Constitution USA – Episode III: Created Equal (Equality)

Lesson Duration

Part III of a four-part series hosted by Peter Sagal. Viewers are introduced to some of today’s major constitutional debates. For “each contemporary story, Sagal dives into the history behind it and talks to prominent legal scholars, historians and public figures, finding out what the Constitution says, the dramatic historical events and crises that defined the Constitution, and why all this matters. Each one-hour episode of Constitution USA vividly illuminates a central theme essential to the Constitution.”

Episode III: Created Equal (Equality)

“In this episode of Constitution USA, Peter Sagal explores the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” endowed with “unalienable rights,” that didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787. It took three-quarters of a century, and a bloody civil war, before the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 made equality a constitutional right, and gave the federal government the power to enforce it. The far-reaching changes created by that amendment established new notions of citizenship, equal protection, due process, and personal liberty and today those notions are being used to fight for same sex marriage, voting rights, affirmative action, and immigration reform. Let’s take a closer look and see how equality is defined in this episode.”

Find video clips of this program on PBS LearningMedia:

The National Constitution Center has developed educational materials for each episode of Constitution USA which addresses a theme related to the Constitution.

For High School or Middle School educational materials, go to:


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