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13th Ammendment

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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.



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