What Is a Summary of the 14th Amendment?

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The 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution extends citizenship and legal rights to all people, including former slaves. It also restricts political or military authority figures allied with the Confederacy from running for state and federal public offices and excuses the federal government from any liability for Confederate debts.

The first two sections of the 14th amendment revoke the existing practice of counting each slave as three-fifths of a person when calculating a state’s representation in Congress. To discourage states from denying rights to African Americans, the law states that Congressional representation would be reduced in proportion to the number of male citizens prohibited from voting. As retribution for the Confederacy’s rebellious acts, barred officials could only regain the right to run for office if a two-thirds majority in both Congressional houses voted in their favor.