The 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, shortly after the Civil War. It was created primarily to ensure that the rights of former slaves (freed by the 13th Amendment in 1865) would be protected throughout the nation. The need for the amendment was great, because up to this time the provisions of the Bill of Rights were not enforceable against state governments. This was due to the case of Barron v. Baltimore (1835). In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the provisions of the Bill of Rights were enforceable against only the federal government (and not against state governments) due to the federal structure of the nation. Therefore, without a constitutional amendment justifying federal intervention in the affairs of the states, states hostile to the interests of the newly freed slaves might still legally discriminate against or persecute them.
While some of the amendment's supporters felt that the amendment would incorporate all of the provisions of the federal Bill of Rights to the states, this was not to be. In the Slaughterhouse Cases (1875), the view of these supporters was rejected, and the U.S. Supreme Court held that the "privilege and immunities" clause did not automatically incorporate (apply) all of the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the state. Over time though, the Court began to use the "due process" clause of the 14th Amendment to achieve the same end. The following is a list of all the provisions of the Bill of Rights that have thus far been incorporated by the U.S. Supreme Court to the states through the "due process" clause.
Year and Amendment Constitutional Provision Incorporated Supreme Court Case
1897 Fifth Just compensation clause Chicago, Burlington, Quincy Railroad Co. v. Chicago
1925 First Freedom of speech Gitlow v. New York
1931 First Freedom of the press Near v. Minnesota
1932 Sixth Right to counsel (in capital cases) Powell v. Alabama
1937 First Freedom of assembly/petition DeJonge v. Oregon
1940 First Free exercise clause Cantwell v. Connecticut
1947 First Establishment clause Everson v. Board of Education
1948 Sixth Right to a public trial In re Oliver
1949 Fourth Protection against unreasonable search and seizures Wolf v. Colorado
1962 Eighth Prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments Robinson v. California
1963 Sixth Right to counsel (non-capital felonies) Gideon v. Wainwright
1964 Fifth Right against self-incrimination Malloy v. Hogan
1965 Sixth Right to confront adverse witnesses Pointer v. Texas
1966 Sixth Right to an impartial jury Parker v. Gladden
1967 Sixth Right to a speedy trial Klopfer v. North Carolina
1967 Sixth Right to obtain favorable witnesses Washington v. Texas
1968 Sixth Right to a trial by jury in non-petty criminal cases Duncan v. Louisiana
1969 Fifth Prohibition of double jeopardy Benton v. Maryland
1972 Sixth Right to counsel in imprisonable non-felony cases Argersinger v. Hamlin
It is important to note, though, that not all provisions of the Bill of Rights have been incorporated to the states. In fact, in some cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has expressly refused to do so. For example, in Hurtado v. California (1884) the Court refused to incorporate the Fifth Amendment's grand jury requirement to the states.