Question:

What adendment to the constition ended slavery?

Answer:

Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, & ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

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Preamble
Articles of the Constitution Bill of Rights Subsequent Amendments Unratified Amendments The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed it to have been adopted. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Slavery had been tacitly protected in the original Constitution through clauses such as the Three-Fifths Compromise, in which three-fifths of the slave population was counted for representation in the United States House of Representatives. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, more than sixty years had passed since the last amendment to the Constitution had been successfully ratified. Though many slaves had been declared free by Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their post-war status was uncertain. On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865. The measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Union states, and by a sufficient number of border and "reconstructed" Southern states to cause it to be adopted before the end of the year. Though the amendment formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, factors such as Black Codes, white supremacist violence, and selective enforcement of statutes continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor, particularly in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was rarely cited in later case law, but has been used to strike down debt peonage and some race-based discrimination as "badges and incidents of slavery". Unlike the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Thirteenth applies to private citizens as well as state actors. The amendment also enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery. Slavery existed in all of the original thirteen American colonies. The United States Constitution of 1787 did not use the word "slavery" but included several provisions about unfree persons. The Three-Fifths Compromise (in Article I, Section 2) allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons". Under the Fugitive Slave Clause (Article IV, Section 2), "[n]o person held to service or labour in one state" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9 allowed Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). Slavery was supported in law and in practice by a pervasive culture of white supremacy. Between 1777 and 1804, every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. No Southern state did so, and the slave population of the South continued to grow, peaking at almost 4 million people in 1861. An abolitionist movement headed by such figures as William Lloyd Garrison grew in strength in the North, calling for the end of slavery nationwide and exacerbating tensions between North and South. In 1836, the United States House of Representatives instituted a gag rule against abolitionist petitions and speeches, attempting to stifle John Quincy Adams and other abolitionist congressmen. The American Colonization Society, an alliance between abolitionists who felt the races should be kept separated and slaveholders who feared the presence of freed blacks would encourage slave rebellions, called for the emigration and colonization of both free blacks and slaves to Africa. Its views were endorsed by politicians such as Henry Clay, who feared that the main abolitionist movement would provoke a civil war. Proposals to eliminate slavery by constitutional amendment were introduced by Representative Arthur Livermore in 1818 and by John Quincy Adams in 1839, but failed to gain significant traction. As the country continued to expand, the issue of slavery in its new territories became the dominant national issue. The Southern position was that slaves were property and therefore could be moved to the territories like all other forms of property. The 1820 Missouri Compromise provided for the admission of Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the Senate's equality between the regions. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso was introduced to a war appropriations bill to ban slavery in all territories acquired in the Mexican–American War; the Proviso repeatedly passed the House, but not the Senate. The Compromise of 1850 temporarily defused the issue by admitting California as a free state, instituting a stronger Fugitive Slave Act, banning the slave trade in Washington, D.C., and allowing New Mexico and Utah self-determination on the slavery issue. Despite the compromise, tensions between North and South continued to rise over the subsequent decade, inflamed by, amongst other things, the publication of the 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin; fighting between pro-slave and abolitionist forces in Kansas, beginning in 1854; the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which struck down provisions of the Compromise of 1850; abolitionist John Brown's 1859 attempt to start a slave revolt at Harpers Ferry; and the 1860 election of slavery critic Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. The Southern states seceded from the Union in the months following Lincoln's election, forming the Confederate States of America, and beginning the American Civil War. Acting under presidential war powers, Lincoln issued an Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, declaring all slaves in rebel-controlled territory to be free; however, the proclamation did not affect the status of slaves in the border states that had remained loyal to the Union. Lincoln followed with the December 1863 "Proclamation for Amnesty and Reconstruction", which offered Southern states a chance to peacefully rejoin the Union if they abolished slavery and collected loyalty oaths from 10% of their voting population. Southern states did not readily accept the deal, and the status of slavery remained uncertain. In the final years of the Civil War, Union lawmakers debated various proposals for Reconstruction. Some of these called for a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery nationally and permanently. On December 14, 1863, a bill proposing such an amendment was introduced by Representative James Mitchell Ashley. Representative James F. Wilson soon followed with a similar proposal. On January 11, 1864, Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri submitted a joint resolution for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Lyman Trumbull, became involved in merging different proposals for an amendment. Radical Republicans led by Senator Charles Sumner and Representative Thaddeus Stevens sought a more expansive version of the amendment. On February 8, 1864, Sumner submitted a constitutional amendment stating: “All persons are equal before the law, so that no person can hold another as a slave; and the Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry this declaration into effect everywhere in the United States.” Sumner tried to circumvent the Judiciary Committee, controlled by Trumbull, in order to promote his more expansive wording, but failed. On February 10 the Senate Judiciary Committee presented the Senate with an amendment proposal based on drafts of Ashley, Wilson and Henderson. The Committee's version used text from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which stipulates (for territories in the region now called the Midwest): "There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." Though using Henderson's proposed amendment as the basis for its new draft, the Judiciary Committee removed language that would have allowed a constitutional amendment to be adopted with only a majority vote in each House of Congress and ratification by two-thirds of the states (instead of two-thirds and three-fourths, respectively). The Senate passed the amendment on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6. However, just over two months later on June 15, the House failed to do so, with 93 in favor and 65 against, thirteen votes short of the two-thirds vote needed for passage; the vote split largely along party lines, with Republicans supporting and Democrats opposing. In the 1864 presidential race, former Free Soil Party candidate John C. Frémont threatened a third party run opposing Lincoln, this time on a platform endorsing an anti-slavery amendment. The Republican Party platform had, as yet, failed to include a similar plank, though Lincoln endorsed the amendment in a letter accepting his nomination. Fremont withdrew from the race on September 22, 1864, and endorsed Lincoln. With no Southern states represented, few members of Congress pushed moral and religious arguments in favor of slavery. Democrats who opposed the amendment generally made arguments based on federalism and state's rights. Some argued that the proposed change so violated the spirit of the Constitution that it would not be a valid "amendment" but would instead constitute "revolution". Some opponents warned that the amendment would lead to full citizenship for blacks. Republicans argued that slavery was uncivilized and that abolition was a necessary step in national progress. Amendment supporters also argued that the slave system had negative effects on white people. These included the lower wages resulting from competition with forced labor, as well as repression of abolitionist whites in the South. Ending slavery, said advocates, would restore the First Amendment and other constitutional rights violated by censorship and intimidation in slave states. White Northern Republicans, and some Democrats, became excited about an abolition amendment, holding meetings and issuing resolutions. Many blacks, particularly in the South, focused more on landownership and education as the key to liberation. As slavery began to seem politically untenable, an array of Northern Democrats gradually announced their support for the amendment, including Representative James Brooks, Senator Reverdy Johnson, and Tammany Hall, a powerful New York political machine. Lincoln had been concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation might be reversed or found invalid after the war and saw constitutional amendment as a more permanent solution. He had remained outwardly neutral on the amendment because he considered it politically too dangerous. Nonetheless, Lincoln's 1864 party platform resolved to abolish slavery by constitutional amendment. After winning the election of 1864, Lincoln made the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment his top legislative priority, beginning his efforts while the "lame duck" session was still in office. Popular support for the amendment was mounting and Lincoln urged Congress on in his December 6 State of the Union speech: “there is only a question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the States for their action. And as it is to so go, at all events, may we not agree that the sooner the better?” Secretary of State William H. Seward, Representative John B. Alley and others were instructed by Lincoln to procure votes by any means necessary, and promised government posts and campaign contributions to outgoing Democrats willing to switch sides. Seward had a large fund for direct bribes. Ashley, who reintroduced the measure into the House, also lobbied several Democrats to vote in favor of the measure. Representative Thaddeus Stevens commented later that "the greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption, aided and abetted by the purest man in America"; however, Lincoln's precise role in making deals for votes remains unknown. Republicans in Congress claimed a mandate for abolition, having gained in the elections for Senate and House. Opposition to the measure was led by the 1864 Democratic vice presidential nominee, Representative George H. Pendleton. Republicans toned down their language of radical equality in order to broaden the amendment's coalition of supporters. In order to reassure critics worried that the amendment would tear apart the social fabric, some Republicans explicitly promised that the amendment would leave patriarchy intact. In mid-January, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax estimated the amendment to be five votes short of passage. Ashley postponed the vote. At this point, Lincoln intensified his push for the amendment, making direct emotional appeals to particular members of Congress. On January 31, 1865, the House called another vote on the amendment, with neither side being certain of the outcome. Every Republican supported the measure, as well as 16 Democrats, almost all of them lame ducks. The amendment finally passed by a vote of 119 to 56, narrowly reaching the required two-thirds majority. The House exploded into celebration, with some members openly weeping. Black onlookers, who had only been allowed to attend Congressional sessions since the previous year, cheered from the galleries. Lincoln signed the amendment on February 1, 1865. The Thirteenth Amendment is the only ratified amendment signed by a President, although James Buchanan had signed the failed pro-slavery Corwin Amendment in 1861. The Thirteenth Amendment's archival copy bears Lincoln's signature, under the usual ones of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, after the date. On February 7, Congress passed a resolution affirming that the Presidential signature was unnecessary. The amendment was sent to the state legislatures. Most Northern states quickly ratified it, the only exceptions being those won by Democratic candidate George B. McClellan in the 1864 election: Delaware, Kentucky, and New Jersey. The war had not officially ended, and the legal status of the defeated Southern states (and by extension, the legal requirements for Constitutional amendment) remained ambiguous. Nevertheless, ratifications from Reconstruction governments in the Southern states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, and Tennessee were submitted and accepted. Kentucky rejected the amendment quickly and bitterly, having considered slavery its reward for loyalty during the War. On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated. With Congress out of session, Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson began a period known as "Presidential Reconstruction", in which he personally oversaw the creation of new governments in seven Southern states. Johnson established political conventions populated by delegates he had approved, and strongly encouraged them to ratify the amendment. Johnson hoped to prevent deliberation over whether to re-admit the Southern states by accomplishing full ratification before Congress reconvened in December. Direct negotiations between state governments and the Johnson administration ensued. Johnson suggested directly to the governors of Mississippi and North Carolina that they could proactively control the allocation of rights to freedmen. South Carolina's provisional governor Benjamin Franklin Perry objected to the scope of the Amendment's enforcement clause; Secretary of State Seward responded by telegraph that in fact the second clause "is really restraining in its effect, instead of enlarging the powers of Congress". The white politicians of South Carolina, and of other Southern states, were concerned that Congress might cite the amendment's enforcement powers as authorization for black suffrage. When South Carolina ratified the Amendment, it issued its own interpretive declaration that "any attempt by Congress toward legislating upon the political status of former slaves, or their civil relations, would be contrary to the Constitution of the United States". Alabama and Louisiana also declared that their ratification did not imply federal power to legislate on the status of former slaves. With the 39th Congress about to convene, Seward pressed the remaining states for ratification. South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia ratified the amendment in November and December 1865, bringing the total to 27, three-quarters of the 36 states that had existed before the war. Seward accepted the conditional ratifications of South Carolina and Alabama. On December 18, 1865, Seward proclaimed the amendment to have been adopted as of December 6 (the date of Georgia's ratification), acknowledging thereby that all 36 states were considered valid members of the Union. Oregon and California ratified in mid-December, 1865. Florida ratified the Amendment on December 28, 1865; Iowa and New Jersey in January 1866; Texas in 1870; Delaware in 1901; and Kentucky in 1976. Mississippi, whose legislature voted in 1995 to ratify, belatedly notified the Office of the Federal Register in February 2013 of that legislative action, completing the legal process for the state. The Thirteenth Amendment legally prohibited chattel slavery, except as punishment, and mooted parts of the original constitution which deal with slavery. Although the majority of Kentucky's slaves had been emancipated, 65,000–100,000 people remained to be legally freed when the Amendment went into effect on December 18. In Delaware, whence a large number of slaves had escaped during the war, nine hundred people became legally free. Following the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment by Congress, Republicans grew concerned over the increase it would create in the congressional representation of the Democratic-dominated Southern states. Because the full population of freed slaves would be counted rather than three-fifths, the Southern states would dramatically increase their power in the population-based House of Representatives. Republicans hoped to offset this advantage by attracting and protecting votes of the newly enfranchised black population. Southern culture remained deeply racist, and those blacks who remained faced a dangerous situation. J. J. Gries reported to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction: “There is a kind of innate feeling, a lingering hope among many in the South that slavery will be regalvanized in some shape or other. They tried by their laws to make a worse slavery than there was before, for the freedman has not the protection which the master from interest gave him before.” W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1935: Slavery was not abolished even after the Thirteenth Amendment. There were four million freedmen and most of them on the same plantation, doing the same work that they did before emancipation, except as their work had been interrupted and changed by the upheaval of war. Moreover, they were getting about the same wages and apparently were going to be subject to slave codes modified only in name. There were among them thousands of fugitives in the camps of the soldiers or on the streets of the cities, homeless, sick, and impoverished. They had been freed practically with no land nor money, and, save in exceptional cases, without legal status, and without protection. Official emancipation did not substantially alter the economic situation of most blacks who remained in the south. As the amendment still permitted labor as punishment for convicted criminals, Southern states responded with what historian Douglas A. Blackmon called "an array of interlocking laws essentially intended to criminalize black life". These laws, passed or updated after emancipation, were known as Black Codes. Mississippi was the first state to pass such codes, with an 1865 law titled “An Act to confer Civil Rights on Freedmen”. The Mississippi law required black workers to contract with white farmers by January 1 of each year or face punishment for vagrancy. Blacks could be sentenced to forced labor for crimes including petty theft, using obscene language, or selling cotton after sunset. States passed new, strict vagrancy laws that were selectively enforced against blacks without white protectors. The labor of these convicts was then sold to farms, factories, lumber camps, quarries, and mines. After (qualified) ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in November 1865, the South Carolina legislature immediately began to legislate Black Codes. The Black Codes created a separate set of laws, punishments, and acceptable behaviors for anyone with more than one black great-grandparent. Under these Codes, Blacks could only work as farmers or servants and had few Constitutional rights. Restrictions on black land ownership threatened to make economic subservience permanent. Some states mandated indefinitely long periods of child "apprenticeship". Some laws did not target Blacks specifically, but instead affected farm workers, most of whom were Black. At the same time, many states passed laws to actively prevent Blacks from acquiring property. Southern business owners sought to reproduce the profitable arrangement of slavery with a system called peonage, in which (disproportionately black) workers were entrapped by loans and compelled to work indefinitely because of their debt. Peonage continued well through Reconstruction and ensnared a large proportion of black workers in the South. These workers remained destitute and persecuted, forced to work dangerous jobs and further confined legally by the racist Jim Crow laws that governed the South. Peonage differed from chattel slavery because it was not strictly hereditary and did not allow the sale of people in exactly the same fashion. However, a person's debt—and by extension a person—could still be sold, and the system resembled antebellum slavery in many ways. As its first enforcement legislation, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which guaranteed black Americans citizenship and equal protection of the law, though not the right to vote. The Amendment was also used as authorization for several Freedmen's Bureau bills. President Andrew Johnson vetoed these bills, but a Congressional supermajoirty overrode his veto to pass the Civil Rights Act and the Second Freedmen's Bureau Bill. Proponents of the Act including Trumbull and Wilson argued that Section 2 of the Thirteenth Amendment (enforcement power) authorized the federal government to legislate civil rights for the States. Others disagreed, maintaining that inequality conditions were distinct from slavery. Seeking more substantial justification, and fearing that future opponents would again seek to overturn the legislation, Congress and the states added additional protections to the Constitution: the Fourteenth Amendment (1868), which defined citizenship and mandated equal protection under the law, and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870), which banned racial voting restrictions. The Freedmen's Bureau enforced the Amendment locally, providing a degree of support for people subject to the Black Codes. (Reciprocally, the Thirteenth Amendment established the Bureau's legal basis to operate in Kentucky.) The Civil Rights Act circumvented racism in local jurisdictions by allowing blacks access to the federal courts. The Enforcement Acts of 1870–1871 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875, in combating the violence and intimidation of white supremacy, were also part of the effort to end slave conditions for Southern blacks. However, the effect of these laws waned as political will diminished and the federal government lost authority in the South, particularly after the Compromise of 1877 ended Reconstruction in exchange for a Republican presidency. With the Peonage Act of 1867, Congress abolished “the holding of any person to service or labor under the system known as peonage”, specifically banning “the voluntary or involuntary service or labor of any persons as peons, in liquidation of any debt or obligation, or otherwise.” In 1939, the Department of Justice created the Civil Rights Section, which focused primarily on First Amendment and labor rights. The increasing scrutiny of totalitarianism in the lead-up to World War II brought increased attention to issues of slavery and involuntary servitude, abroad and at home. The U.S. sought to counter foreign propaganda and increase its credibility on the race issue by combatting the Southern peonage system. Under the leadership of Attorney General Francis Biddle, the Civil Rights Section invoked the constitutional amendments and legislation of the Reconstruction Era as the basis for its actions. In 1947, the DOJ successfully prosecuted Elizabeth Ingalls for keeping domestic servant Dora L. Jones in conditions of slavery. The court found that Jones “was a person wholly subject to the will of defendant; that she was one who had no freedom of action and whose person and services were wholly under the control of defendant and who was in a state of enforced compulsory service to the defendant.” The Thirteenth Amendment enjoyed a swell of attention during this period, but from Brown v. Board (1954) until Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. (1968) it was again eclipsed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Victims of human trafficking and other conditions of forced labor are commonly coerced by threat of legal actions to their detriment. Victims of forced labor and trafficking are protected by Title 18 of the U.S. Code. In contrast to the other "Reconstruction Amendments", the Thirteenth Amendment was rarely cited in later case law. As historian Amy Dru Stanley summarizes, "beyond a handful of landmark rulings striking down debt peonage, flagrant involuntary servitude, and some instances of race-based violence and discrimination, the Thirteenth Amendment has never been a potent source of rights claims". U. S. v. Rhodes (1866), one of the first Thirteenth Amendment cases, tested the Constitutionality of provisions in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that granted blacks redress in the federal courts. Kentucky law prohibited blacks from testifying against whites—an arrangement which compromised the ability of Nancy Talbot ("a citizen of the United States of the African race") to reach justice against a white person accused of robbing her. After Talbot attempted to try the case in federal court; the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled this federal option unconstitutional. Noah Swayne (a Supreme Court justice sitting on the Kentucky Circuit Court) overturned the Kentucky decision, holding that without the material enforcement provided by the Civil Rights Act, slavery would not truly be abolished. With In Re Turner (1867), Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase ordered freedom for Elizabeth Turner, a former slave in Maryland who became indentured to her former master. In Blyew v. U.S., (1872) the Supreme Court heard another Civil Rights Act case relating to federal courts in Kentucky. John Bylew and George Kennard were white men visiting the cabin of a black family, the Fosters. Bylew apparently became angry with sixteen-year-old Richard Foster and hit him twice in the head with an ax. Bylew and Kennard killed Richard's parents, Sallie and Jack Foster, and his blind grandmother, Lucy Armstrong. They severely wounded the Fosters' two young daughters. Kentucky courts would not allow the Foster children to testify against Blyew and Kennard. But federal courts, authorized by the Civil Rights Act, found Blyew and Kennard guilty of murder. When the Supreme Court took the case, they ruled (5–2) that the Foster children did not have standing in federal courts because only living people could take advantage of the Act. In doing so, the Courts effectively ruled that Thirteenth Amendment did not permit a federal remedy in murder cases. Swayne and Joseph P. Bradley dissented, maintaining that in order to have meaningful effects, the Thirteenth Amendment would have to address systemic racial oppression. Though based on a technicality, the Blyew case set a precedent in state and federal courts that led to the erosion of Congress's Thirteenth Amendment powers. The Supreme Court continued along this path in the Slaughter-House Cases (1873), which upheld a state-sanctioned monopoly of white butchers. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Court ignored Thirteenth Amendment dicta from a circuit court decision to exonerate perpetrators of the Colfax massacre and invalidate the Enforcement Act of 1870. In Civil Rights Cases (1883), the Supreme Court reviewed five consolidated cases dealing with the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which outlawed racial discrimination at "inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement". The Court ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment did not ban most forms of racial discrimination by non-government actors. In the majority decision, Bradley wrote (again in non-binding dicta) that the Thirteenth Amendment empowered Congress to attack "badges and incidents of slavery". However, he distinguished between "fundamental rights" of citizenship, protected by the Thirteenth Amendment, and the "social rights of men and races in the community". The majority opinion held that "it would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination which a person may see fit to make as to guests he will entertain, or as to the people he will take into his coach or cab or car; or admit to his concert or theatre, or deal with in other matters of intercourse or business." In his solitary dissent, John Marshall Harlan (a Kentucky lawyer who changed his mind about civil rights law after witnessing organized racist violence) argued that "such discrimination practiced by corporations and individuals in the exercise of their public or quasi-public functions is a badge of servitude, the imposition of which congress may prevent under its power." Attorneys in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) argued that racial segregation involved "observances of a servile character coincident with the incidents of slavery", in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. In their brief to the Supreme Court, Plessy's lawyers wrote that "distinction of race and caste" was inherently unconstitutional. The Supreme Court rejected this reasoning and upheld state laws enforcing segregation under the "separate but equal" doctrine. In the (7–1) majority decision, the Court found that "a statute which implies merely a legal distinction between the white and colored races—a distinction which is founded on the color of the two races and which must always exist so long as white men are distinguished from the other race by color—has no tendency to destroy the legal equality of the two races, or reestablish a state of involuntary servitude." Harlan dissented, writing: "The thin disguise of 'equal' accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead any one, nor, atone for the wrong this day done." In Hodges v. United States (1906), the Court struck down a federal statute providing for the punishment of two or more people who "conspire to injure, oppress, threaten or intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States". A group of white men in Arkansas conspired to violently prevent eight black workers from performing their jobs at a lumber mill; the group was convicted by a federal grand jury. The Supreme Court ruled that the federal statute, which outlawed conspiracies to deprive citizens of their liberty, was not authorized by the Thirteenth Amendment. It held that "no mere personal assault or trespass or appropriation operates to reduce the individual to a condition of slavery". Harlan dissented, maintaining his opinion that the Thirteenth Amendment should protect freedom beyond "physical restraint". Corrigan v. Buckley (1922) reaffirmed the interpretation from Hodges, finding that the amendment does not apply to restrictive covenants. Enforcement of federal civil rights law in the South created numerous peonage cases, which slowly traveled up through the judiciary. The Supreme Court ruled in Clyatt v. United States (1905) that peonage was involuntary servitude. It held that although employers sometimes described their workers' entry into contract as voluntary, the servitude of peonage was always (by definition) involuntary. Legal histories cite Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. (1968) as a turning point of Thirteen Amendment jurisprudence. The Supreme Court confirmed in Jones that Congress may act “rationally” to prevent private actors from imposing "badges and incidents of servitude". The Joneses were a black couple in St. Louis County, Missouri who sued a real estate company for refusing to sell them a house. The Court held (in a 7–2 decision): Just as the Black Codes, enacted after the Civil War to restrict the free exercise of those rights, were substitutes for the slave system, so the exclusion of Negroes from white communities became a substitute for the Black Codes. And when racial discrimination herds men into ghettos and makes their ability to buy property turn on the color of their skin, then it too is a relic of slavery. Negro citizens, North and South, who saw in the Thirteenth Amendment a promise of freedom—freedom to “go and come at pleasure” and to “buy and sell when they please”—would be left with “a mere paper guarantee” if Congress were powerless to assure that a dollar in the hands of a Negro will purchase the same thing as a dollar in the hands of a white man. At the very least, the freedom that Congress is empowered to secure under the Thirteenth Amendment includes the freedom to buy whatever a white man can buy, the right to live wherever a white man can live. If Congress cannot say that being a free man means at least this much, then the Thirteenth Amendment made a promise the Nation cannot keep. The Court in Jones reopened the issue of linking racism in contemporary society to the history of slavery in the United States. The Jones precedent has been used to justify Congressional action to protect migrant workers and target sex trafficking. The direct enforcement power found in the Thirteenth Amendment contrasts with that of the Fourteenth, which allows only responses to institutional discrimination of state actors. The Supreme Court has taken an especially narrow view of involuntary servitude claims made by people not descended from black (African) slaves. In Robertson v. Baldwin (1897), a sailor challenged federal rules mandating the capture and return of deserters. The Court ruled that the "the amendment was not intended to introduce any novel doctrine with respect to certain descriptions of service which have always been treated as exceptional." In this case, as in numerous “badges and incidents” cases, Justice Harlan authored a dissent favoring broader Thirteenth Amendment protections. In Selective Draft Law Cases, the Supreme Court ruled that the military draft was not "involuntary servitude". In United States v. Kozminski, the Supreme Court ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment did not prohibit compulsion of servitude through psychological coercion. Kozminski limited involuntary servitude to those situations in which "the master subjects the servant to (1) threatened or actual physical force, (2) threatened or actual state-imposed legal coercion, or (3) fraud or deceit where the servant is a minor or an immigrant or is mentally incompetent." U.S. Courts of Appeals, in Immediato v. Rye Neck School District, Herndon v. Chapel Hill, and Steirer v. Bethlehem School District, have ruled that the use of community service as a high school graduation requirement did not violate the Thirteenth Amendment. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, no constitutional amendments had been adopted in more than 60 years. Two earlier amendments proposed by the Congress would have become the Thirteenth Amendment, but failed to be ratified by a sufficient number of states: the Titles of Nobility Amendment and the Corwin Amendment.
Preamble
Articles of the Constitution Bill of Rights Subsequent Amendments Unratified Amendments The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments. In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress repeatedly debated the rights of the millions of black former slaves. By 1869, amendments had been passed to abolish slavery and provide citizenship and equal protection under the laws, but the narrow election of Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency in 1868 convinced a majority of Republicans that protecting the franchise of black voters was important for the party's future. After rejecting more sweeping versions of a suffrage amendment, Congress proposed a compromise amendment banning franchise restrictions on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude on February 26, 1869. The amendment survived a difficult ratification fight and was adopted on March 30, 1870. United States Supreme Court decisions in the late nineteenth century interpreted the amendment narrowly, and by 1910, most black voters in the South faced obstacles such as poll taxes and literacy tests, from which white voters were exempted by grandfather clauses. A system of whites-only primaries and violent reprisals by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan also suppressed black participation. In the twentieth century, the Court interpreted the amendment more broadly, striking down grandfather clauses in Guinn v. United States (1915) and dismantling the white primary system in the "Texas primary cases" (1927–1953). Along with later measures such as the Twenty-fourth Amendment, which forbade poll taxes in federal elections, and Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966), which forbade poll taxes in state elections, these decisions significantly increased black participation in the American political system. In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress repeatedly debated the rights of black former slaves freed by the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the 1865 Thirteenth Amendment, the latter of which had formally abolished slavery. Following the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment by Congress, however, Republicans grew concerned over the increase it would create in the congressional representation of the Democratic-dominated Southern states. Because the full population of freed slaves would be now counted rather than the three-fifths mandated by the previous Three-Fifths Compromise, the Southern states would dramatically increase their power in the population-based House of Representatives. Republicans hoped to offset this advantage by attracting and protecting votes of the newly enfranchised black population. In 1865, Congress passed what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1866, guaranteeing citizenship without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude. The bill also guaranteed equal benefits and access to the law, a direct assault on the Black Codes passed by many post-war Southern states. The Black Codes attempted to return ex-slaves to something like their former condition by, among other things, restricting their movement, forcing them to enter into year-long labor contracts, prohibiting them from owning firearms, and by preventing them from suing or testifying in court. The Civil Rights Act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, an uncompromising white supremacist. Congress overrode his veto in April 1866, but the experience encouraged them to seek Constitutional guarantees of black rights, rather than relying on temporary political majorities. In the same month, Congress proposed the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed citizenship and equal protection under the laws regardless of race. After a bitter struggle that included attempted rescissions of ratification by two states, the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted on July 28, 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment stopped short of guaranteeing the franchise to black citizens, and included language specifically acknowledging that the states could disenfranchise citizens on the basis of race. In the year of its ratification, only eight Northern states allowed blacks to vote. In the South, blacks were able to vote in many areas, but only through the intervention of the occupying Union Army. Though the Radical Republicans had advocated legal equality between whites and blacks since before the war's end, the party refused to include the issue in the platform at their 1868 National Convention. However, the party's narrow win in the 1868 presidential election, in part due to the support of black voters, convinced many in the party that black suffrage was necessary for future electoral success. Anticipating an increase in Democratic membership in the following Congress, Republicans used the lame duck session of the 40th United States Congress to pass an amendment protecting black suffrage. Representative John Bingham, the primary author of the Fourteenth Amendment, pushed for a wide-ranging ban on suffrage limitations, but a broader proposal banning voter restriction on the basis of "race, color, nativity, property, education, or religious beliefs" was rejected. A proposal to specifically ban literacy tests was also rejected. Some representatives from the North, where nativism was a major force, wished to preserve restrictions denying the franchise to foreign-born citizens, as did representatives from the West, where Chinese Americans were banned from voting. Both Southern and Northern Republicans also wanted to continue to deny the vote to Southerners disenfranchised for support of the Confederacy, and were concerned that a sweeping endorsement of suffrage would re-enfranchise this group. A House and Senate conference committee proposed the amendment's final text, which banned voter restriction only on the basis of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". In order to attract the broadest possible base of support, the amendment made no mention of poll taxes or other measures to block voting, and did not guarantee the right of blacks to hold office. This compromise proposal was approved by the House on February 25, 1869 and the Senate the following day. The vote in the House was 144 to 44, with 35 not voting. The House vote was almost entirely along party lines, with no Democrats supporting the bill and only 3 Republicans voting against it. The final vote in the Senate was 39 to 13, with 14 not voting. Some Radicals, such as Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, abstained from voting because the amendment did not prohibit literacy tests and poll taxes. Though many of the original proposals for the amendment had been moderated by negotiations in committee, the final draft nonetheless faced significant hurdles in being ratified by three-fourths of the states. Historian William Gillette wrote of the process, "it was hard going and the outcome was uncertain until the very end." One source of opposition to the proposed amendment was the women's suffrage movement, which before and during the Civil War had made common cause with the abolitionist movement. However, with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, which had explicitly protected only male citizens in its second section, activists found the civil rights of women divorced from those of blacks. Matters came to a head with the proposal of the Fifteenth Amendment, which barred race discrimination but not gender discrimination in voter laws. After an acrimonious debate, the American Equal Rights Association, the nation's leading suffragist group, split into two rival organizations: the National Woman Suffrage Association of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who opposed the amendment, and the American Woman Suffrage Association of Lucy Stone and Henry Browne Blackwell, who supported it. The two groups remained divided until the 1890s. Nevada was the first state to ratify the amendment, on March 1, 1869. The New England states and most Midwest states also ratified the amendment soon after its proposal. Southern states still controlled by Radical reconstruction governments, such as North Carolina, also swiftly ratified. Newly elected President Ulysses S. Grant (a Republican) strongly endorsed the amendment and privately asked Nebraska's governor to call a special legislative session to speed the process, securing the state's ratification. In April and December 1869, Congress passed Reconstruction bills mandating that Virginia, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia ratify the amendment as a precondition to regaining congressional representation; all four states did so. The struggle for ratification was particularly close in Indiana and Ohio, which voted to ratify in May 1869 and January 1870, respectively. New York, which had ratified on April 14, 1869, attempted to revoke its ratification on January 5, 1870. However, in February 1870, Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas ratified the amendment, bringing the total ratifying states to twenty-nine—one more than the required twenty-eight (three-fourths of the total states), and forestalling any court challenge as a result of New York's rescission. Secretary of State Hamilton Fish certified the amendment on March 30, 1870. The amendment was subsequently ratified by additional states, beginning with New Jersey on February 15, 1871. Oregon, California, Maryland, Kentucky, and Tennessee all ratified the amendment in the latter half of the twentieth century. The amendment's adoption was met with widespread celebrations in black communities and abolitionist societies; many of the latter disbanded, feeling that black rights had been secured and their work was complete. President Grant said of the amendment that it "completes the greatest civil change and constitutes the most important event that has occurred since the nation came to life". Many Republicans felt that with the amendment's passage, black Americans no longer needed federal protection; congressman and future president James A. Garfield stated that the amendment's passage "confers upon the African race the care of its own destiny. It places their fortunes in their own hands." The first known black voter after the amendment's adoption was Thomas Mundy Peterson, who cast his ballot on March 31, 1870 in the Perth Amboy, New Jersey mayoral election. In United States v. Reese (1876), the first U.S. Supreme Court decision interpreting the Fifteenth Amendment, the Court interpreted the amendment narrowly, upholding ostensibly race-neutral limitations on suffrage including poll taxes, literacy tests, and a grandfather clause that exempted citizens from other voting requirements if their grandfathers had been registered voters, a condition only whites could generally meet. The Court also stated that the amendment does not confer the right of suffrage, but it invests citizens of the United States with the right of exemption from discrimination in the exercise of the elective franchise on account of their race, color, or previous condition of servitude, and empowers Congress to enforce that right by "appropriate legislation." The Court wrote: White supremacists such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) used paramilitary violence to prevent black people from voting. A number of blacks were killed at the Colfax massacre of 1873 while attempting to defend their right to vote. The Enforcement Acts were passed by Congress in 1870–1871 to authorize federal prosecution of the KKK and others who violated the amendment. However, as Reconstruction neared its end and federal troops withdrew, prosecutions under the Enforcement Acts dropped significantly. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government did not have the authority to prosecute the perpetrators of the Colfax massacre because they were not state actors. Congress removed a provision against conspiracy from the acts in 1894, weakening them further. In 1877, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president after tightly contested electoral college battle, receiving support from three Southern states in exchange for a pledge to allow white Democratic governments to rule without federal interference. As president, he refused to enforce federal civil rights protections, allowing states to begin to implement racially discriminatory Jim Crow laws. From 1890 to 1910, poll taxes and literacy tests were instituted across the South, effectively disenfranchising the great majority of blacks. White-only primary elections also served to reduce the influence of blacks in the political system. Along with increasing legal obstacles, blacks were excluded from the political system by threats of violent reprisals by whites in the form of lynch mobs and terrorist attacks by the Ku Klux Klan. In the 20th century, the Court began to read the Fifteenth Amendment more broadly. In Guinn v. United States (1915), a unanimous Court struck down an Oklahoma grandfather clause that effectively exempted white voters from a literacy test, finding it to be discriminatory. The Court ruled in the related case Myers v. Anderson (1915) that the officials who enforced such a clause were liable for civil damages. The Court addressed the white primary system in a series of decisions later known as the "Texas primary cases". In Nixon v. Herndon (1927), Nixon sued for damages under federal civil rights laws after being denied a ballot in a Democratic party primary election on the basis of race. The Court found in his favor on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law, while not discussing his Fifteenth Amendment claim. After Texas amended its statute to allow the political party's state executive committee to set voting qualifications, Nixon sued again; in Nixon v. Condon (1932), the Court again found in his favor on the basis of the Fourteenth Amendment. Following Nixon, the Democratic Party's state convention instituted a rule that only whites could vote in its primary elections; the Court unanimously upheld this rule as constitutional in Grovey v. Townsend (1935), distinguishing the discrimination by a private organization from that of the state in the previous primary cases. However, in United States v. Classic (1941), the Court ruled that primary elections were an essential part of the electoral process, undermining the reasoning in Grovey. Based on Classic, the Court in Smith v. Allwright (1944), overruled Grovey, ruling that denying non-white voters a ballot in primary elections was a violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. In the last of the Texas primary cases, Terry v. Adams (1953), the Court ruled that black plaintiffs were entitled to damages from a group that organized whites-only pre-primary elections with the assistance of Democratic party officials. The Court also used the amendment to strike down a gerrymander in Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960). The decision found that the redrawing of city limits by Tuskegee, Alabama officials to exclude the mostly black area around the Tuskegee Institute discriminated on the basis of race. The Court later relied on this decision in Rice v. Cayetano (2000), which struck down ancestry-based voting in elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; the ruling held that the elections violated the Fifteenth Amendment by using "ancestry as a racial definition and for a racial purpose". After judicial enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment ended grandfather clauses, white primaries, and other discriminatory tactics, Southern black voter registration gradually increased, rising from five percent in 1940 to twenty-eight percent in 1960. Although the Fifteenth Amendment was never interpreted to prohibit poll taxes, in 1962 the Twenty-fourth Amendment was adopted banning poll taxes in federal elections, and in 1966 the Supreme Court ruled in Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966) that state poll taxes violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Under its authority pursuant to Section 2 of the Fifteenth Amendment, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to achieve further racial equality in voting. Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act required states and local governments with histories of racial discrimination in voting to submit all changes to their voting laws or practices to the federal government for approval before they could take affect, a process called "preclearance." The Supreme Court originally upheld these provisions as constitutional in South Carolina v. Katzenbach (1966). By 1976, sixty-three percent of Southern blacks were registered to vote, only five percent less than Southern whites. However, in Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Supreme Court ruled that Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which established the coverage formula that determined which jurisdictions were subject to preclearance, was no longer constitutional and exceeded Congress's enforcement authority under Section 2 of the Fifteenth Amendment. The Court declared that the Fifteenth Amendment "commands that the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race or color, and it gives Congress the power to enforce that command. The Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future." According to the Court, "Regardless of how to look at the record no one can fairly say that it shows anything approaching the ‘pervasive,’ ‘flagrant, ‘widespread,’ and ‘rampant’ discrimination that faced Congress in 1965, and that clearly distinguished the covered jurisdictions from the rest of the nation." The preclearance provision itself was not struck down, but without a valid coverage formula, it no longer has any effect; it will continue to be inoperable unless Congress passes a new coverage formula.
Preamble
Articles of the Constitution Bill of Rights Subsequent Amendments Unratified Amendments The Corwin Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the 36th Congress, 2nd Session, on March 2, 1861, in the form of House (Joint) Resolution No. 13. It would forbid subsequent attempts to amend the Constitution to empower the Congress to "abolish or interfere" with the "domestic institutions" of the states, including "persons held to labor or service" (a reference to slavery). Ohio Republican Representative Thomas Corwin offered the amendment in an attempt to forestall the secession of Southern states. Corwin's resolution emerged as the House of Representatives's version of an earlier, identical proposal in the Senate offered by New York Republican Senator William H. Seward. However, the newly formed Confederate States of America was committed to independence and so it ignored the Corwin Amendment. This proposed amendment is still pending before the state legislatures for ratification, because Congress submitted it to the state legislatures without a deadline. Since the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was adopted in 1865, the Corwin Amendment lost whatever momentum it had. The text refers to slavery with terms such as "domestic institutions" and "persons held to labor or service" and avoids using the word "slavery", following the example set at the Constitutional Convention, which referred to slavery in its draft of the Constitution with comparable descriptions of legal status: "Person held to Service", "the whole Number of free Persons..., three fifths of all other Persons", "The Migration and Importation of such Persons...". In the Congressional session that began in December 1860, more than 200 resolutions with respect to slavery, including 57 resolutions proposing constitutional amendments, were introduced in Congress. Most represented compromises designed to avert military conflict. Mississippi Democratic Senator Jefferson Davis proposed one that explicitly protected property rights in slaves. One group of House members proposed a national convention to accomplish secession as a "dignified, peaceful, and fair separation" that could settle questions like the equitable distribution of the Federal government's assets and rights to navigate the Mississippi River. On February 27, 1861, the House of Representatives considered the following text of a proposed constitutional amendment: Corwin proposed his own text as a substitute and those who opposed him failed on a vote of 68 to 121. The House then declined to give the resolution the required two-thirds vote, with a tally of 120 to 61, and then of 123 to 71. On February 28, 1861, however, the House approved Corwin's version by a vote of 133 to 65. The contentious debate in the House was relieved by abolitionist Republican Owen Lovejoy of Illinois, who questioned the amendment's reach: "Does that include polygamy, the other twin relic of barbarism?" Missouri Democrat John S. Phelps answered: "Does the gentleman desire to know whether he shall be prohibited from committing that crime?" On March 2, 1861, the United States Senate adopted it, 24 to 12. Since proposed constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority, 132 votes were required in the House and 24 in the Senate. The Senators and Representatives from the seven slave states that had already declared their secession from the Union did not vote on the Corwin Amendment, as they had already vacated their seats in Congress.][ The resolution called for the amendment to be submitted to the state legislatures and to be adopted "when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures". Its supporters believed it had a greater chance of success in the legislatures of the Southern states than in their conventions, which were voting to secede from the Union just as Congress was considering the Corwin Amendment. Departing President James Buchanan, a Democrat, endorsed the Corwin Amendment by taking the unusual step of signing it. The Corwin Amendment also has the distinction of being the only constitutional amendment offered to the states by Congress to have an actual numerical designation prematurely assigned to it by Congress—it appears as "Article Thirteen" in the proposing Congressional resolution. Abraham Lincoln, in his first inaugural address, said of the Corwin Amendment: Just weeks prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln sent a letter to each state's governor transmitting the proposed amendment, noting that Buchanan had approved it. On February 8, 1864, during the 38th Congress, with the prospects for a Union victory improving, Republican Senator Henry B. Anthony of Rhode Island introduced Senate (Joint) Resolution No. 25to withdraw the Corwin Amendment from further consideration by the state legislatures and halt the ratification process. That same day, Anthony's joint resolution was referred to the Senate's Committee on the Judiciary. On May 11, 1864, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, received the Senate's permission to discharge Senate (Joint) Resolution No. 25 from the Committee, with no action having been taken on Anthony's joint resolution. Pursuant to Article V of the Constitution, consideration of the Corwin Amendment then shifted to the state legislatures. On May 13, 1861, the Ohio General Assembly became the first to ratify the amendment. Next was the Maryland General Assembly on January 10, 1862. Later that year, Illinois lawmakers—sitting as a state constitutional convention at the time—also endorsed the amendment. That action is of questionable validity, because the Congress submitted the amendment to the state legislatures for ratification rather than to state ratifying conventions. On March 31, 1864, the Ohio General Assembly rescinded its ratification of the Corwin Amendment, noting that the Civil War had rendered it irrelevant and calling it "an impediment to the free action of congress in the present exigencies of the country as well as a misrepresentation of the public sentiment of the people of Ohio, and contrary to the spirit of the age." In 1963, more than a century after the Corwin Amendment was submitted to the state legislatures by the Congress, a joint resolution to ratify it was introduced in the Texas House of Representatives by Dallas Republican Henry Stollenwerck. It was referred to the House's Committee on Constitutional Amendments on March 7, 1963, and received no further consideration. When viewed as an entrenched clause, the Corwin Amendment—had it been ratified—might have been construed to prohibit the Thirteenth Amendment, ratified in 1865, which abolished slavery in the United States and gave Congress enforcement power. The Corwin Amendment might also have prevented the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment and the voting rights amendments, all of which dealt with the states' internal affairs. A competing theory, however, suggests that a later amendment conflicting with an already-ratified Corwin Amendment would have either explicitly repealed the Corwin Amendment (as the Twenty-first Amendment explicitly repealed the Eighteenth Amendment) or been inferred to have partially or completely repealed any conflicting provisions of an already-adopted Corwin Amendment.
Preamble
Articles of the Constitution Bill of Rights Subsequent Amendments Unratified Amendments The Titles of Nobility Amendment (TONA) was proposed as an amendment to the United States Constitution in 1810. The amendment would strip United States citizenship from any citizen who accepted a title of nobility from a foreign country. Upon approval of a resolution offered by U.S. Senator Philip Reed of Maryland, during the 2nd Session of the 11th Congress, TONA was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. TONA can still technically be ratified by the states as the Congress did not impose a ratification time limit, but it has not been ratified by three-fourths of the states and thus is not part of the Constitution. The United States Senate approved the measure by a vote of 19–5 on April 26, 1810. It was then adopted by the United States House of Representatives with a vote of 87–3 on May 1, 1810. After the Congress passed it, the amendment was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. The proposed amendment was intended to expand upon Article I, Section 9 and Section 10 of the Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from issuing titles of nobility or honor. There is speculation that the Congress proposed the amendment in response to the 1803 marriage of Napoleon Bonaparte's younger brother, Jerome, and Betsy Patterson of Baltimore, Maryland, who gave birth to a boy for whom she wanted aristocratic recognition from France. The child, named Jérôme Napoleon Bonaparte, was not born in the United States, but in Great Britain on July 7, 1805—nevertheless, he would have held U.S. citizenship through his mother. Another theory is that his mother actually desired a title of nobility for herself and, indeed, she is referred to as the "Duchess of Baltimore" in many texts written about the amendment. The marriage had been annulled in 1805—well before the amendment's proposal by the 11th Congress. Nonetheless, Representative Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina is recorded to have said, when voting on the amendment, that "he considered the vote on this question as deciding whether or not we were to have members of the Legion of Honor in this country." This amendment was ratified by 12 state legislatures: The amendment was rejected by three state legislatures: South Carolina's Senate voted to ratify the amendment on November 28, 1811, but its House of Representatives rejected the amendment three years later on December 21, 1814. Although Virginia has long maintained that there are no surviving records indicating any action having been taken relative to officially ratifying or rejecting the amendment, state legislative records indicate that the Virginia House of Delegates approved the amendment on February 2, 1811, but the Virginia Senate rejected the amendment on February 14, 1811. Per Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), the amendment is technically still subject to being approved by the nation's state lawmakers, as no deadline for ratification was specified when Congress proposed the amendment for the consideration of the states. As there are now 50 states, the legislatures of at least 26 more states (38 in total) would have to ratify the amendment in order for it to become part of the Constitution. It has been claimed that the TONA became part of the U.S. Constitution—indeed many printings of the Constitution during the 19th century erroneously included it as a Thirteenth Amendment. Perhaps this misunderstanding could be traced to the mistaken belief that both houses of South Carolina's legislature had acted favorably upon the TONA when, evidently, only one of its houses did so. It can also be attributed to the misimpression that both houses of Virginia's legislature had adopted the TONA—again, when apparently only one of its houses did so. In general, 19th century procedures for communicating and recording the ratifications of constitutional amendments were haphazard and some printings of the Constitution included the amendment out of uncertainty. Many other 19th century printings omit it. There is a further misapprehension that the TONA was—at all stages in the ratification process—just one state's adoption shy of being incorporated into the United States Constitution. When the TONA was offered by the Congress to the state legislatures on May 1, 1810, the approval of 13 of them would indeed have been required. However, with the addition of Louisiana into the Union on April 30, 1812, that threshold increased to 14 state approvals. Louisiana's statehood commenced after the Massachusetts ratification of the TONA, but prior to the New Hampshire ratification of it. Then, when Indiana was admitted on December 11, 1816, the bar was raised up to 15 approvals needed to ratify the TONA. Although the admission of Mississippi on December 10, 1817, did not increase the numerical requirement, the entry of Illinois on December 3, 1818, did elevate that minimum to 16 state adoptions necessary for the TONA to be incorporated into the Constitution. The term "Thirteenthers" is sometimes used to refer to those who mistakenly believe this amendment was ratified or to those who would like to see ratification of this proposed amendment. Not until 1865 was a proposed Thirteenth Amendment adopted. That amendment abolished slavery throughout the United States. The assertion that TONA was validly ratified has never been upheld by any court in the United States. In the few instances in which courts have been confronted with the assertion that TONA was indeed ratified, judges have brushed those claims aside. In Campion v. Towns, No.CV-04-1516PHX-ROS, *2 n.1 (D. Ariz. 2005), a tax protester raised TONA as one of his defenses to a charge of tax evasion. The court replied that it would "correct any misunderstanding Plaintiff has concerning the text of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution": In another case, Sibley v. Culliver, 243 F. Supp. 2d 1278, 1283 (M.D. Ala. 2003), aff'd 377 F.3d 1196 (11th Cir. 2004), a federal appellate court found that the defendant's invocation of TONA worked to his detriment. The court took note of documents produced by the defendant, a convicted murderer who submitted documents in support of his appeal claiming that TONA rendered his conviction invalid: The Sibley court dismissed the appeal, concluding in part that the defendant was simply not seeking relief through the courts.
Mae Jones Street Kidd (February 8, 1904 – October 20, 1999) was an innovative businesswoman, a civic leader, and a skilled politician during a time when both her gender and her inter-racial background made such accomplishments more difficult than they would be today. She had a distinguished career in public relations, served in the Red Cross during World War II, and was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1968 to 1984, representing Louisville's 41st state legislative district. During her tenure in elective office, she was known for her sponsorship of landmark legislation. House Bill No. 27 which became law in 1972 created the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) which promotes and finances low-income housing in the state. In 1974, this particular bill was officially designated as the "Mae Street Kidd Act." Representative Kidd also led the campaign for Kentucky to ratify the United States Constitution's 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery), 14th Amendment (defining citizenship) and 15th Amendment (granting all men the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude). Known collectively as the "Reconstruction Amendments," all three of those constitutional amendments had become law shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War when a sufficient number of lawmakers in other states had ratified them. Representative Kidd offered and secured a resolution in 1976 of a resolution to ratify the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. Born on February 8, 1904, in Millersburg, Kentucky to Anna Belle Leer (1883–1984) who worked for a well-to-do white family with a large farm in central Kentucky. Kidd's father, Charles Robert Jones (February 6, 1875 - March 15, 1972), was the son of her mother's employers; and, she was their second child together. Her older brother was George William Jones (July 18, 1901 - July 6, 1986). As a girl she was called Minne Mae Jones. She attended Springfield Institute from 1948–50, University of Louisville, and American University, 1966-67. Kidd spent her early years in Millersburg, a town in Bourbon County. When she was two, her mother married a tobacco farmer, James W. (Willie) Taylor (1881–1959), who later became a chicken breeder. Kidd's mother, meanwhile, had a thriving catering business and often served as a local midwife. Kidd knew that her real father had married and began a family of his own, "and they and their mother used to come visit my mother, who was very friendly with his white family," she recalled in an oral history interview with Wade Hall. "But I never wanted anything to do with them. I was hurt that he couldn't--or wouldn't--acknowledge me openly as his daughter. It was a painful part of my childhood, but I got over it." Millersburg's blacks lived in a section of the town called Shippsville, and Kidd went to school there until the eighth grade. As a youngster, she realized that her light skin made it possible for her to skirt the Jim Crow laws that were a feature of life in the American South at the time: under these acts, blacks were restricted to certain schools, seating areas of public transportation, and even drinking fountains and rest rooms. She recalled that she liked to go into the Millersburg millinery shops and try on hats as a little girl, and pointed out that all in the town knew that she was of mixed heritage. Kidd's mother eventually moved the family to Millersburg proper after asking her cousin, who was white, to purchase the house and have the deed transferred to her. Both Kidd's mother and stepfather worked hard to provide a solid home for the children, which included two more of their own: Kidd's half brother Webster Demetrius Taylor, and a half sister, Mary Evelyn Taylor. As a teenager, Kidd wanted to contribute to the household herself, but her mother refused to let her work for white families, telling her, "Mae, I have to serve other people because I don't have a choice. I want you to have a choice when you grow up." Since her school only went up to the eighth grade, it was decided that she would be sent away to the Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville, created to provide a better educational opportunity in the Jim Crow era. She was 15 years old when she left home in 1919, and spent two years there before her family's financial circumstances forced her to return home. Kidd found a part-time job selling insurance as an independent sales agent for the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company, a thriving, black-owned company based in Louisville. At the time, black-owned insurance companies were an important part of the African-American economy and some of the largest black-owned businesses of their era. Like black-owned banks, they served a community that was often discriminated against by mainstream American institutions. From 1921 to 1925 Kidd sold policies for Mammoth and collected premiums; to do so she walked all over the black neighborhoods in both Millersburg and a nearby city. "I never had any bad experiences anywhere because everybody knew my parents in Millersburg, and in Carlisle I soon became known and the older people began watching over me," she recalled in an oral history interview, noting that she sometimes collected a hundred dollars in a day. After four years as a salesperson, Kidd was offered a job at the Mammoth headquarters in Louisville as a file clerk. She shared an apartment in the Mammoth building with a friend, a young woman whose father was a board member of the insurance company. Kidd was thrilled to be supporting herself and living in a relatively large city, which was still a relative rarity for a single woman of any color in 1925. Louisville was still part of the South, however, and it did have unspoken boundaries. "I couldn't use the main public library," Kidd recalled. "I couldn't go to the first-run movie shows on Fourth Street." After a time, Kidd was promoted to assistant bookkeeper, and then moved to the policy-issue office. In 1935 she became supervisor of policy issues, a job she held for eight years which entailed reviewing all applications for insurance that arrived at headquarters. By then Kidd had married Horace Street, a top Mammoth executive thirteen years her senior. Though much had changed in the years since her girlhood in Kentucky, Kidd still trod a fine line because of the color of her skin, even in the 1940s. Her husband refused to let her travel with him when Mammoth business took him to cities farther South, fearing an incident on the train or the refusal to be rented a hotel room, since Kidd was often mistaken for white. Street died of heart disease in 1942. Kidd joined the American Red Cross in 1943 and was sent to England during World War II. There she served as assistant director of a service club for black American soldiers in Southampton. According to Wade Hall in his biography of Kidd, while traveling by train in her Red Cross uniform with her darker-complected brother in his Army uniform during World War II, Kidd was asked to move from the "colored" section of the train to the "white" section. Kidd repeatedly refused—and also refused to explain herself, later saying: "I was a grown woman. I was wearing my Red Cross uniform. My brother was a grown man, wearing his Army uniform. We were a brother and sister going to see our parents before we shipped overseas. We were both American citizens serving our country. We didn't owe anybody an explanation." After the end of the war and her Red Cross duties in England, Kidd took a job in Portland, Maine, running its United Seaman's Service Club, a social gathering spot for merchant seamen. Though she was eager to return to Mammoth, she was uninterested in her former job in the policy office, and instead had gained valuable experience in both Maine and England in the relatively new field of public relations. Kidd studied on her own and designed a program for Mammoth. She made her proposal before the board, who voted to accept it, and was given her own office and a secretary. As the public relations counselor from 1946–56, Kidd supervised all company communications and began a number of programs to create goodwill between policyholders and with the communities the company served. Her plan was so successful that she was hired by the National Negro Insurance Association to create a public-relations plan for all of its member companies. In 1948, Kidd also organized the first Louisville Urban League Guild and served as President of the Lincoln Foundation. She married an American army officer, James Kidd—whom she met while overseas—and moved to Detroit, where he lived. For a time, she worked for a door-to-door cosmetics company, Fuller Projects, in both Detroit and Chicago. Kidd trained agents and sold the line herself, and quit after a time to run a campaign for a candidate running for a seat on the Detroit City Council. It was her first exposure to politics, and she drew heavily on her public-relations experience to help make the campaign a successful one. When Kidd did return to Louisville, she was not given her former job as Mammoth's public-relations person. Instead she was forced to return to the ranks of company sales agents. Her boss, she recalled in an interview with Hall, "wanted to embarrass me by sending me back to selling ordinary insurance, but I embarrassed him by selling more insurance than anyone in the history of the company." She retired from the company in 1966, at the age of 62. Much had changed since she began with Mammoth in the early 1920s, when it was one of several dozen such insurance companies that served the African-American community. "Unfortunately, with integration in the 1950s and 1960s, the white companies began opening up their policies to blacks, and blacks deserted their own companies in droves.... It's sad but true that this desertion by blacks of black insurance companies is just a part of a larger problem in the black community: we just don't have enough confidence in our own people to patronize each other." Two years later, at the dawn of a new civil rights era with federal laws barring racial discrimination in all forms, Kidd was invited by a number of Louisville Democrats to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in Kentucky General Assembly. She declined several times, but her husband thought it would be a good opportunity for her talents. So Kidd agreed, and won her first election after campaigning with a carload of neighborhood children, who helped her pass out flyers nightly in different sections of her Louisville district. "Their youth and energy boosted me when I was exhausted," she recalled. "They liked riding in my car and meeting people and being part of an important project." Elected that fall, Kidd went to Frankfort and took her seat in Kentucky's General Assembly. She was one of just three African-Americans in the legislature at the time. The first bill she sponsored prohibited racial discrimination in housing. After several of Kentucky's cities passed their own local open-housing legislation in 1966 and 1967, Kidd worked with Senator Georgia Davis Powers and Representative Hughes McGill to introduce the Kentucky Fair Housing Act to the Kentucky General Assembly. Kidd's bill passed in 1968, making Kentucky the first Southern state to enact such laws on its own. In the early 1970s, she sponsored a low-income housing bill that created a state agency to provide low-interest mortgages to first-time home buyers. Kidd struggled for some time to get this bill passed, and only with the election of a new governor in 1972 did she finally succeed in seeing it signed into law. She also sponsored a proposal to make the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an official state holiday. In her career in Kentucky's General Assembly, Representative Kidd's "firsts" also included being the first female on the Rules Committee. Re-elected until 1984, when she lost after her district was gerrymandered several times, Kidd made civil rights her focus. In the mid-1970s she learned about a little-known historical quirk—Kentucky had never ratified the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These abolished slavery, and gave U.S. citizenship and the vote to African Americans. It was a symbolic oversight, and Kidd was determined to correct it. She launched a campaign in 1976 to have the amendments officially ratified, and it passed unanimously. "It was especially important to me because I am a proud Kentuckian, and I didn't want that blot to remain on our history," she wrote in her memoir. Kidd also introduced a bill to make Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday an official state holiday. For a number of years Kidd was a frequent presence in civil-rights marches and events in her state. She was also known for speaking her mind. Mervin Aubespin, associate editor of Louisville's Courier-Journal, told a reporter for the paper that early in her political career Kidd never hesitated to call the paper over its political coverage, especially when a reporter's article included quotes only from white males. "She would call up and say 'I was there and nobody asked me.' She raised holy sin.... She figured that people who voted for her needed to know what her position was on a number of issues that came though the legislature." Kidd was active in a number of charitable organizations throughout her life, including the Lincoln Foundation, which helped disadvantaged children at the facility that had once schooled her. Toward the end of her life, she lost her eyesight. She died in Louisville on October 20, 1999. Her biography, based on nearly 40 oral history interview by Wade Hall, appeared two years before her death, and its title, Passing for Black, reflected her mixed heritage and the conflicts she often experienced because of it. "Most of us, whether white or black, are mixtures of many races and nationalities," she pointed out. "We all have tangled roots." She noted that though times had changed considerably, her childhood was particularly difficult. She likened it to "living in a no-man's-land where I belonged to neither race. Because I was neither completely white nor completely black, I've been stigmatized and penalized by both races." The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People presented to her its Unsung Heroine Award at a National NAACP Women's Conference, and she received a Louisville Mayor's Citation for Outstanding Community Service. She has also received a Top Ten Outstanding Kentuckians Award; and the Humanitarian Service Award from the United Cerebral Palsy Association. Notable Black American Women, Book 1, Gale, 1992.
The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (citation 3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73) was an 1833 Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company," the "Island of Ceylon," and "the Island of Saint Helena"; the exceptions were eliminated in 1843). The Act was repealed in 1998 as part of a wider rationalisation of English statute law, but later anti-slavery legislation remains in force. In 1772, Lord Mansfield's judgement in the Somersett's Case emancipated a slave in England, which helped launch the movement to abolish slavery. The case ruled that slavery was unsupported by law in England and Scotland, and no authority could be exercised on slaves entering English or Scottish soil. In 1785, English poet William Cowper wrote: "We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad? Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free. They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud. And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, And let it circulate through every vein." By 1783, following the American Revolutionary War, an anti-slavery movement to abolish the slave trade throughout the Empire had begun among the British public. In 1808, after Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807, the Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron. The squadron's task was to suppress the Atlantic slave trade by patrolling the coast of West Africa. It did suppress the slave trade, but did not stop it entirely. It is possible that, when slave ships were in danger of being captured by the Royal Navy, some captains may have ordered the slaves to be thrown into the sea to reduce the fines they had to pay. Between 1808 and 1860 the West Africa Squadron captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans. They resettled many in Jamaica and the Bahamas. In 1823, the Anti-Slavery Society was founded. Members included Joseph Sturge, Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce, Henry Brougham, Thomas Fowell Buxton, Elizabeth Heyrick, Mary Lloyd, Jane Smeal, Elizabeth Pease and Anne Knight. During the Christmas holiday of 1831, a large-scale slave revolt in Jamaica, known as the Baptist War, broke out. It was organised originally as a peaceful strike by the Baptist minister, Samuel Sharpe. The rebellion was suppressed by the militia of the Jamaican plantocracy and the British garrison ten days later in early 1832. Because of the loss of property and life in the 1831 rebellion, the British Parliament held two inquiries. The results of these inquiries contributed greatly to the abolition of slavery with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. A successor organisation to the Anti-Slavery Society was formed in London in 1839, which worked to outlaw slavery in other countries. Its official name was the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. The world's oldest international human rights organisation, it continues today as Anti-Slavery International. Slavery was officially abolished in most of the British Empire on 1 August 1834. In practical terms, only slaves below the age of six were freed in the colonies. Former slaves over the age of six were redesignated as "apprentices", and their servitude was abolished in two stages; the first set of apprenticeships came to an end on 1 August 1838, while the final apprenticeships were scheduled to cease on 1 August 1840. The Act provided for compensation for slave-owners who would be losing their property. The amount of money to be spent on the compensation claims was set at "the Sum of Twenty Millions Pounds Sterling". Under the terms of the Act, the British government raised £20 million to pay out in compensation for the loss of the slaves as business assets to the registered owners of the freed slaves. The names listed in the returns for slave compensation show that ownership was spread over many hundreds of British families, many of them of high social standing. For example, Henry Phillpotts (then the Bishop of Exeter), in a partnership with three business colleagues, received £12,700 for 665 slaves in the West Indies. The majority of men and women who were awarded compensation under the 1833 Abolition Act are listed in a Parliamentary Return, entitled Slavery Abolition Act, which is an account of all moneys awarded by the Commissioners of Slave Compensation in the Parliamentary Papers 1837–8 Vol. 48. In all, the government paid out over 5,000 separate awards. The £20 million fund was 40% of the government's total annual expenditure. In the Cape Colony, where farmers had loans estimated at a total £400,000 secured against their slave, the Dutch-language newspaper De Zuid-Afrikaan first campaigned against abolition and then for a compensation package to enable farmers to pay their debts. As a notable exception to the rest of the British Empire, the Act did not "extend to any of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company, or to the Island of Ceylon, or to the Island of Saint Helena." Slavery was abolished in India by the Indian Slavery Act of 1843. On 1 August 1834, an unarmed group of mainly elderly people being addressed by the Governor at Government House in Port of Spain, Trinidad, about the new laws, began chanting: "Pas de six ans. Point de six ans" ("Not six years. No six years"), drowning out the voice of the Governor. Peaceful protests continued until a resolution to abolish apprenticeship was passed and de facto freedom was achieved. Full emancipation for all was legally granted ahead of schedule on 1 August 1838. It is believed that after 1833 clandestine slave-trading continued within the British Empire; in 1854 Nathaniel Isaacs, owner of the island of Matakong off the coast of Sierra Leone was accused of slave-trading by the governor of Sierra Leone, Sir Arthur Kennedy. Papers relating to the charges were lost when the Forerunner was wrecked off Maderia in October 1854. In the absence of the papers, the English courts refused to proceed with the prosecution. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was repealed in its entirety under the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1998. However, this repeal has not made slavery legal again, as sections of the Slave Trade Act 1824, Slave Trade Act 1843 and Slave Trade Act 1873 are still in force. In addition the Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into British Law Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits the holding of persons as slaves.
The Reconstruction amendments are the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, adopted between 1865 and 1870, the five years immediately following the Civil War. The amendments were important in implementing the Reconstruction of the American South after the war. Their proponents saw them as transforming the United States from a country that was (in Abraham Lincoln's words) "half slave and half free" to one in which the constitutionally guaranteed "blessings of liberty" would be extended to the entire male populace, including the former slaves and their descendants. The Thirteenth Amendment (proposed and ratified in 1865) abolished slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment (proposed in 1866 and ratified in 1868) included the privileges and immunities, due process, and equal protection clauses. The Fifteenth Amendment, (proposed in 1869 and ratified in 1870) grants voting rights regardless of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude." This amendment did not include women: it took another amendment — the Nineteenth, ratified in 1920 — to grant women the right to vote. These amendments were intended to guarantee freedom and civil rights to African-Americans. The promise of these amendments was eroded by state laws and federal court decisions over the course of the 19th century. The states passed Jim Crow laws that limited the rights of African-Americans. Important Supreme Court decisions that undermined these amendments were the Slaughter-House Cases in 1873, which prevented rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment's privileges or immunities clause being extended to rights under state law; and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 which originated the language separate but equal and gave federal approval to Jim Crow laws. The full benefits of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments were not realized until Supreme Court decision on Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the 2013 decision for Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act which could impact future voting rights. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed it to have been adopted. Slavery had been tacitly protected in the original Constitution through clauses such as the Three-Fifths Compromise, in which three-fifths of the slave population was counted for representation in the United States House of Representatives. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, more than sixty years had passed since the last amendment to the Constitution (the Twelfth) had been successfully ratified. Though many slaves had been declared free by Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their legal status after the Civil War was uncertain. On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865. The measure was swiftly ratified by all Union states (except Delaware, New Jersey, and Kentucky) and by a sufficient number of border and "reconstructed" Southern states to be adopted by the end of the year. Though the amendment abolished slavery throughout the United States, Black Codes and selective enforcement of statutes such as vagrancy laws continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor, particularly in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was rarely cited in later case law, but has been used to strike down debt peonage and some race-based discrimination. The amendment also enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the war. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by Southern states, which were forced to ratify it in order to return their delegations to Congress. The Fourteenth Amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Roe v. Wade (1973), regarding abortion, and Bush v. Gore (2000), regarding the 2000 presidential election. The second, third, and fourth sections of the amendment are seldom, if ever, litigated. The fifth section gives Congress enforcement power. The amendment's first section includes several clauses: the Citizenship Clause, Privileges or Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause, and Equal Protection Clause. The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship, overruling the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which had held that Americans descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States. The Privileges or Immunities Clause has been interpreted in such a way that it does very little. The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local government officials from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without legislative authorization. This clause has also been used by the federal judiciary to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy. The Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision that precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation; and for many other decisions rejecting irrational or unnecessary discrimination against people belonging to various groups. The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments. By 1869, amendments had been passed to abolish slavery and provide citizenship and equal protection under the laws, but the narrow election of Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency in 1868 convinced a majority of Republicans that protecting the franchise of black voters was important for the party's future. After rejecting more sweeping versions of a suffrage amendment, Congress proposed a compromise amendment banning franchise restrictions on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude on February 26, 1869. The amendment survived a difficult ratification fight and was adopted on March 30, 1870. Supreme Court decisions in the late nineteenth century interpreted the amendment narrowly, and by 1910, most black voters in the South faced obstacles such as poll taxes and literacy tests, from which white voters were exempted by grandfather clauses. A system of whites-only primaries and violent reprisals by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan also suppressed black participation. In the twentieth century, the Court interpreted the amendment more broadly, striking down grandfather clauses in Guinn v. United States (1915) and dismantling the white primary system in the "Texas primary cases" (1927–1953). Along with later measures such as the Twenty-fourth Amendment, which forbade poll taxes in federal elections, and Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966), which forbade poll taxes in state elections, these decisions significantly increased black participation in the American political system.

A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different nations, constituent states, independent organizations (such as trade unions), or groups.

The term was chosen for the United States Congress to emphasize the status of each state represented there as a self-governing unit. Subsequent to the use of congress by the U.S. legislature, the term has been adopted by many states within unions, and by unitary nation-states in the Americas, to refer to their legislatures.

The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.

Labour or Labor may refer to:

Other:

Racism is generally defined as actions, practices, or beliefs that consider the human species to be divided into races with shared traits, abilities, or qualities, such as personality, intellect, morality, or other cultural behavioral characteristics, and especially the belief that races can be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to others, or that members of different races should be treated differently.

The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept "race", and because there is also little agreement about what does and does not constitute discrimination. Critics argue that the term is applied differentially, with a focus on such prejudices by whites, and defining mere observations of racial differences as racism. Some definitions would have it that any assumption that a person's behavior would be influenced by their racial categorization is racist, regardless of whether the action is intentionally harmful or pejorative. Other definitions only include consciously malignant forms of discrimination. Among the questions about how to define racism are the question of whether to include forms of discrimination that are unintentional, such as making assumptions about preferences or abilities of others based on racial stereotypes, whether to include symbolic or institutionalized forms of discrimination such as the circulation of ethnic stereotypes through the media, and whether to include the socio-political dynamics of social stratification that sometimes have a racial component. Some definitions of racism also include discriminatory behaviors and beliefs based on cultural, national, ethnic, caste, or religious stereotypes.

The history of slavery covers slave systems in historical perspective in which one human being is legally the property of another, can be bought or sold, is not allowed to escape and must work for the owner without any choice involved. As Drescher (2009) argues, "The most crucial and frequently utilized aspect of the condition is a communally recognized right by some individuals to possess, buy, sell, discipline, transport, liberate, or otherwise dispose of the bodies and behavior of other individuals." In the American colonies and other places, an integral element was frequently the assignment of children of a slave mother to the status of slaves - born into slavery. Slavery does not include other forced labor systems: historical forced labor by prisoners, labor camps, or other forms of unfree labor, in which laborers are not considered property.

Slavery can be traced back to the earliest records, such as the Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BC), which refers to it as an established institution. Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations, as it is developed as a system of social stratification. Slavery typically also requires a shortage of labor and a surplus of land to be viable. David P. Forsythe wrote: "The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom." While slavery has existed for thousands of years, the social, economic, and legal position of slaves was vastly different in different systems of slavery in different times and places.

Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. Historically, slavery was institutionally recognized by many societies; in more recent times, slavery has been outlawed in most societies but continues through the practices of debt bondage, indentured servitude, serfdom, domestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage. Slavery is illegal in every country in the world, but there are still an estimated 29.8 million slaves worldwide.

Slavery predates written records and has existed in many cultures. Most slaves today are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations. Human trafficking is primarily used for forcing women and children into sex industries.

The United States of America (USA), commonly referred to as the United States (US), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, 16 territories, a federal district, and various overseas extraterritorial jurisdictions. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C., are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) in total and with around 316 million people, the United States is the fourth-largest country by total area and third largest by population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries. The geography and climate of the United States is also extremely diverse, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Paleo-indians migrated from Asia to what is now the US mainland around 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the Atlantic seaboard. Disputes between Great Britain and these colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously issued the Declaration of Independence. The ensuing war ended in 1783 with the recognition of independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The current Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. The first 10 amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.

American studies or American civilization is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the United States. It traditionally incorporates the study of history, literature, and critical theory, but also includes fields as diverse as law, art, the media, film, religious studies, urban studies, women's studies, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, African American studies, Chicano studies, Asian American studies, American Indian studies, foreign policy and culture of the United States, among other fields.

Vernon Louis Parrington is often cited as the founder of American studies for his three-volume Main Currents in American Thought, which combines the methodologies of literary criticism and historical research; it won the 1928 Pulitzer Prize. In the introduction to Main Currents in American Thought, Parrington described his field:]page needed[

Abolition of slavery occurred as abolition in specific countries, abolition of the trade in slaves and abolition throughout empires. Each of these steps was usually the result of a separate law or action.

Preamble
Articles of the Constitution

Bill of Rights

The history of the United States as covered in American schools and universities typically begins with either Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage to the Americas or with the prehistory of the Native peoples, with the latter approach having become increasingly common in recent decades.

Indigenous peoples lived in what is now the United States for thousands of years and developed complex cultures before European colonists began to arrive, mostly from England, after 1600. The Spanish had early settlements in Florida and the Southwest, and the French along the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. By the 1770s, thirteen British colonies contained two and a half million people along the Atlantic coast, east of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonies were prosperous and growing rapidly, and had developed their own autonomous political and legal systems. After driving the French out of North America in 1763, the British imposed a series of new taxes while rejecting the American argument that taxes required representation in Parliament. "No taxation without representation" became the American catch phrase. Tax resistance, especially the Boston Tea Party of 1774, led to punishment by Parliament designed to end self-government in Massachusetts. All 13 colonies united in a Congress that led to armed conflict in April 1775. On July 4, 1776, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed that all men are created equal, and founded a new nation, the United States of America.

Slavery in the United States for this article refers to the legal institution that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British North America from early colonial days, and was firmly established by the time of the United States' Declaration of Independence (1776). After this, there was a gradual spread of abolitionism in the North, while the rapid expansion of the cotton industry from 1800 caused the South to identify strongly with slavery, and attempt to extend it into the new Western territories. Thus slavery polarized the nation into slave states and free states along the Mason-Dixon Line, which separated Maryland (slave) and Pennsylvania (free).

Although the international slave trade was prohibited from 1808, internal slave-trading continued apace, and the slave population would eventually peak at four million before abolition. Of all 1,515,605 free families in the fifteen slave states in 1860, nearly 400,000 held slaves (roughly one in four, or 25%), amounting to 8% of all American families. By the time of the United States founding, even through some free persons of color were present, the status of slave was largely limited almost entirely to Africans and those of African decent, creating a system and legacy in which race played an influential role.

Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings." They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. Murder; extermination; torture; rape; political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion."

In 1860 the American National Republican Convention included in their electoral platform, on which Abraham Lincoln stood for President, the following statement: "... We brand the recent re-opening of the African slave trade, under the cover of our national flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime against humanity". In 1890, George Washington Williams used the phrase to describe the treatment of Africans in the Congo Free State under King Leopold II of Belgium. Another very significant early use of the phrase "crimes against humanity" came during the First World War when, on May 24, 1915, the Allies of World War I, Britain, France, and Russia, jointly issued a statement explicitly announcing, for the first time, the commission of a "crime against humanity" in response to the Armenian Genocide and warned of personal responsibility for members of the Ottoman Government and their agents. At the conclusion of the war, an international war crimes commission recommended the creation of a tribunal to try "violations of the laws of humanity". However, the US representative objected to references to "law of humanity" as being imprecise and insufficiently developed at that time and the concept was not pursued.

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