In this episode of CONSTITUTION USA, Peter Sagal explores the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” endowed with “unalienable rights,” that didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787. It took three-quarters of a century, and a bloody civil war, before the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 made equality a constitutional right, and gave the federal government the power to enforce it. The far-reaching changes created by that amendment established new notions of citizenship, equal protection, due process, and personal liberty and today those notions are being used to fight for same sex marriage, voting rights, affirmative action, and immigration reform. Let’s take a closer look and see how equality is defined in this episode.
In this digital age, teachers often incorporate video into the classroom as these teachers have done through the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab program.for a project-based video journalism curriculum, media literacy resources and student videos about constitutional issues in their schools and communities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities, a major funder of CONSTITUTION USA with Peter Sagal, offers additional resources on equality and the 14th Amendment for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality material. Find even more on the EDSITEment website.