The Constitution:
The 14th Amendment


The 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is often cited as the point at which the states became subservient to the federal government. Some argue that this amendment gives the federal government sweeping power to control the states and diminishes their sovereignty. However, the history of the 14th Amendment tells a different story.

In this video, Thomas Woods, Jr. explains the history of the 14th Amendment and how it has been misinterpreted by activist Supreme Court Justices. Woods argues that the 14th Amendment was not intended to give the federal government the power to control the states like pawns, but rather to protect the individual rights of all citizens, regardless of race or color. He also shows how the federal government has overstepped its bounds with this amendment and how it was originally understood when it was initially passed.

Understanding the history and original intent of the 14th Amendment is essential to appreciating its role in our federal system of government and the balance of power between the federal and state governments.

Available for download as Mp3.

The 14th Amendment

by Thomas Woods Jr. | The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective

Below is the video of the audio lecture above.

What Did the Fourteenth Amendment Really Mean?

The Fourteenth Amendment has been thrust into the news again with the Obergefell decision in 2015. But what was the original intent of this amendment? Kevin Gutzman joins Tom Woods Jr. to explore the history and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In this podcast, Gutzman and Woods discuss the original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment and how it was meant to protect individual rights, specifically the rights of freed slaves after the Civil War. They also explore how the amendment has been interpreted and misinterpreted over time, particularly in regard to the incorporation doctrine and the expansion of federal power over the states.

Understanding the original intent and history of the Fourteenth Amendment is essential to understanding its role in our federal system of government and the balance of power between the federal and state governments.

What Did the Fourteenth Amendment Really Mean?

by Thomas Woods Jr. | The Tom Woods Show - Episode 114

Text of the Fourteenth Amendment

Section 1

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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge 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 to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Section 2

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.


Section 3

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.


Section 4

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.


Section 5

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

The Fourteenth Amendment

The U.S. Constitution