14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Primary Documents in American History
Ratified in 1868, the 14th Amendment granted citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States." This guide provides access to digital collections, websites, and print materials related to the amendment.
Ken Drexler, Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division
Created: November 26, 2018
Last Updated: November 26, 2018
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed. In addition, it forbids states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” By directly mentioning the role of the states, the 14th Amendment greatly expanded the protection of civil rights to all Americans and is cited in more litigation than any other amendment.