The 13th Amendment

ABOLISHING SLAVERY

What is it?

The thirteenth amendment was the law that outlawed slavery within the United States, which meant that people were not allowed to make others work for them against their own will. This even means that working against your will to pay off a debt that you owe somebody is against the law. However, if you commit a crime in the United States you are able to be worked as punishment for the crime you committed, but not until you are proven guilty. Before the thirteenth amendment was made a part of the Constitution there were many laws that protected people's right to participate in slavery and forcefully making others work for them.

Causes

  • Passed during the Civil War times
  • Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation (declaring slave freedom in the states that were still fighting)
  • He used political influence to gain support
  • Almost an entirely Republican move, few democrats voted to ratify this amendment
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Characteristics

  • Inequality: it was inevitable that the black man was treated differently than the white man, in ways that were not fair or even humane. There was a problem with superiority and the world was in need of someone to step up and make a change.
  • Notice of problem: While I'm sure many people noticed and knew what they were doing/what was happening was inhumane, Abraham Lincoln was the main person who confronted the problem head on and started to think of change.
  • Push for Solution: There were things like the 3/5 Compromise in place to make the slaves think they had some say in what was going to happen, but the biggest solution was the creation of the Emancipation Proclamation and the ratification of the 13th Amendment and the freedom it ensured to all the captive slaves.

Significance

  1. Pushing towards equality: Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and pushing to end slavery shows that there was a goal for him, and many others to end slavery and see the black man as human and not property, and wanted others to see them as that too.
  2. Overall Success: While the amendment was passed, there were still problems of white supremacy and violence towards the African Americans, there were barriers that still needed to be broken and changes that still needed to be made, but the amendment was a success and continues to be in act to this day.

Solution

We agree with the 13th Amendment and what it stands for. All men were born and created equal, and should be treated that way too. People should be seen as individuals not as a labor force or as property. The ratification of this specific amendment potentially changed the course of history and broke down the barriers that needed to be broken down in order for our country to achieve it's greatest potential. While things can still be bias and the white man can still find himself believing he is above the black man, our country has come very far to get where we are today.