The Thirteenth Amendment

The Thirteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1865. It was the first to be added to the Constitution in more than sixty years. Other amendments had been presented to states during this time. But not enough states had agreed to them.

The Thirteenth Amendment made slavery illegal in all of the country. At first, the Civil War was fought to save the Union. Later, ending slavery was also the goal. This new amendment would make it a law.

The Senate argued over it. They passed it in April of 1864. The vote was 38 to 6. The House did not pass it at first. President Lincoln worked hard to get people to vote for it. He made it an issue during elections. Finally, in January 1865, the House passed it. The vote there was 119 to 56.

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