The Fight for the 14th | Episode 2
At the close of the Civil War, some 4 million slaves became free. But almost immediately after hostilities ceased, leaders in the ex-Confederate states began to impose a series of laws, the Black Codes, that re-instituted slavery in all but name. Just as swiftly, a wave of terrorist violence swept across the South, targeting blacks seeking education, economic independence, and a voice in civic and political life—and also whites with Union sympathies. In Washington, D.C., Republican leaders grappled with another problem: When the Southern states rejoined the Union, they would do so with more political power than they’d enjoyed prior to secession—the consequence of each African-American now counting as five-fifths, rather than three-fifths, of a person.
On Episode Two of Bound By Oath, the fight for the 14th Amendment, which nearly plunged the country into war, again.
Daniel Harawa, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Aderson Francois, Georgetown Law
Kurt Lash, University of Richmond School of Law
Gerard Magliocca, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
American Founding Son: John Bingham and the Invention of the Fourteenth Amendment, by Gerard Magliocca
The Reconstruction Amendments: Essential Documents, by Kurt Lash
An epic Twitter thread on the 14th Amendment, by Aderson Francois
Testimony of Dexter Clapp, Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, 39th Congress (starts bottom right)
Proceedings of the Colored People’s Convention, November 1865, Zion Church, Charleston, S.C.
Black Prisoners and Their World, Alabama, 1865-1900, by Mary Ellen Curtin
John Bingham and the Background to the Fourteenth Amendment, by Paul Finkelman