1865 December 6

Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing Slavery is Ratified


The Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was ratified on this day. The amendment was one of the three Reconstruction Amendments ratified following the Civil War. The other two are the Fourteenth Amendment (ratified July 9, 1868), making it unconstitutional for any state to deny a person due process of law or equal protection of the law, and the Fifteenth Amendment (ratified February 3, 1870), which prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

The Thirteenth Amendment: “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.”

Learn more: Alexander Tsesis, The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment (2010)

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