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At the end of the American civil war, changes to the basic and most important laws that govern the United States were made. The Thirteenth (13th) Amendment was the first of the three Reconstruction Period amendments approved after the Civil War. The 13th Amendment aimed to end slavery in the United States and it was passed on December 6, 1865.
See the fact file below for more information on the 13th Amendment or alternatively, you can download our 20-page 13th Amendment worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES
- Slavery in the United States started in 1619.
- A Dutch ship brought 20 African slaves in the British colony to Jamestown, Virginia.
- As the 17th century passed, Europeans residing in the US started to use African slaves instead of poor Europeans because African labor was a more plentiful labor source.
- The slavery and slave trade were legal in all 13 American colonies.
- Many of the Founding Fathers were against slavery, but owned slaves themselves.
- Former American president Thomas Jefferson signed an act that prohibited the importation of slaves back in 1807.
- Even though Jefferson signed the act, slavery still continued particularly in the south until the Civil War in 1861.
- As the Civil War began, around 4 million people were held as slaves.
- Most of these slaves were African Americans.
- This was an order given by former American president Abraham Lincoln in order to free the slaves.
- It was given on January 1, 1863.
- This order was given because Lincoln thought that freeing the slaves in the South would deteriorate the economy of the 11 Confederate States and would help them win the war.
- Even when this order was given, not all slaves were immediately freed.
- Only an estimate of 50,000 out of the 4 million slaves were immediately freed.
- The order only freed slaves under the Confederate States not included in the Union control.
- The order made it possible for Black men to fight for the Union Army.
- 200,000 black soldiers fought for the Union Army.
- The order did not end slavery in the United States.
- The Emancipation Proclamation was not yet fully a law with respect to the Constitution, but it gave way to the 13th Amendment.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE 13TH AMENDMENT
- Section One
- 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.
- Section Two
- Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
THE 13TH AMENDMENT
- On December 14, 1863, Representative James Mitchell Ashley of Ohio proposed a bill regarding the amendment.
- The 13th Amendment made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal in the United States except when applied as a punishment for crimes.
- When the Civil War was drawing to a close, people who controlled the Congress, the Republicans, introduced an amendment to make slavery illegal in the United States.
- In order for an amendment to be approved, it must be passed by the Senate, the House of Representatives, and three quarters of the states’ legislatures.
- The progress of the 13th amendment was halted when the House of Representatives felt that abolishing slavery would violate the rights and powers reserved to the states.
- With Lincoln’s huge presidency win, the Congress reconvened in December 1864 and made a big push to approve the 13th Amendment.
- The House approved the 13th Amendment proposal on January 31, 1865 with 119-56 votes.
- On February 1, 1865, Lincoln ordered to send the amendment for ratification.
- Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 and did not see the final ratification on December 6, 1865.
- The 13th amendment document was five pages long and is currently located in Washington DC in the National Archives.
EFFECTS OF THE 13TH AMENDMENT
- The eradication of slavery was quickly felt by many.
- The 13th Amendment made the Fugitive Slave Clause and Three-Fifths Compromise ineffective.
- In Kentucky, for example, slaves were freed, but only 65,000 – 100,000 people remained legally liberated.
- In Delaware, 900 people were legally freed and a lot of slaves escaped during the war.
- Even if the amendment effectively terminated slavery, there were still discriminatory measures being observed.
- The Post Reconstruction Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws continued to take effect.
- These so called Black codes effectively kept black people dependent on their former owners.
- State-sanctioned labor practices like convict leasing were also observed.
- These laws and compliances still forced huge amounts of Black Americans into involuntary labor for years.
- After the amendment’s passage, the US Congress passed the first civil rights bill, the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
- The bill abolished the black codes which are laws that replaced the former Confederate states that directed the culture and behavior of blacks
13th Amendment Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about 13th Amendment across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use 13th Amendment worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Thirteenth (13th) Amendment which was the first of the three Reconstruction Period amendments approved after the Civil War. The 13th Amendment aimed to end slavery in the United States and it was passed on December 6, 1865.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- US Civil War: 13th Amendment Facts
- Situation: Slavery
- Passage In Progress
- Influential People
- Confederate States
- Applying The Law
- Fact or Fake
- Artwork Analysis
- Effects of the Amendment
- Before and After
- Amending Current Laws
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Link will appear as 13th Amendment Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 1, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.