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Home > History > Amendment 13 - United States Constitution Interactive

Amendment 13 - United States Constitution Interactive

This page provides the text and interpreted text of the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution. It is part of our interactive Constitution.

U.S. Postage Stamp honoring the 100th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment

13th Amendment

What does it Say?

Section 1: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been dually convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2: Congress shall have the authority to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

What does it Mean?

After Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed all slaves in Confederate territory, the 13th Amendment guaranteed that slavery would forever be abolished in the United States and its territories.

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