Citizenship: The First Amendment Right

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Starting from the time of the passing of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Americans gained liberties. These include freedom of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly. With this came the questions of who is an American and who is deserving of the full rights of citizenship? The conception of who is has changed over time, including three major times periods from 1865 to 1900, 1900 to 1950, and from 1950 to the present.

The time after the civil war, late 1800s, was probably the time with the most open and broad debates of citizenship since the country’s establishing. African Americans and Radical Republicans pushed the country to understand the Declaration of Independence’s guarantees that “all men are created equal” and have “certain unalienable rights.” To the point where African Americans and their partners prevailed in regards to obtaining citizenship for freed people, another battle started to decide the legitimate, political, and social ramifications of American citizenship. The House of Representatives endorsed the Fourteenth Amendment on June 13, 1866, which conceded citizenship and revoked the Taney Court’s notorious Dred Scott choice. This guaranteed that state laws couldn’t deny fair treatment or victimize specific gatherings of individuals. The Fourteenth Amendment flagged the central government’s eagerness to authorize the Bill of Rights over the expert of the states. On July 9, 1868, the states approved the Fourteenth Amendment, ensuring birthright citizenship and equal insurance of the laws. There were effects on immigration and the socioeconomic status in America. A main example included California and the Chinese. The Chinese migrants were blamed for racial inadequacy and unfitness for American citizenship, adversaries asserted that they were additionally financially and ethically undermining American culture with unworthy work and corrupt practices, for example, prostitution. They thought migration confinement was essential for European Americans to protect and keep up their homes, their business, and their high social and good position. In May of 1882, Congress suspended the migration of every single Chinese worker with the Chinese Exclusion Act, making the Chinese the principal foreigner gathering subject to affirmation limitations based on race. They turned into unlawful immigrants. As James D. Phelan explains, Without homes and families; patronizing neither school, library, church nor theatre; lawbreakers, addicted to vicious habits; indifferent to sanitary regulations and breeding disease; taking no holidays, respecting no traditional anniversaries, but laboring incessantly, and subsisting on practically nothing for food and clothes, a condition to which they have been inured for centuries, they enter the lists against men who have been brought up by our civilization to family life and civic duty.

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