Alexandra F and Julia K

Julia Kirkpatrick & Alexandra Fettig 3rd hour
The 13th Amendment
The 13th amendment is a Reconstruction Amendment. It officially says: Section 1.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. Section 2.Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The 13th amendment was a direct result of the Civil War. The 13th amendment abolished slavery in the U.S. in 1865. It's the first amendment of three dealing with slaves. At the time that the 13th amendment was ratified, it didn't demolish segregation completely. The southern states quickly passed Black Codes. These were codes that limited African American freedoms and rights. Some of the things they weren't allowed to do were not being able to vote, sit on a jury, or even not have a job or they'd be arrested and put back on plantations. Black Codes caused segregation.
This amendment means that any form of slavery, like being forced to work against your will, is illegal. However, if working against your will is a punishment for a criminal act, it is legal. Congress shall also be able to enforce this amendment with as a part of their duties. It was necessary at the time it was originally proposed and passed because blacks were being treated unfairly and they didn't have equal rights. Blacks were sold and used as slaves on plantations. This amendment is still applicable today because it can still be applied and tested in court.
Examples of when this amendment applies: You have a very important position in a company. Somebody from a rival company finds something that could make you lose your job. However, instead of turning it into your boss, they come up with a better idea. They want to take that information and force you to do whatever they want. This is called blackmail, which is also involuntary servitude, and therefore illegal.
Example 2: You’re walking home from school. A car pulls up and forces you into the car. They take you and force you to work as a slave on a farm. If you try escape or refuse your orders, you’re beaten or starved. However, somebody comes by the farm one day and finds out that you’re a slave. You’re freed and taken to court. The person who kidnapped you and forced you to work as a slave is facing criminal charges because they violated the 13th amendment by enslaving you.
This amendment doesn’t apply in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, there is human trafficking and slavery. In Mauritania, slavery is still legal. It is a part of their culture. Here, slavery has existed for 800 years and despite attempts to make laws against it, it’s still there. People living in countries similar to this nation suffer from the many horrors of slavery. Slaves work long hours without getting a penny in return of their labor. The slaves can also be very young children. Slaves live under very harsh conditions as well. Some slaves try to escape; they can be killed if they’re caught.

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