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Constitutional Amendments.

The joint resolution which passed the Senate at the last session and the House Tuesday, by six votes above the requisite two-thirds, reads as follows:

"That the following article is proposed to the Legislature of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States which, when ratified by three fourths of said Legislature, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as a part of the Constitution, namely:


Sec. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as a punishment of a crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or anyplace subject to their jurisdiction.

Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

The Constitution has been amended at three different times. The first 10 articles of amendments were passed by Congress and submitted to the States for ratification, Sept. 25, 1789, and were ratified by three fourths of the States, Dec. 15, 1791. The 11th amendment passed by Congress March 5, 1791, and was not ratified by three-fourths of the States till January 8, 1799 The twelfth amendment was passed by Congress Dec. 12, 1803, and ratified Sept. 25, 1804.

The "Articles of Confederation" were proposed by the Congress held under the Declaration of Independence, Nov. 15, 1776, but were not ratified by the 13 states till March 1, 1781.

The present Constitution was adopted in Convention of all the States, Sept. 17, 1787, was ratified by the ninth State (N. H.) June 21, 1788, which was enough to carry the instrument into effect between the states so ratifying, but was not finally ratified by all the the 13 states till May 29, 1790.

It thus appears that the adoption or alteration of the Constitution has heretofore been a question of time,- in some cases three or four years. There is indeed no limit fixed during which amendments must be ratified.

The friends of this new amendment ( and we envy not the head or heart of the man who is not a friend to it) are therefore sure that it will be ratified by the requisite number of states. It is only a question of time, and events indicate a shorter time than some of the previous amendments.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery, was passed by the House of Representatives on January 31, 1865. It had already been passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864. This article goes into the history of amending the Constitution and finds that it often took years before all the states ratified new amendments. The writer assures the people in favor of the amendment that it would eventually be ratified, which happened in December, 1865. The Gazette & Courier was the newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from July 20, 1841 until June 24, 1932. Before 1841 the newspaper's name changed quite frequently, with Gazette a frequent part of the title.


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"Constitutional Amendments" article from the Gazette and Courier newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Feb 6, 1865
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   1.75"
height   4.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L05.133

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See Also...

"Amendment of the Constitution the Only Way to Kill Slavery" article from Gazette and Courier newspaper

"The Constitutional Amendment" article from the Gazette and Courier newspaper

Letter to George Fuller regarding the 13th Amendment

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