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Book: The U.S. Constitution in Five Minutes

Chapter: 41. Who Is a Citizen?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43601


Sorting people into citizens and non-citizens is a way nations determine which people have full rights and privileges. Unfortunately, the US Constitution does not offer much guidance on citizenship until the Civil War and Reconstruction Amendments. Throughout most of U.S. history, citizenship was more exclusionary rather than inclusionary.

Chapter Contributors

  • Anna O. Law ( - aolaw) 'CUNY Brooklyn College'