National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1850-1865: We are a house divided, a nation torn by bloody civil war

December 6, 1865
States ratify 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in U.S.

U.S. Constitution

Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment.

Section 1.
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 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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