(Episode 35) The Confederate Penalty Box: The 14th Amendment, Part 3 of 3

(Thanks for being patient on the delay in posting the blog relative to when the episode dropped.  Sam says, "Mea culpa.")

In this episode, we address the last four sections (Sections 2 through 5) of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Each Section deals with a different issue that arose in Post-Civil-War, Reconstruction America. 

Recall that Section 1 addressed some big concepts in Southern ideology and how to bring the Confederacy in line with Union ideals; think slavery, citizenship, and the like. The remaining Sections of the 14th Amendment deal more with logistics and, frankly, punishing those who rebelled. Specifically:

Section 2 deals with the apportionment of representatives now that former slaves have been freed.  The short version -- big (enormously big) pro: freeing the slaves; con: giving the former Confederacy more voting power by increasing their counted populations. The longer version: here's our source.

Section 3 disqualifies former rebels from holding office unless Congress, by a two-thirds vote of each house, removes the disqualification.  Eventually (in 1898), Congress removes the punishment for the rebellious South. But this section could still apply if there's ever a future rebellion.

Section 4 is all about the money. War is expensive, and the South better not question the bills. This Section creates the concept of the national debt (which, if you enjoy a little financial anxiety, is enormous today).  We also take a little detour to talk about the gold standard...which we're no longer on.

Finally, Section 5 is an enforcement clause which gives Congress power to enact legislation to give effect to the rest of the Amendment.