Thirteenth Amendment

From ArticleWorld

The Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution abolished slavery as a legal institution. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864 and then by the House of Representatives on January 31, 1865. It was ratified on by all thirty-six states on December 6, 1865. It states:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Before the Civil War began, Congress passed a Thirteenth Amendment that was meant to ‘’guarantee’’ legalized slavery. This amendment was proposed unsuccessfully to try and prevent the Civil War. The amendment did pass, but before it could be ratified, the war had already started. During the war, when the Thirteenth Amendment was revised to abolish slavery, it had a difficult time passing in the House of Representatives and did not pass the two-thirds requirement. It was completely a Republican effort and only four Democrats had voted in favor. President Abraham Lincoln took action; he insisted the amendment be part of the Republican platform in the new elections and tried to win Democratic support. The amendment finally passed in both the House and the Senate and was ratified in 1865.

Goal of Amendment XIII

The Thirteenth Amendment was made to abolish slavery in each of the thirty-six states and establish universal freedom. It finished the job that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 started. The Emancipation Proclamation had only freed slaves in Confederate states. Although it does prohibit slavery, the Thirteenth Amendment allows mandatory military service in America.