AP®︎/College US History
An overview and the 13th Amendment
Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center in conversation with Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute.
. Created by Aspen Institute.
. Created by Aspen Institute.
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- Was there any loop holes in the 13th Amendment?(8 votes)
- There was and that's why peonage and convict slavery was conducted by the white southerners.(7 votes)
- why did the kkk want to do somewthing like that(6 votes)
- I wonder. Probably because they didn't like the way they looked, or because slavery was "good" for the economy. I really hate the Klu Klux Klan. Just terribly racist, morally confused, so-called "Christians" (they left a bad mark on Christianity). Terrible. I am glad we, as Americans, were able to put race behind us. I am not black, but I don't view them as any different, except for their Culture.(3 votes)
- at4:11why weren't the 13'th and 14'th amendments legally ratified?(6 votes)
- At4:07, they explain that technically the 13th Amendment was illegally ratified because the ratification process did not include the Southern states. Of course, no one disputes that these amendments were unjustified.(1 vote)
- What amendment abolished slavery?(3 votes)
- Okay so why was slavery needed in the first place? I get that it was probably nothing against Africans personally because Africans actually weren’t the first slaves in the colonies. I think slavery in the colonies started with wealthier people enslaving poorer Europeans and then moving on to enslaving Brazilians (correct me if I’m wrong). But why did they have to enslave people? Could they just not do things themselves?(2 votes)
- In the South before slavery, plantations were manned by indentured servants. Plantations were huge farms that required weeding, watering, tilling, planting, pest control, and more. Most plantations were self-sufficient like a small county. They provided for all their own food. Which included killing the beef, chicken, fish, etc. skinning it & cooking it. you couldn't just drop by the grocery store and buy flour for bread. You would grow, harvest, and grind it yourself. Then there were other jobs as well. such as washing the clothes, Which often took days of work. They had no washing machines or dryers. If you wanted to iron you heated up an iron block in the fire and used that. Then there was cooking, lawn work, house cleaning, feeding the animals, growing enough food for winter and chopping up firewood for cooking, heat, and light. There is so much more to do on a colonial plantation. This is just a basic overview. Small plantations were at least 50 acres. large ones could be hundreds of acres. All of this is being done by indentured servants were people who worked for 5-7 years and the people who bought them a ticket to America. Then indentured servants would leave. Which only provided a short term labor supply. A Dutch ship paid for supplies with slaves. Slaves provided for long term labor supply for theses plantations with their numerous jobs.(5 votes)
- why did the black codes get enforced again ? and why couldn't African Americans be free in the first place?(3 votes)
- Because of the evil of those who created the Jim Crow laws. Basically legislators - with the full blessing of most of their constituents at the time - were aggressively undoing the freedoms granted to slaves following the Civil War in a successful attempt to further subjugate them in a new way.(2 votes)
- What would happen if you were a mixed race. For example a person who has a white father that has a lot of political power and has a African American mother who was recently freed? How would you get treated and would you have the same rights.(0 votes)
- In the mid-nineteenth century when the 13th Amendment was passed, there was a term called "mullato" which was used to describe people of mixed race. (African, Native American, or White combinations)
If a mixed race child was born to a slave woman, the general rule was that the child would fall under the slave laws, and therefore they would probably be treated in similar fashion.
Treatment of these mixed race people probably varied depending upon where in the United States they resided. Frederick Douglass is a noted example of a mixed race person from this era.(8 votes)
- Did the Confederate states also have to ratify the 13th amendment? If so, how did the Union manage to get the Confederacy to do that?(2 votes)
- The 13th amendment went through before those states, which had rebelled against the United states, were readmitted to the union. Their votes wouldn't have counted then. Besides, it does not take unanimous acceptance, only three fourths. So, here's the math. How many states were in the US prior to the war? (That's A). How many states were temporarily out of the US right after the war? (That's B) A minus B will give you another number of states,(That's C) and three fourths of C are required to ratify an amendment.(2 votes)
- why werent the 13th and 14th amendments ratified(1 vote)
- At4:07, they explain that technically the 13th Amendment was illegally ratified because the ratification process did not include the Southern states. Of course, no one disputes that these amendments were unjustified.(3 votes)
- why did andrew johnson veto the civil rights act(2 votes)
- This excerpt is from an article discussing the question why Andrew Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1866:
"In the exercise of State policy over matters exclusively affecting the people of each State it has frequently been thought expedient to discriminate between the two races.” He said that he particularly object to the elimination of laws banning blacks and whites from marrying. Intermarriage between the races was, he wrote, viewed as “revolting, and regarded as an offense against public decorum,” and was illegal in the former Confederate states as well as in some of the Northern states. Johnson believed that it was a state’s right to have laws that discriminate between the races.
I'm Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and more here with another lesson in our American civics series this under reconstruction amendments after the Civil War and I'm here with Jeffrey Rosen a professor of constitutional law at George Washington University and the president of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Jeffrey let's start with the end of the Civil War let's go on this timeline here and and Appomattox we have the surrender of general robert e lee to the Union General Ulysses Grant and April of 1865 so take us from there and tell us when we start having these Reconstruction Amendments well the debates over the Reconstruction Amendments had actually begun before the end of the Civil War President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 but he wasn't sure that he had the constitutional authority to free the slaves and therefore it was part of his party platform in 1864 that he would pass constitutional amendments abolishing slavery so as you said the Civil War ended in April 1865 even before then the Senate had already introduced the Thirteenth Amendment which would abolish slavery the House passed it in January of 1865 and it was ratified at the end of that year in December of 1865 so that's the one that Spielberg did that movie about the movie Lincoln is about the Thirteenth Amendment right exactly and we all think we know the story from that great movie yes right well you know the Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal but the original Constitution contains no guarantee of equality how did that become a constitutional right it was Lincoln who proclaimed at Gettysburg a new birth of freedom that would ensure that Jefferson's promised that all men are created equal would actually become a legal reality but again Lincoln's promise in Gettysburg wasn't enshrined in the Constitution until the 13th amendment was passed and that's the amendment that abolishes slavery it says neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction so that did that actually end slavery right away well it formally ended slavery but of the southern states fought back they passed a series of laws known as the Black Codes that basically reinstated slavery by other means they denied african-americans the right to make and enforce contracts the right to sue and be sued and basically denied them the equal civil rights that white people were so didn't the Thirteenth Amendment apply also to the states or just to the federal government the Thirteenth Amendment does indeed apply to the federal government to the states and to private parties to private parties are forbidden from putting others in peonage or slavery the problem is that the southern states just ignored it and even though they'd formally emancipated the slaves they continue to deny slaves their equal civil so how did Congress push back on that so they pushed back by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that law basically said that African Americans shall have the same rights to make and enforce contracts to soon be sued to inherit property as white people the problem was once again there was question about Congress's constitutional authority to pass that Civil Rights Act and President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Act claiming Congress lacked the constitutional authority to pass it that's why the 14th amendment is necessary to make clear that Congress had the power to pass the Civil Rights Act and at that point all of the states that had been in rebellion as part of the Confederacy were back as part of the United States no not at all this is part of the fascinating bit of the story it was a condition to be readmitted to the union that the states ratified the 14th amendment so basically they were forced at gunpoint to ratify the 14th amendment Congress told him unless you ratified this amendment you will not be allowed back and what about the Thirteenth Amendment they had to ratify that as well the Thirteenth Amendment began to be debated before the Civil War and it as as we remember from the movie it was a nail-biter but basically I have that one passed without the force of arms behind it but it passed by not all of the states being participants in the process because the southern states hadn't all come back in by the time the 13th is ratified that's exactly right and that's why there's a serious question about whether the 13th and the 14th amendment actually were legally ratified but of course the same question arose with the ratification of the original Constitution which broke the rules of the Articles of Confederation therefore our greatest constitutional guarantees may have been ratified by arguably illegal means but everybody now accepts and every Court has now accepted that the Thirteenth Amendment was fide justifiably they certainly do in the 14th and 15th - these are now the centerpiece of our constitutional jurisprudence arguably the most important constitutional amendments we have well in the next session we'll get to the 14th amendment Thank You Jeffrey thank you