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About the Second Founding

Following the Civil War, President Lincoln and his generation secured the passage of a series of transformational Joint Committee 2Amendments—the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth—that many scholars have rightly described as our Nation’s “Second Founding.”  These Amendments gave our Nation what President Lincoln promised at Gettysburg—“a new birth of freedom.”

Constitutional Accountability Center is working with the National Constitution Center and a growing list of partner organizations to spearhead a five-year celebration of the 150th anniversary of this Second Founding, with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor serving as its honorary chair. The festivities—including exhibits, debates, online engagement, scholarly writings, and more—will begin in early 2015 with a celebration of the Thirteenth Amendment and continue with tributes to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, culminating in February, 2020. This celebration seeks to restore the Second Founding Amendments to their rightful place at the center of our Nation’s constitutional story.

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About Constitutional Accountability Center

Constitutional Accountability Center is a think tank, law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of our Constitution’s text and history. The Constitution is, in its most vital respects, a progressive document, written by revolutionaries and amended by those who prevailed in the most tumultuous social upheavals of our Nation’s history, including President Lincoln and his generation after the Civil War. Underscoring our success, the National Law Journal has recognized CAC as a “visionary” organization for our work in “reclaiming the Constitution for the legal left.” The Second Founding and its Amendments have always been at the core of our story about the Constitution’s progressive promise. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Second Founding, we are working to build a celebration that’s worthy of its many constitutional achievements—one that restores the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to their rightful place at the center of our Nation’s constitutional story.