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Citizen vs. citizen

 

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Citizen vs. citizen

Prior to the alleged ratification of the 14th Amendment, there was no legal definition of a "citizen of the United States," as everyone had primary citizenship in one of the several states.  The Constitution referred to the sovereign state citizen, and no one else.  Those who went to Washington, D.C. or outside the several states were commonly called "citizens of the United States."  In the Constitution for the United States, the term was used to identify state citizens who were eligible under the suffrage laws to hold office, and they were required under the Constitution to have primary allegiance to one of the several states.


 

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Revised: January 30, 2012