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Encyclopedia > Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Amendment XIII (the Thirteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution 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.

The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Thirty-eighth Congress, on January 31, 1865, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the December 18, 1865, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the thirty-six States. The dates of ratification were: Illinois, February 1, 1865; Rhode Island, February 2, 1865; Michigan, February 2, 1865; Maryland, February 3, 1865; New York, February 3, 1865; Pennsylvania, February 3, 1865; West Virginia, February 3, 1865; Missouri, February 6, 1865; Maine, February 7, 1865; Kansas, February 7, 1865; Massachusetts, February 7, 1865; Virginia, February 9, 1865; Ohio, February 10, 1865; Indiana, February 13, 1865; Nevada, February 16, 1865; Louisiana, February 17, 1865; Minnesota, February 23, 1865; Wisconsin, February 24, 1865; Vermont, March 9, 1865; Tennessee, April 7, 1865; Arkansas, April 14, 1865; Connecticut, May 4, 1865; New Hampshire, July 1, 1865; South Carolina, November 13, 1865; Alabama, December 2, 1865; North Carolina, December 4, 1865; Georgia, December 6, 1865.


Ratification was completed on December 6, 1865.


The amendment was subsequently ratified by Oregon, December 8, 1865; California, December 19, 1865; Florida, December 28, 1865 (Florida again ratified on June 9, 1868, upon its adoption of a new constitution); Iowa, January 15, 1866; New Jersey, January 23, 1866 (after having rejected the amendment on March 16, 1865); Texas, February 18, 1870; Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected the amendment on February 8, 1865); Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on February 24, 1865).


The amendment was rejected by Mississippi on December 4, 1865. It was not ratified there until 1995.


Interpretation and history

This amendment was responsible for the abolition of slavery. It is a direct result of the American Civil War.


See also

External link

  • National Archives: 13th Amendment (http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html#13)
  • Ghost Amendment: The Thirteenth Amendment that Never Was (http://www.geocities.com/ghostamendment)


United States Constitution
Main body
Preamble | Article I | Article II | Article III | Article IV | Article V | Article VI | Article VII
Amendments
Bill of Rights: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X
Other amendments: XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV | XVI | XVII | XVIII | XIX | XX | XXI | XXII | XXIII | XXIV | XXV | XXVI | XXVII

History of the Constitution
Federalist Papers | Proposed amendments | Signatures | Unsuccessful amendments
Interpretation of the Constitution
Congressional power of enforcement | Dormant Commerce Clause | Separation of powers | Preemption | Incorporation of the Bill of Rights
Specific clauses in the Constitution
Commerce Clause | Due Process Clause | Equal Protection Clause | Full Faith and Credit Clause | Supremacy Clause

 
 

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