Dean Anderson to Discuss 14th Amendment, Citizenship, National Identity at CAS Lecture

by Jodi Heckel  /   Oct 11, 2018

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College of Education Dean James D. Anderson will deliver the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) Twenty-Eighth Annual Lecture on Oct. 17. His talk will cover the 14th Amendment and its implications for current debates about citizenship, immigration, and national identity.

The passage of the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th and 15th) ended slavery, defined citizenship, guaranteed equal protection of the laws, and expanded the right to vote to all male citizens, bringing a “profound transformation of the Constitution and our nation as a whole,” according to Anderson.

Anderson, a CAS professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, noted that many people incorrectly think the concepts of freedom and equal protection that are hallmarks of American democracy were in the Constitution from the beginning, when the founding fathers created a new government. In reality, these ideas were added by the constitutional amendments passed during the Second Founding.

“It’s like the unfolding of a nation: America trying to become its better self and throwing off the demons of slavery and inequality,” Anderson said. “I wish as a nation we fully appreciated how we’ve become who we are and the work that went into it. It’s an unfinished legacy that we still have to work on.”

In the lecture, Anderson will talk about civic education and its importance in understanding how the debates over the principles in the Reconstruction Amendments shaped the country.

Read the full article from the Illinois News Bureau.