The 14th Amendment Was Adopted - July 28
- 2013 28 Jul
The 14th Amendment was adopted JULY 28, 1868, because southern States, though forced to end slavery by the 13th Amendment, did not grant citizenship to freed slaves. Black Codes were passed requiring freed slaves to be "apprenticed" to "employers" and punished any who left. Illinois Republican Congressman John Farnsworth said March 31, 1871: "The reason for the adoption [of the 14th Amendment]...was because of...discriminating...legislation of those States...by which they were punishing one class of men under different laws from another class." Republican John Bingham of Ohio, who introduced the 14th Amendment, said: "I repel the suggestion...that the Amendment will...take away from any State any right that belongs to it." After the Amendment was ratified, though, Federal judges did just as Thomas Jefferson had warned Mr. Hammond in 1821: "The germ of dissolution of our...government is in...the federal judiciary...working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow...until all shall be usurped from the States." Thus the 14th Amendment, written to give rights to freed slaves, became used by Federal Courts to take other rights, eventually religion, away from States' jurisdiction.