An End to Slavery: 13th Amendment

An End to Slavery: 13th Amendment

( – Slavery was certainly one of the darkest eras in American history. Thankfully, the US got past the barbaric practice, though be it after a civil war. The end of slavery became official when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified by the states.

The Amendment

The 13th changed part of Article IV, Section 2 when it was passed on January 31st, 1865, and ratified nearly a year later on December 6th, 1865. In short, the amendment put an end to involuntary work and servitude unless the subject had been convicted of a crime. The amendment covers all the US states and any territories where it has jurisdiction. The second section of the 13th simply states that Congress shall have the power to enforce the amendment through the correct legislation.

Passing the 13th Amendment

The 13th wasn’t passed until after the Civil War. However, the Southern states were still separated from the Union at the time, making the amendment’s passage that much easier. The Senate passed the amendment in April of 1864, but the House didn’t pass the bill until January of the next year.

It was during this time when Abraham Lincoln stepped in and played an active role in the matter, insisting it be added to the Republican Party’s platform to aid in his re-election. In the end, Lincoln’s efforts met with success, not only gaining him re-election, but also passage of the 13th Amendment through a House vote of 119-56.

Free Nation

The 13th Amendment was only a part of the trio of amendments passed after the Civil War. The 14th and 15th expanded the civil rights of all Americans. That dark part of our history eventually became the reason many of us were granted rights or had our rights expanded.

We can look back at the atrocity that occurred and stand now as a free nation, united as one. While there is still much controversy surrounding the subject, it’s safe to say the United States has taken a step in the right direction and will hopefully continue to do so throughout the course of history.

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