Josh Nielsen PSC 231-01 8/26/11 The 14th Amendment Before the time of the fourteenth amendment the only people that were protected under the Bill of Rights was the white men. Once the Emancipation Proclamation passed the government thought that it would be beneficial to have in writing that the blacks had equal rights to the white male. This was not the only important addition to the constitution with the passing of the fourteenth amendment, but it was the major one. Another change in the 14th amendment described the only two ways that a person would have been able to lose their citizenship.
This ament also provided the Due Process Clause. This stated substantive protection to private contracts. Other important clauses included Power of Enforcement, Validity of Public Debt, Appointment of Representatives and Incorporation. Prior to this amendment, there was no certainty with the constitution. It did not clearly state who was protected with it and exactly what rights you had a citizenship to the America. This amendment was in response to the just passed thirteenth amendment, which ended slavery in all of the southern states.
The Equal Protection Clause was also a response to all of the violence that had been happening to them within all of the southern states by protecting their rights and welfare within all of the states. This document significantly changed the viewpoints of the citizens showing that it protected the civil rights of white and blacks together. It clearly stated what made you a part of this country and what could make you lose citizenship. But most importantly showed the people a change, a change that they were not use to seeing for the benefit of them.