History Of The 13th Amendment
The first twelve amendments were implemented within 15 years of the establishment of the US Constitution. The first 10 amendments were approved in 1791 as a part of the Bill of Rights, while the eleventh and the twelfth amendments were put into practice in the years 1795 and 1804 respectively. When the 13th Amendment was put forward, not a single new amendment had been put into effect in over sixty years.
A proposal to abolish domestic slavery was put forward in 1839 by representative John Quincy Adams, but was not approved by the US Government. Several years later, on December 14, 1863, a bill was introduced by Republican James Mitchell Ashley of Ohio, proposing the implementation of an amendment to abolish the domestic slavery across the entire US. A similar recommendation was made nearly at the same time by Republican James F. Wilson of Iowa.
This was soon followed by several other similar legislative proposals. Ultimately, on January 11, 1864, a joint resolution for the 13th US Constitutional amendment eradicating slavery was put forward by Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri. All the different proposals, especially the ones put forward by Ashley, Henderson, and Wilson, were merged together by the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Republican Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, to form the final amendment draft.
While the 13th Amendment was approved by the Senate on April 8, 1864, it was rejected by the House of the Representatives. However, the efforts of James Mitchell Ashley and President Lincoln came to fulfillment when bill amendment draft was finally passed by the House on January 21, 1865. The archival copy of the 13th Constitutional Amendment has been signed by the President and the Speaker of the House, below a remark, “Approved Feb.1, 1865”. The successful implementation of the 13th Amendment led to selective enforcement of strict laws against slavery or vagrancy, which ultimate resulted in the eradication of slavery.
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