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Our Secret ConstitutionHow Lincoln Redefined American Democracy$
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George P. Fletcher

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156287

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195156285.001.0001

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Equality Without Vision

Equality Without Vision

(p.141) Chapter 7 Equality Without Vision
Our Secret Constitution

George P. Fletcher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the paradoxical ways that the Civil War served to strengthen states’ rights. Abolition was countered in many states by the enactment of “the Black Codes”, undermining the voting rights and equal protection that had ostensibly been granted to newly freed slaves. The author argues that these developments affect American life to this day, in the forms of felon disenfranchisement and discrimination, and in instances of denial of equal justice under law, such as the 1973 Rodriguez case.

Keywords:   abolition, Black Codes, Civil War, discrimination, equal justice under law, equal protection, felon disenfranchisement, Rodriguez case, states’ rights, voting rights

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