What Does the 13th Amendment Say?

13th-amendment-say Credit: Quinn Dombrowski/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The 13th Amendment states that slavery and involuntary servitude are illegal. This amendment abolished slavery in America. The exemption for this is if someone has committed a crime, then they can be forced to work as punishment for their crimes.

Although there were laws that were already in place to protect slaves, the 13th Amendment replaced all the previous laws. The second part of the amendment allowed Congress the ability to pass further laws on slavery and prosecute those found guilty of slavery. On January 31, 1865, the 13th Amendment was passed by Congress. It was ratified on December 6, 1865.