The Fourteenth Amendment placed the principle of citizenship for all persons born in the United States, and empowered the federal government to protect the rights of all Americans. The amendment prohibited the states from abridging the “privileges and immunities” of citizens or denying them “equal protection of the law”. Congress in 1957 passed the first national civil rights law since Reconstruction. It targeted the denial of black voting rights in the South, but with weak enforcement provisions it added few voters to the rolls.
The New Deal brought more women into government than ever before in American history. The New Deal increased women`s visibility in national politics and organized feminism. These three events in American history discussed by Foner are interconnected because they all deal with new reforms dealing with freedoms, justice and equality.