Slavery Abolished in the USA

18th December 1865

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

13th Amendment to the US Constitution

On this day, 246 years after the first shipment of slaves arrived in the US, the 13th amendment was officially adopted into the American constitution legally freeing all slaves in the United States. Following the emancipation proclamation in 1863 granting freedom to Slaves during the Civil War Lincoln wanted to enshrine their freedom in law and so presented the 13th amendment to the American Congress in 1864. The amendment finally achieved the requisite 3/4ths majority in the House of Representatives to become law in 1865 and it was written into law in December that year.

Despite outlawing the selling and owning of Slaves in the US the amendment heightened, rather than solved race relations, an issue still prominent to this day. Despite efforts to incorporate African Americans into society and the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s Black and coloured Americans are still treated largely as second class citizens.

As well as the failure to solve Race relations the Abolition of Slavery also failed to solve the issue of slavery globally with more people living in slavery now than ever before in History. If we are to truly be God’s people working for the Kingdom then we must continue the work started with the 13th amendment by combating Slavery on a social level as well as a State level and not just rely on the Laws of the land for real change.

A Prayer for the Abolition of Slavery:

God of freedom and of liberation we give thanks for the abolition of slavery. We ask that you might fill us with the same earning for freedom as those kept in slavery that we might work towards their liberation and to change the systems that keep people enslaved today.

Suggested Bible Reading:

Ex 2.23 – 3.10