13th Amendment – Abolition Of Slavery

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution has had a huge impact on the United States.

The 13th Amendment was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1865, on January 31st to be ratified that same year on December 6th.

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1. When was the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution ratified?

Question 1 of 2

2. The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution ________.

Question 2 of 2


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This lesson is a part of our GED Social Studies Guide

Video Transcription

This Amendment was abolishing slavery in the U.S. The 13th Amendment, which formally abolished all sorts of slavery in the U.S. States, passed the U.S. Senate in 1864, on April 8th, and it passed the House in 1865, on January 31st.

That same year, on February 1st, President Abraham Lincoln approved this Joint Resolution of Congress and submitted the proposed Amendment to Constitution, the state legislatures. And that year on December 6th, the required number of states did ratify it.

The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for the crime of which the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

In 1863, Lincoln had issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which declared (in similar words) that all individuals held as slaves in any state, or in designated parts of states that were rebellious against the U.S. will be, thenceforward and forever, free men.

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But this Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t ending slavery entirely across the nation.

President Lincoln realized that an amendment to the Constitution should follow this Emancipation Proclamation if it would be guaranteeing the full abolishment of American slavery.

This 13th Amendment passed before the Civil War had come to an end, so before the rebellious states were restored to the Northern Union, and it should have passed the U.S. Congress easily.

Though the U.S. Senate had passed the Amendment already in April 1864, it wasn’t passed by the House. At that very point, Lincoln actively ensured the Amendment’s passage in Congress.

The President insisted that passing this 13th Amendment be included in the platform of the Republican Party for the Presidential elections that were up. Lincoln’s efforts were successful, and the House was passing the important bill with a 119-56 vote in January of 1865.

Now the 13th Amendment was adopted; the U.S. had produced a good constitutional solution for the issue of American slavery.

This 13th amendment forms, together with the 14th and 15th amendments, the trio of important Civil War amendments to greatly expanded American citizens’ civil rights.

Last Updated on February 15, 2024.