NewYou can listen to Fox News stories now!

The Fourteenth Amendment, regarded by scholars and ordinary Americans as one of the most consequential guarantees of civil liberties in US history, was ratified as part of the Constitution by Secretary of State William Seward on this date – July 28, 1868.

It was ratified by Congress on June 13 and ratified by the requisite 28 of the then-37 states on July 9, 1868.

The Fourteenth Amendment encoded citizenship and due process for former slaves, and is remembered, admired, discussed, and debated today especially for its landmark “equal protection” clause.

Meet the American who wrote ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’

Section 1 of the amendment states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

Representative John A. Bingham, R-Ohio, shown between 1860 and 1875.  A politician and lawyer, he was Assistant Judge Advocate General in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln and House Manager (Prosecutor) Andrew Johnson in the impeachment trial of the President.  (Artist unknown.)

Representative John A. Bingham, R-Ohio, shown between 1860 and 1875. A politician and lawyer, he was Assistant Judge Advocate General in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln and House Manager (Prosecutor) Andrew Johnson in the impeachment trial of the President. (Artist unknown.)
(Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images)

“No state shall make or enforce any law abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The passage is credited to Congressman John Bingham, R-Ohio, who is considered the principal author of the amendment, according to the Library of Congress.

The United States hastened to codify the freedoms gained at the terrible cost of human carnage during the conflict.

The Fourteenth Amendment was the second of three Reconstruction-era amendments, followed swiftly after the Civil War, as the United States rushed to encode the liberties gained at the terrible cost of human carnage during the conflict.

A Washington Post column called on Congress to use the 14th Amendment to prevent Trump from running again in 2024.

The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. The Fifteenth Amendment granted the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous state of servitude” – but only to men at the time.

A Union charge at the Battle of Vicksburg, 1863. The horrific American Civil War ended slavery in the US and inspired efforts to encode the constitutional values ​​propounded in the American Revolution.

A Union charge at the Battle of Vicksburg, 1863. The horrific American Civil War ended slavery in the US and inspired efforts to encode the constitutional values ​​propounded in the American Revolution.
(DeAgostini/Getty Images)

America’s revolutionary ideals were now more directly formalized in the Constitution, stating that “all men are created equal.”

Trey Gowdy tells Biden: Let people debate the right to life at the ballot box

While fighting to defeat slavery around the world for generations, the nation would continue to fight for civil rights at home, especially during World War II.

Before its defeat by the US and its allies in 1945, Nazi Germany counted 7.6 million slave laborers in August 1944 alone, according to the National World War II Museum.

Imperial Japan conscripted a vast force of over a million slave laborers throughout Asia during World War II occupation of much of the continent.

Click here to get the Fox News app

Its victims included 10 million Chinese and an equal number of Indonesians, among many others, according to historians.

General Dwight Eisenhower ordered paratroopers in England "total victory - nothing more" before the invasion of Europe.  The victory of the United States and its allies in World War II ended the widespread practice of slave labor in both Europe and Asia.

General Dwight Eisenhower ordered paratroopers in England “total victory – nothing more” before the invasion of Europe. The victory of the United States and its allies in World War II ended the widespread practice of slave labor in both Europe and Asia.
(US Army Signal Corps photo via AP)

The US House of Representatives announced in 2007 that Japan had enslaved 200,000 women during the war.

In the US, the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause continues to fuel major constitutional debates today on major issues from abortion to gun rights.

“The 14th Amendment wrote the independence promise of liberty and equality into the Constitution,” declared the National Constitution Center.

Click here to sign up for our lifestyle newsletter

“In many ways, the history of the modern Supreme Court is really the history of modern struggles over the meaning of the 14th Amendment.”