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  • "An Inestimable Jewel": The Civil War Era Constitutional Amendments and Their Continued Relevance

    The three constitutional amendments of the Civil War and Reconstruction era constituted a new, even revolutionary, foundation for the United States: “a new birth of freedom” in the famous words of President and lawyer, Abraham Lincoln. The Fourteenth Amendment and particularly Section 1 form a “second [United States] Constitution.” Section 1’s language and its embedded values held the promise (a promise delayed, no doubt) and a vision of moving the country toward a more perfect nation.