13th Amendment; A Seed Planted but Long to Grow

13th Amendment; A Seed Planted but Long to Grow


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The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “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.” Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as “the Civil War Amendments” because they all deal with the civil rights of people who were once slaves.  They have become the central amendments of the modern civil rights movement in America.

“FREE  CITIZENS VOTE!”  This is one way to remember what each of these Amendments protect.  13th Amendment =Free means for all the freed slaves. 14th Amendment =Citizens meaning all the colored were considered citizens and then the 15th Amendment = vote meaning anyone of color could vote then. Although the 13th Amendment did get passed, I don’t really think the law really got enforced till after MLK JR showed up and finally gave African Americans the rights to vote. It took about one hundred years for it to really take effect and really make African Americans truly free. I find it really hard to believe that it took this long for society to finally accept the colored, but even to this day there’s still people who wont accept being “equal” with people who’s ancestors were once slaves.

William Garrison thought that just by having the 13th amendment there would be enough to provide change and that the groups to prevent slavery could be disbanded and were no longer needed. As for the black abolitionist Fredrick Douglass,  he did not believe that it all ends with the 13th amendment. He believed that slavery was really over when the colored are treated equally and have the rights to vote.  This would be the proof of equality and it would not come until 2 generations after the passage of this Amendment. It took so long for the colored to vote because southern society truly wasn’t bound by the 13th amendment and people of color were still being treated like slaves or at least looked down upon by the local and state governments of the south.