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We the People

            The 14th amendment was made in light of the abolishment of slavery. During this time legislature were trying to expand African American rights and enforce laws against discrimination. It was made to clarify that "all persons born or naturalized within the United States are citizens." It also prohibited any state from "making or enforcing any law that abridged the privileges or immunities of citizens." To protect African Americans the government first had to establish that they were in fact citizens. This overturned the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 which said African Americans were not citizens, but property.
             The 14th Amendment also established something called equal protection. In other words this amendment made all rights and principles listed in the constitution applicable to all people who met the qualification of a "person". This was a big step because now all the states were required to follow this document. One of the amendments authors, Senator Jacob M. Howard said, "It establishes equality before the law, and it gives to the humblest, the poorest, the most despised the same rights and the same protection before the law as it gives to the most powerful, the most wealthy, or those haughty- In the establishment of the United States government it was decided that the government would not have absolute rule. Its" powers are limited through things like separation of powers and the Bill of Rights. The 14th amendment related to the principle of limited government from depriving certain groups certain rights, keeping all the people equal even those who participate in the government.
             Another part of the 14th Amendment stated, "Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This means that the government cannot take away someone's fundamental right to life, liberty or property unless they follow the established procedure of law. For example, reading someone their Miranda Rights when they are being arrested and the right to a fair and speedy trial.

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