Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution(1865)
The Thirteenth Amendment was designed to appeal to northern Republicans and Democrats alike in order to keep both groups behind the war effort; partly for that reason, the authors avoided addressing controversial issues of enforcement, citizenship, and voting rights for the former slaves, which later amendments would address. As the amendment had to be ratified by some southern states as well, its shapers had further incentive to keep its language and provisions as uncontroversial as possible. Too, the uncertain question of how it would be read and interpreted by the...
The Thirteenth Amendment (National Archives and Records Administration)View Full Size