Juneteenth: 7 milestones in the struggle to abolish slavery

Thirteenth Amendment ratified – 1865

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Passed by Congress on Jan. 31, 1865, and then ratified on Dec. 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment officially abolished slavery in the United States.

“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,” stated the amendment.

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President Abraham Lincoln took an active role in getting the amendment passed, successfully lobbying to get it added to the platform of the Republican Party in 1864.

“With the adoption of the 13th Amendment, the United States found a final constitutional solution to the issue of slavery. The 13th Amendment, along with the 14th and 15th, is one of the trio of Civil War amendments that greatly expanded the civil rights of Americans,” explained the National Archives.  

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