On this day in 1865, the Republican-controlled 38th Congress passed a Joint Resolution submitting the 13th Amendment to the states for ratification. Republicans had voted unanimously to abolish slavery, while most Democrats had voted to keep slaves in chains.
Amending the Constitution to abolish slavery had been in the platform of the 1864 Republican National Convention.Though a President's approval is not required for constitutional amendments, Abraham Lincoln insisted on signing the 13th Amendment. Even after the amendment was ratified, former rebel states would have to ratify it as a condition for readmittance to the Union.
Michael Zak is a popular speaker to Republican organizations around the country. Back to Basics for the Republican Party is his acclaimed history of the GOP, cited by Clarence Thomas in a Supreme Court decision. He is also the author of the 2005 Republican Freedom Calendar. His Grand Old Partisan website celebrates more than fifteen decades of Republican heroes and heroics. See www.grandoldpartisan.com and @Michael_Zak for more information.