flyer for the lecture featuring an image of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address at the Soldiers' National Cemetery

Talk: “Citizenship, Immigration and National Identity: Civic Education on the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the 14th Amendment” by James Anderson

Part of the Center for Advanced Study Annual Lecture Series

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Congress passed the landmark amendments to the Constitution (13th, 14th and 15th) that ended slavery, defined citizenship, guaranteed equal protection of the laws and expanded the right to vote to all male citizens. This series of Constitutional transformations have come to be known as our country’s “Second Founding,” giving our nation what President Lincoln promised at Gettysburg, “a new birth of freedom. During this “Second Founding,” the questions of citizenship and immigration struck at the core of definitions of freedom, liberty, equality and national identity.

Then and now, debates over citizenship and immigration have raised the controversial questions of who is entitled to be a citizen, who should be allowed to enter the United States, how they should be treated when they do enter, can they be assimilated into the American way of life, and what are the social consequences of birthright and naturalized citizenship. In fact, contemporary disputes over citizenship and immigration are occurring on the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment and reflect deep-seated concerns about national identity that have zigzagged throughout the American experience, reminding us that the “Second Founding” remains in the words of historian Eric Foner an “unfinished revolution.”

This lecture is presented by the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) and is the 28th lecture in this series. The CAS Annual Lecture series offers a rare opportunity for audiences to hear the Center's most distinguished scholars speaking about their work.

Add Event to CalendarAdd to Calendar


For further information, visit the Center for Advanced Study (external link) or call (217) 333-6729.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at (217) 244-5586 or (email link).