The 13th amendment was one of the most influential amendments to have ever been passed in our country. The passing of this amendment meant an ending to slavery and with that, an ending to an entire way of life. The Southern States that seceded from the union were forced to free their slaves and pass the amendment as part of their being allowed back into the union. The south was then forced to find a new means of supporting themselves and working their cash crops. With this amendment passed, the African Americans were finally free.
Although racism and segregation still played a major role in their lives, they were no longer forced to work as slaves. I hope that by reading this essay you will learn how much the 13th amendment has shaped our lives and this country today. The 13th amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States, passed the Senate on April 8, 1864, and the House on January 31, 1865. On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution of Congress submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures.
The necessary number of states ratified it by December 6, 1865. The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution provides 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. The 13th amendment was passed at the end of the Civil War before the Southern states had been restored to the Union and should have easily passed the Congress.
Although the Senate passed it in April 1864, the House did not. At that point, Lincoln took an active role to ensure passage through congress. He insisted that passage of the 13th amendment be added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential elections. His efforts met with success when the House passed the bill in January 1865 with a vote of 119–56. With the adoption of the 13th amendment, the United States found a final constitutional solution to the issue of slavery.
The 13th amendment, along with the 14th and 15th, is one of the trio of Civil War amendments that greatly expanded the civil rights of Americans. Before researching this, I did not even know that the abolishment of slavery was even in the constitution. I learned that slaves were still not even free after the abolishment of slavery. They faced many hardships along the way, but ultimately this is why we are free Americans today. Most of my sources came from this historical document itself.