Citizen (Fr. citoyen), a member of a free commonwealth. Aristotle defines a citizen to be one who participates in the legislative and judicial authority of the state. But in every state there are two classes of citizens, those who are permitted to participate in the government, and those who are not. All persons born within the state, irrespective of age, sex, or condition, are presumptively citizens: others may be admitted to citizenship either by special legislative enactment, or by some form of naturalization under general laws. The children of citizens born while their parents are abroad temporarily or on the public service are also citizens. But those only exercise the right of suffrage who in addition to citizenship have such other qualifications as the law may have prescribed. In the United States, by the 14th amendment to the constitution, all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
This amendment put at rest the disputed question whether the freedmen and other blacks were citizens; but it does not embrace Indians who still retain their tribal relations, and who are therefore only in a much qualified sense subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Sec. 2, art. 4 of the constitution, construed in Ward v. Maryland, 12 Wallace, 418, provides that " he citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states;" and the 14th amendment prohibits the states from abridging the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. This amendment was construed in the New Orleans slaughter house case, decided by the supreme court of the United States in April, 1873, in which it was shown that the privileges and immunities which belong to one as a citizen of a state, and those which pertain to a citizen of the United States, are not the same, and that the latter only are protected by the 14th amendment. - See Story's "Commentary on the Constitution," 4th ed., chap. 47, and appendix to vol. ii.