The Passing Of The 13th Amendment

Photo: wcpo

The Unites States House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on this date in in 1865. The sole purpose of the amendment was to abolish slavery in America. It read, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The leader of this movement was President Abraham Lincoln who had professed his goal of restoring the Union. In 1862 he issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves that lived in areas that still rebelled against the Union.

Slowly but surely, slaves were set free during the Civil War at all the locations where the Union Army was victorious. This was made possible because rather than returning the escaped slaves to their owners, the Union helped them. So essentially slavery ended prior to the passing of the 13th Amendment, only just in certain areas. There was a previous attempt at passing an amendment to abolish slavery in 1864 that was approved by the U.S. Senate, however, when it got to House of Representatives it was shot down due to the Democrats rallying in the name of states’ rights. The 13th Amendment was finally ratified in December of 1865 which eradicated the horrible practice of slavery for good.

Photo: civilwar