The Evolution of American Citizenship

November 15-17, 2013


The Constitution begins with "We the People. . .," signaling that it, unlike the Articles of Confederation, is an agreement among citizens and not merely a compact among sovereign states.  Using various source materials, this seminar will explore how the meaning of citizenship has evolved since the American Revolution, with particular emphasis on the post-Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, which significantly altered the relationship between citizens and their state governments.  The seminar will also explore how the Constitution regulates the relationship between governments and non-citizens.  Core issues to be examined include: voting, civil rights, civil liberties, and immigration. 

Seminar Scholar

Henry L. Chambers, Jr., J.D. has been Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law since 2004. He has published articles and essays on issues as varied as constitutional law, voting rights, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, criminal law, and evidence. He also lectures on constitutional law principles in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program, a civic education program for teachers. He received both his law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Virginia.