Constitution USA with Peter Sagal: Created Equal

About This Episode

The ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” endowed with “inalienable rights,” didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787. It took three-quarters of a century, and a civil war, before the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 made equality a constitutional right, and gave the federal government the power to enforce it.

In Created Equal, Peter Sagal learns how the changes created by the amendment established new notions of citizenship, equal protection, due process and personal liberty, altering the relationship between the federal government and the states. In many ways, it is this “Second Constitution” that governs the nation we live in today and underlies many landmark Supreme Court decisions that have reshaped the contours of American society.