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Title    Author    Year    Contributors


Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom

Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom

Author: Alexander Tsesis

Year Published: 2003

Description: Through his epic tome of legal history, Alexander Tsesis analyzes the role of the Thirteenth Amendment as a force that shaped contemporary America. Though on the surface it appears to only outlaw slavery, the Thirteenth Amendment did more than that. It “abolished the political structure that was linked to slavery,” changing the fundamental nature of the Constitution from a document that took the side of slaveholding interests under the guise of property rights, to a document that, in line with the Declaration of Independence, affirmed individual’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, thereby mandating the federal government to protect such liberties from both state and private infringements. Though it was hampered early on by Reconstruction-era Supreme Court decisions, the Thirteenth Amendment has enormous potential for freedom in modern society that is still being unlocked.

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'The amendment is more than a means for ending coercive domination, it is also one of the most important constitutional provisions requiring the government to assess and act to create laws for a country where everyone may live a good life.'  

Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom


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