Thirteenth Amendment Law and Legal Definition

The Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was responsible for abolishing slavery in the United States. It was passed as a result of the Civil War. After first failing to muster a two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives, the amendment was forwarded to the States on February 1, 1865, and ratified by the following December 18.

The Thirteenth Amendment provides:

  • "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. "