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Today in legal history...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, making slavery illegal in the US
Kyle Webster at 12:00 AM ET

On December 6, 1865, Georgia's legislature ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, giving it enough support to become part of the US Constitution. The ratification of this amendment eliminated the institution of slavery in the US. Beginning with the Constitution of Vermont, slavery had already been outlawed in every state north of the Mason-Dixon Line by 1804. President Abraham Lincoln outlawed slavery in seceding states in 1863 through the Emancipation Proclamation, but he felt that a constitutional amendment was necessary to ensure that slavery was fully abolished. The legislation was first passed by the US Senate in April 1864 and the US House of Representatives in January 1865. Georgia was the 27th of 36 states to ratify the Thirteen Amendment, thus providing the three-fourths of states needed for full ratification.

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