All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are made citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside

from Justice Henry Billings Brown – Plessy v Ferguson on Rap Genius

Meaning

See why the Articles of Confederation were scrapped? Yeah, shit was mad confusing.

Person living in 1785 United States: “So, like, um, am I citizen of both my state and the country? K, bro”.

Thanks for clearing things up, Constitution!

Until the ratification of the 14th Amendment, the US Constitution did not define US citizenship and Congress never passed legislation defining it. (Slaughterhouse Cases). The Dred Scott case held that a slave was not a citizen of the US or of any state. He was property. The 14th Amendment cleared that up: any person born here or naturalized here was and is a citizen.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Plessy v Ferguson” by Justice Henry Billings Brown and leave a comment on the lyrics box