. In this first of two video segments from The Supreme Court, learn how the nine justices evolved in their decisions to interpret the 14th Amendment as the nation moved forward after the war. To learn more, see “The Fourteenth Amendment - Part II.”
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