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Forswearing Allegiance


Publication Date: 
May 01, 2008
Working Paper
Bibliography: Gerhard Casper, Forswearing Allegiance, The Maurice and Muriel Fulton Lecture in Legal History, University of Chicago Law School, May 1, 2008.


My subject is the requirement that new citizens abjure prior allegiances. It was introduced into federal naturalization law in 1795 and it is still the law of the land. A seemingly small historical topic, it provides cause to reflect about changes in the concept of citizenship that have taken place over time, especially in recent decades.