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Slavery helped bring about the deadliest military conflict in US history – the American Civil War.
Transatlantic trade routes brought over 12 million enslaved Africans to the Western Hemisphere between 1525 and 1866. However, approximately 388,000 slaves were brought to North America, of whom only 10.7 million survived the journey to the New World. The abolition movement was a key part of the fight to abolish slavery in the United States.
When was slavery abolished in the United States?
Slavery in the United States was officially abolished on December 6, 1865, with the ratification of the 13th Amendment after it was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865. The amendment states that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except in so long as punishment for a crime of which the party has been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States or any place subject to its jurisdiction.”
Previously, the most significant effort to end slavery was made by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation which stated that “all persons held as slaves in any state or part designated of a State, whose people will then be in rebellion against the United States, will then, henceforth and forever be free. This, however, did not end slavery as it only freed slaves in areas that were actively rebelling against the Union and not in border states such as Kentucky or West Virginia. . Consequently, Lincoln sought to make the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery the top priority of the Republican Party’s platform in the 1864 presidential election.
HOW LINCOLN, DOUGLASS EMERGED TO REUNITE AMERICA IN “THE PRESIDENT AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTER”
Initially, the 14th Amendment passed in the Senate but failed to pass in the House of Representatives in April 1864. However, after the 1864 election, the House voted in favor of the amendment with a vote of 119- 56. In February 1865, Lincoln approved the resolution and submitted it for ratification by the state legislatures. Subsequently, the 14th and 15th Amendments quickly joined the 13th in order to protect the civil rights of Americans in the aftermath of the Civil War.
JUNETEENTH: WHAT IS IT AND WHY CELEBRATE IT?
When did each state abolish slavery?
The 13th Amendment was ratified by the necessary three-fourths of the states in December 1865. Mississippi became the last state of the four that voted not to ratify it. In 2013, Mississippi formally ratified the amendment after failing to make it official by notifying the Archivist of America when the state legislature originally ratified it in 1995.
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