13th Amendment to the Constitution
13th Amendment Purpose Summary Results 13th Amendment Copy History, 13th Amendment Purpose Abolished
Prohibits Slavery, Facts 13th Amendment US, 13th Amendment Prohibited Slavery United States
13th Amendment, U.S. Constitution, History
The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery
nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th
Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. (See Proposal and Ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)
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
Sources: Library of Congress (Primary Documents in American History); U.S. Constitution Online; National Archives:
United States Constitution
Recommended Reading: Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment (Hardcover). Description: Lincoln’s reelection in 1864 was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. The Emancipation Proclamation had officially
gone into effect on January 1, 1863, and the proposed Thirteenth Amendment had become a campaign issue. Lincoln and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth Amendment captures these historic
times, profiling the individuals, events, and enactments that led to slavery’s abolition. Fifteen leading Lincoln scholars contribute to this collection, covering slavery from its roots in 1619 Jamestown, through the adoption of the Constitution, to Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.
volume, edited by Harold Holzer and Sara Vaughn Gabbard, presents Abraham Lincoln’s response to the issue of slavery
as politician, president, writer, orator, and commander-in-chief. Topics include the history of slavery in North America,
the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, the evolution of Lincoln’s view of presidential powers, the influence of religion on Lincoln, and the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. This collection effectively explores
slavery as a Constitutional issue, both from the viewpoint of the original intent of the nation’s founders as they failed
to deal with slavery, and as a study of the Constitutional authority of the commander-in-chief as Lincoln interpreted it. Addressed are the timing of Lincoln’s
decision for emancipation and its effect on the public, the military, and the slaves themselves. Other topics covered include
the role of the U.S. Colored Troops, the election campaign of 1864, and the legislative debate over the Thirteenth Amendment.
The volume concludes with a heavily illustrated essay on the role that iconography played in forming and informing public
opinion about emancipation and the amendments that officially granted freedom and civil rights to African Americans. Lincoln and Freedom provides a comprehensive political history of slavery in America
and offers a rare look at how Lincoln’s views, statements,
and actions played a vital role in the story of emancipation.
Recommended Reading: Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment (Cambridge Historical
Studies in American Law and Society) (Hardcover). Library Journal: This innovative, well-written work focuses on the emancipation of American slaves
subsequent to the Emancipation Proclamation and leading up to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which constitutionalized
the issue of slavery. Although Vorenberg (Brown Univ.) acknowledges the depth and breadth of scholarship addressing the progress of
African Americans after the Civil War, he asserts that comparatively scant attention has been paid to the process by which
emancipation was legalized. Personalities, famous and not so well known, on both sides of the emancipation issue are heard.
The author's impressive research, which includes an extensive
exploration of little-mined archival documents as well as quotations from the press and Congressional Record, gives a rich
political, legal, and societal context to the crafting, progress, and implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment. "...Outstanding addition for the individual interested in American history, slavery and abolition,
and the U.S. Constitution and 13th Amendment."
Recommended Reading: The Constitution
of the United States of America, with
the Bill of Rights and all of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation, by Thomas Jefferson (Author), Second Continental Congress (Author),
Constitutional Convention (Author). Description: Collected in one affordable volume are the most important
documents of the United States of America: The Constitution of the United States of America, with the Bill of Rights and all
of the Amendments; The Declaration of Independence; and the Articles of Confederation. These three documents are the basis
for our entire way of life. Every citizen should have a copy.
Recommended Reading: Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates that Defined America (Simon & Schuster) (February 5, 2008) (Hardcover).
Description: In 1858, Abraham Lincoln was known as
a successful Illinois lawyer who had achieved some prominence
in state politics as a leader in the new Republican Party. Two years later, he was elected president and was on his way to
becoming the greatest chief executive in American history. What carried this one-term congressman from obscurity to fame was
the campaign he mounted for the United States Senate against the country's most formidable politician, Stephen A. Douglas,
in the summer and fall of 1858. Lincoln challenged Douglas directly in one of his greatest
speeches -- "A house divided against itself cannot stand" -- and confronted Douglas on the questions of slavery and the inviolability
of the Union in seven fierce debates. Continued below...
As this brilliant
narrative by the prize-winning Lincoln scholar Allen Guelzo dramatizes, Lincoln
would emerge a predominant national figure, the leader of his party, the man who would bear the burden of the national confrontation.
Of course, the great issue between Lincoln and Douglas
was slavery. Douglas was the champion of "popular sovereignty," of letting states and territories
decide for themselves whether to legalize slavery. Lincoln
drew a moral line, arguing that slavery was a violation both of natural law and of the principles expressed in the Declaration
of Independence. No majority could ever make slavery right, he argued. Lincoln lost that Senate
race to Douglas, though he came close to toppling the "Little Giant," whom almost everyone
thought was unbeatable. Guelzo's Lincoln and Douglas brings alive their debates and this whole year of campaigns and underscores
their centrality in the greatest conflict in American history. The encounters between Lincoln and Douglas engage a key question
in American political life: What is democracy's purpose? Is it to satisfy the desires of the majority? Or is it to achieve
a just and moral public order? These were the real questions in 1858 that led to the Civil War. They remain questions for
Recommended Reading: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (Simon & Schuster). Description: One of the nation's foremost Lincoln
scholars offers an authoritative consideration of the document that represents the most far-reaching accomplishment of our
greatest president. No single official paper in American history changed the lives of as many Americans as Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. But no American document has been held up to greater
suspicion. Its bland and lawyerlike language is unfavorably compared to the soaring eloquence of the Gettysburg Address and
the Second Inaugural; its effectiveness in freeing the slaves has been dismissed as a legal illusion. And for some African-Americans
the Proclamation raises doubts about Lincoln himself. Continued below…
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation dispels the myths and mistakes surrounding the Emancipation
Proclamation and skillfully reconstructs how America's
greatest president wrote the greatest American proclamation of freedom. About the Author: Allen C. Guelzo is the Grace Ferguson
Kea Professor of American History at Eastern University
(St. David's, Pennsylvania), where he also directs the Templeton Honors College. He is the author of five books, most recently the highly acclaimed Abraham
Lincoln: Redeemer President, which won the Lincoln Prize for 2000.
Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President
(Library of Religious Biography). Description: Since
its original publication in 1999, "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" has garnered numerous accolades, including the prestigious
2000 Lincoln Prize. Allen Guelzo's peerless biography of America's
most celebrated president is now available for the first time in a fine paperback edition. Continued below...
The first "intellectual biography" of Lincoln, this work explores the role of ideas in Lincoln's
life, treating him as a serious thinker deeply involved in the nineteenth-century debates over politics, religion, and culture.
Written with passion and dramatic impact, Guelzo's masterful study offers a revealing new perspective on a man whose life
was in many ways a paradox. As journalist Richard N. Ostling notes, "Much has been written about Lincoln's belief and disbelief," but Guelzo's extraordinary account "goes deeper."
Recommended Reading: The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom: A Legal History (Constitutional Amendments) (Hardcover). Description:
In this narrative history and contextual analysis of the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery and freedom take center stage. Alexander
Tsesis demonstrates how entrenched slavery was in pre-Civil War America,
how central it was to the political events that resulted in the Civil War, and how it was the driving force that led to the
adoption of an amendment that ultimately provided a substantive assurance of freedom for all American citizens. The story
of how Supreme Court justices have interpreted the Thirteenth Amendment, first through racist lenses after Reconstruction
and later influenced by the modern civil rights movement, provides insight into the tremendous impact the Thirteenth Amendment
has had on the Constitution and American culture. Importantly, Tsesis also explains why the Thirteenth Amendment is essential
to contemporary America, offering fresh
analysis on the role the Amendment has played regarding civil rights legislation and personal liberty case decisions, and
an original explanation of the substantive guarantees of freedom for today's society that the Reconstruction Congress envisioned
over a century ago. See reviews below…
"[A] comprehensive and brilliant book from both a historical and
analytical perspective. Drawing from the lessons of history, Alexander Tsesis shows persuasively the relevance of the Thirteenth
Amendment to a wide range of the social and economic issues currently facing America, and he offers highly creative
arguments that support the use of congressional power under the Thirteenth Amendment as a potent and effective means of meeting
and resolving these issues."
—G. Sidney Buchanan, Baker & Botts Chaired Professor of
Law, University of Houston Law
"Tsesis vigorously presents a set of arguments that are rarely found
in the conventional legal literature. . . . an interesting and challenging book."
—Sanford Levinson, University
of Texas Law School
"For those looking for arguments to revitalize and expand the use
of the Thirteenth Amendment, this is an interesting piece of advocacy."
—Journal of American History
"...audacious and original. He (Tsesis) offers a blueprint as to
how desperately needed reforms...can come about."
—Richard Delgado in Michigan
"Alexander Tsesis's invigorating reevaluation of the Thirteenth Amendment
agrees with many Lincoln Republicans that it embraced the Declaration of Independence."
—Harold Hyman, Rice
"This book deserves applause because it illuminates in a new and
stimulating way methods for repairing the harm done by racist rhetoric, hate crimes, and the newest forms of slavery."
—The American Historical Review
"...a challenging and nicely written book that will teach well."
"In this interesting study, Alexander Tsesis argues for an expansive
view of the Thirteenth Amendment, presenting it as an effort to permanently abolish all the incidents and badges of slavery
in America, including both governmentally
and privately sponsored forms of oppression against former slaves and others."
—The Law and Politics Review