The purpose of the 13th Amendment was to outlaw slavery and indentured servitude in all of their forms in the United 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.
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As stated below, it eliminated slavery and indentured servitude.
Slavery certainly was the guiding issue at the time and it gets all the press when it comes to the Civil War and civil rights movements. If you ask anyone what slavery is and why its illegal most people can tell you.
Indented Servitude is a nearly forgotten issue despite the fact that it goes on in many ways in the USA today despite the 13th Amendment.
Indentured Servants voluntarily agreed to surrender their freedom. The system never worked well and its lingering effects made are why it was listed in the 13th Amendment.
Today human trafficking in many forms resembles Indentured Servitude closely and in many case is easy to call slavery as well.
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William Redmond. 25 years studying U.S. Constitutional law and its origins
While the Civil War was not fought over slavery, the winners in any war get to rewrite history to justify their actions, especially when they have been the aggressors. The North, near the end of the Civil War, realized that they were going to look exceedingly bad for causing more than 600,000 deaths in the name of raw greed, so they created the myth that the fight had been over slavery. In fact the war was over high tariff protectionism vs. free trade and slavery was only a small factor. To argue otherwise is to ignore the entire history leading up to the War.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a punitive measure against the South, since it only banned slavery in the seceded Southern States and not in the North, where it remained unaffected.
After the war and to reinforce the mythology they were creating, the 13th Amendment was used to remove all doubt that slavery was illegal. Before the War, the case had been made in a brilliant dissertation by Lysander Spooner that slavery had NEVER been legal, only overlooked and accommodated by the 3/5ths rule. Calhoun of South Carolina said he was glad he never had to argue against Spooner over the slavery issue before the Supreme Court, because he was sure he would have lost.
Resurrecting Spooner's arguments after the War would have obviated the need for an amendment. Instead, the 13th Amendment was forced through, almost certainly illegally, since it was ratified through the use of coercion and martial law control as was the 14th. Regardless, it was passed and is now accepted. No respectable law scholar or historian can deny that any Constitutional Amendment ratified during Reconstruction should be considered illegitimate, due to the use of force in coercing ratification. That we accept these amendments today does not completely remove the stain from them caused by the criminal acts that got them ratified.
This has nothing to do with the subject matter of the amendments, only with the manner of their passage.
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Autor: people • August 20, 2011 • Essay • 480 Words (2 Pages) • 617 Views
After the leaders of the new United States wrote the Constitution, they had to get the existing thirteen states to agree to what they had come up with. Some states did not agree to the Constitution until there were some specific rights added for individual people. So in 1791 there was ten new rights added to the Constitution and these were called the Bill of Rights. It wasn't until 1865 when the 13th Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights.
In the waning days of the war, which ran from 1861 to 1865, the Congress approved an amendment to abolish slavery in all of the United States. Slavery was an institution in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Southern states, with their agricultural economies, relied on the slavery system to ensure the cash crops (cotton, hemp, rice, indigo, and tobacco, primarily) were tended and cultivated. Slaves were not unknown in the North, but abolition in the North was completed by the 1830's. In 1808, the Congress prohibited the slave trade, not a year later than allowed in the Constitution. A series of compromises, laws, acts, and bills tried to keep the balance between the slave states and the non-slave states. South Carolina voted to secede from the United States as a result of Abraham Lincoln's election to the Presidency. Lincoln had, over time, voiced strong objections to slavery, and his incoming administration was viewed as a threat to the right of the states to keep their institutions, particularly that of slavery, the business of the states.
Abraham Lincoln played a major role in the abolishment of slavery. Abe issued and signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It freed about 4 million African-Americans held as slaves in the Southern states. It also changed the Civil War from a war for preservation (keeping the Union together) into a war of liberation (freeing the slaves).
Emancipation Proclamation. Emancipation means to free slaves from bondage. Proclamation means an announcement. Therefore, emancipation proclamation means an announcement to free the slaves from bondage. (n.d) On January 1, 1863 Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation was issued. This proclamation did not immediately free the slaves because much of North America was still under the control of the armed forces of the Confederate States.
The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in 1865; each generation since then has had to grapple with the legacy of slavery, which includes racism, economic inequality between blacks and whites, and sectional tension between North and South. Moreover, America's history as a slaveholding nation continues to challenge the ideals that most Americans have about themselves and their nation.
Goodheart, Adam.(2011) How Slavery Ended in America. New York Times. April 1, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com.
In 1829, the following note appears on p. 23, Vol. 1 of the New York Revised Statutes: "In the edition of the Laws of the U.S. before referred to, there is an amendment printed as article 13, prohibiting citizens from accepting titles of nobility or honor, or presents, offices, &c. from foreign nations. But, by a message of the president of the United States of the 4th of February, 1818, in answer to a resolution of the house of representatives, it appears that this amendment had been ratified only by 12 states, and therefore had not been adopted. See Vol. IV of the printed papers of the 1st session of the 15th congress, No. 76." In 1854, a similar note appeared in the Oregon Statutes. Both notes refer to the Laws of the United States, 1st vol. p. 73(or 74).
It's not yet clear whether the 13th Amendment was published in Laws of the United States, 1st Vol. prematurely, by accident, in anticipation of Virginia's ratification, or as part of a plot to discredit the Amendment by making is appear that only twelve States had ratified. Whether the Laws of the United States Vol. 1 (carrying the 13th Amendment) was re-called or made-up is unknown. In fact, it's not even clear that the specified volume was actually printed -- the Law Library of the Library of Congress has no record of its existence.
However, because the noted authors reported no further references to the 13th Amendment after the Presidential letter of February, 1818, they apparently assumed the ratification process had ended in failure at that time. If so, they neglected to seek information on the Amendment after 1818, or at the state level, and therefore missed the evidence of Virginia's ratification. This opinion -- assuming that the Presidential letter of February, 1818, was the last word on the Amendment -- has persisted to this day. In 1849, Virginia decided to revise the 1819 Civil Code of Virginia (which had contained the 13th Amendment for 30 years). It was at that time that one of the code's revisers (a lawyer named Patton) wrote to the Secretary of the Navy, William B. Preston, asking if this Amendment had been ratified or appeared by mistake. Preston wrote to J. M. Clayton, the Secretary of State, who replied that this Amendment was not ratified by a sufficient number of States. This conclusion was based upon the information that Secretary of State John Quincy Adams had provided the House of Representatives in 1818, before Virginia's ratification in 1819. (Even today, the Congressional Research Service tells anyone asking about this 13th Amendment this same story: that only twelve states, not the requisite thirteen, had ratified.)
However, despite Clayton's opinion, the Amendment continued to be published in various states and territories for at least another eleven years (the last known publication was in the Nebraska territory in 1860)
Once again the 13th Amendment was caught in the riptides of American politics. South Carolina seceded from the Union in December of 1860, signaling the onset of the Civil War. In March, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated.
Later in 1861, another proposed amendment, also numbered thirteen, was signed by President Lincoln. This was the only proposed amendment that was ever signed by a president. That resolve to amend read:
"ARTICLE THIRTEEN, No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State." (In other words, President Lincoln had signed a resolve that would have permitted slavery, and upheld states' rights.) Only one State, Illinois, ratified this proposed amendment before the Civil War broke out in 1861.
In the tumult of 1865, the original 13th Amendment was finally removed from the US Constitution. On January 31, another 13th Amendment (which prohibited slavery in Sect. 1, and ended states' rights in Sect. 2) was proposed. On April 9, the Civil War ended with General Lee's surrender. On April 14, President Lincoln (who, in 1861, had signed the proposed Amendment that would have allowed slavery and states rights) was assassinated. On December 6, the "new" 13th Amendment loudly prohibiting slavery (and quietly surrendering states rights to the federal government) was ratified, replacing and effectively erasing the original 13th Amendment that had prohibited "titles of nobility" and "honors".
The 13th Amendment refers to an amendment to the United States Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S. It is significant for abolishing and prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude in the country. Additionally, it was the first amendment to the Constitution since the country’s earliest years; the first 12 had been ratified within the first three decades of the country's existence.
In 1808, the U.S. outlawed the international slave trade, which resulted in an unfree labor system in the country that mostly comprised black Africans. Although this meant an end to importing slaves, slavery was still practiced within the U.S. As early as 1839, John Adams, who would go on to become president but was then a representative from Massachusetts, made a legislative proposal to ban domestic slavery, and theorized that a U.S. president could do so, if a civil war should break out, by activating his powers under the War Powers Clause of the Constitution. It was a theory that future president Abraham Lincoln would fulfill during the American Civil War with the Emancipation Proclamation executive order in 1863, which outlawed slavery in the rebelling Confederate states. This eventually led to a number of amendment drafts in Congress by 1864.
The 13th Amendment comprises two sections. The first one concerns the banning of slavery and involuntary servitude in the U.S. unless in cases of a punishment for a crime. The second section contains the enforcement language of the amendment, granting Congress the power to implement the law.
The Senate passed the 13th Amendment on 8 April 1864 with a 38-to-6 vote. The House of Representatives did so on 31 January 1865 with a vote of 119 to 56. By the end of the year, 30 states had ratified the amendment. Three more followed within the next five years. The last state to ratify the 13th Amendment was Mississippi, which it did on 16 March 1995, after initially rejecting it on 5 December 1865.
The 13th Amendment was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments, which were implemented to specifically reconstruct the former Confederacy and heal the country in the aftermath of the American Civil War. It could not, however, prevent the rise of the Black Codes, unofficial laws that sought to severely limit the basic human rights and civil liberties gained by blacks after the war. The 14th Amendment followed in 1868 to establish state-wide civil rights. The 15th Amendment. the last of the Reconstruction Amendments, extended voting rights to the freed slaves.Article Discussion
2) The bit about Mississippi was interesting to me, that the 13th amendment wasn't ratified there until, well, well into my lifetime. It doesn't seem like they ever considered it again after they rejected it, and of course it was law anyway since enough states had ratified it.
I looked into it and apparently, no one really thought of it in the years between; it's not like they considered it every year and decided against or anything. Evidently in 1994, a clerk working in the Texas statehouse happened to notice that Mississippi had never gone back and ratified the amendment. People were naturally a little embarrassed, but some lawmakers thought considering the issue was a waste of time. At any rate, I guess they decided it would somewhat less embarrassing to go ahead and ratify it than to let it remain un-ratified, so they went for it!
1) To me, the legacy of slavery in our constitution is one the most shameful aspects of American history. The sunsetting of the foreign slave trade was written into the Constitution, as was the three-fifths compromise for counting population and apportioning representation in Congress. And so was a requirement that free states should capture and return escaped slaves.
Thomas Jefferson apparently considered speaking out against slavery in the Declaration of Independence before he and his fellow Founding Fathers remembered that they owned slaves and that radical lifestyle change would be involved in freeing them.
Yes, they were visionaries, but I think it's still important to recognize the limits of their vision. Had their vision of freedom extended to all humankind, there would have been no need for the 13th amendment to the Constitution (or the 15th, 19th, etc.).Related wiseGEEK articles
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, 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. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Slavery had been tacitly protected in the original Constitution through clauses such as the Three-Fifths Compromise, by which three-fifths of the slave population was counted for representation in the United States House of Representatives. Though many slaves had been declared free by Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, 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 Union states, and by a sufficient number of border and "reconstructed" Southern states to cause it to be adopted before the end of the year. Though the amendment formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, factors such as Black Codes, white supremacist violence, and selective enforcement of statutes continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor, particularly in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was rarely cited in later case law, but has been used to strike down peonage and some race-based discrimination as "badges and incidents of slavery". While the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments apply only to state actors, the Thirteenth applies also to private citizens. The amendment also enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared.
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