Last Updated 25 May 2020

14th Amendment

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More often than not, most Americans look upon the constitution as the guiding light of our country. Recent events occurring in our national election no doubt prove that. There are many important amendments to our Constitution regarding our rights as citizens and the delegation of powers to branches and states. However, I believe that the 14th amendment is the most important to our constitution. When the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, it put a whole new spin on our Constitution, far surpassing the importance of any amendment before it or sense.

There are several crucial unconditional rights that are granted to everyone in the preamble of the Constitution. They are the rights to life, liberty, and property. We are also guaranteed a fair and due process of the law as stated by the 5th amendment. This brings our nation more closer to total equality than ever. Even though there will always be discrimination, this amendment will allow us to be protected under the law, so that wherever we are in our country, we will be protected and have the same rules applied to us that will effect our constitutional rights.

These unconditional rights, reaffirmed by the 14th amendment, are the core structure behind our Constitution. The 14th Amendment also helps promote strong centralized government. By limiting the states power, this amendment gives more power to the federal branch of government. This in turn strengthens the power of congress as well. Strengthening America with a better range in which it can affect its citizens is priceless to our country. By treating all the states equally, this amendment helps bring the states of this nation together.

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One of the great qualities about this amendment is that it grants many freedoms to the states and as the country as a whole. Without the 14th Amendment, none of us would be guaranteed the rights stated in the other Amendments. Section 1 of the 14th amendment states that No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. This ensures that any and all citizens are free from unconstitutional state or local actions. It is hard to appreciate how life would be if the states could take away freedoms and fundamental rights as they wished.

All of our rights stated in the Constitution would then become frivolous, because the states would then simply dictate or alter our so-called rights. The 14th Amendment recognizes and discusses the most important right amongst our people in this country: who has the right to be a citizen. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment grants all people born or naturalized in the United States citizenship. Although the Constitution states that all men are created equal, before this amendments passage, only white landowners were considered citizens.

Many minorities and people without a land title were not protected under the Constitution. The United States places the values of equality and equal protection high on the social ladder. The ratification of the 14th Amendment guaranteed equal protection under the law of all citizens. Although some argue that the 1st Amendment is more pivotal in providing privileges, without the 14th Amendment, many of the residents of the United States would not be granted the benefits of the 1st Amendment. Based on the evidence presented, the 14th Amendment is, without a doubt, the most important amendment to our Constitution.

Without this Amendment, all of the other amendments would most likely be corrupted by the states we live in. The 14th Amendment is a symbol of freedom that America has given us as citizens. It was given to us not only help protect ourselves, but also to help build and bring together all of our Constitutional rights, and without this amendment, those freedoms as we know today might not have existed. That is why I believe that the 14th amendment is the most important and vital amendment to our great Constitution.

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