Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

 

 

The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavedry, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865.

Slavery had been tacitly protected in the original Constitution through clauses such as the Three-Fifths Compromise, in which three-fifths of the slave population was counted for representation in the House of Representatives. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, more than sixty years had passed since the last ammendmenthad been successfully ratified. Though many slaves had been declared free by Lincoln's 186, their post-war status was uncertain. On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865. The measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Unites States , and by a sufficient number of border and "reconstructed" Southern states to cause it to be adopted before the end of the year.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution declared that "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." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

 

 

Amendment XIII

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.

 

 

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