13th Amendment: The Abolition of Slavery (1865)

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. Though slaves had been declared free by President Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their status after the American Civil War was uncertain. Amendment XIII was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. amendment
    a statement that is added to a proposal or document
    The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
    Amendment XIII contains just 43 words: 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. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  2. involuntary
    not subject to the control of the will
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...
  3. servitude
    state of subjection to an owner or master
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...
  4. punishment
    the act of imposing a penalty
    ...except as a punishment for crime...
  5. duly
    at the proper time
    ...whereof the party shall have been duly convicted...
  6. convict
    find or declare guilty
    ...except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted...
  7. exist
    have a presence
    ...shall exist within the United States...
  8. subject
    being under the power or sovereignty of another or others
    ...or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
  9. jurisdiction
    the territory within which power can be exercised
    ...or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
  10. Congress
    the legislature of the United States government
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  11. enforce
    ensure observance of laws and rules
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  12. article
    a separate section of a legal document
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  13. legislation
    law enacted by an assembly
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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