The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: “… But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States….” This provision means that all claims for payment in fighting against the Union are unlawful and do not need to be paid.
W. Cleon Skousen explained, “This section provides that all obligations, including the redemption of Confederation currency, were now null and void. Anyone who had loaned money to the Confederacy could not now collect it.
“Al such debts were illegal and void because they implemented the rebellion against the Union. This wiped out a debt of $1.4 billion which the Confederacy owed to their own citizens, as well as to England, France, and other countries. The Southern states also lost the value of their emancipated slaves. At the same time the South had to shoulder its proportionate expense of the war incurred by the Union.” (See The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, pp. 726-727.)