• Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution | Wikipedia audio article
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    Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution | Wikipedia audio article

    The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865. The amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Since the American Revolution, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery. Slavery was implicitly permitted in the original Constitution through provisions such…

  • Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution | Wikipedia audio article
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    Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution | Wikipedia audio article

    The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day, the amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress. The amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown…