Studies in Legal History: Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America

Description

Before the Civil War, colonization schemes and black laws threatened to deport former slaves born in the United States. Birthright Citizens recovers the story of how African American activists remade national belonging through battles in legislatures, conventions, and courthouses. They faced formidable opposition, most notoriously from the US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott. Still, Martha S. Jones explains, no single case defined their status. Former slaves studied law, secured allies, and conducted themselves like citizens, establishing their status through local, everyday claims. All along they argued that birth guaranteed their rights. With fresh archival sources and an ambitious reframing of constitutional law-making before the Civil War, Jones shows how the Fourteenth Amendment constitutionalized the birthright principle, and black Americans' aspirations were realized. Birthright Citizens tells how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans.

Details

Author(s)
Martha S. Jones
Format
Paperback | 266 pages
Dimensions
152 x 228 x 15mm | 370g
Publication date
30 Jun 2018
Publisher
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Publication City/Country
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Language
English
Illustrations note
12 Halftones, black and white
ISBN10
1316604721
ISBN13
9781316604724
Bestsellers rank
68,620