One of the elements of the Civil War was slavery. Some people maintain that the Civil War itself was fought primarily to abolish slavery. Others insist that it was for many other reasons that separated the Northern States from the interests of the Southern States that the Civil War was fought.
The truth is somewhere in between. Many issues existed that caused a lot of the people living in the South to feel that they were not being represented by the North, and they felt like a lot of the people and the politicians living in the North didnít know or feel their needs.
The South was agricultural, and used a large number of slaves on plantations to produce crops. Increasingly slaves and slavery began to be seen as an issue by people from the North, without understanding that while it was about equality, that for many in the Southern States it was also about raw economics and money.
Greed was one of the motivation factors that kept many to continue to own slaves above and beyond any of the other issues of equal rights, human rights and
other moral issues.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution made official the abolishment of slavery and put into United States Federal law the prohibition against involuntary service, servitude and slavery.
The only exception is as punishment for a crime as deemed necessary by a state, local or federal court.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and while this had the same effect as the 13th Amendment in most issues, President Lincoln believed that his Proclamation would be seen as temporary so he pushed through Congress the legislation for the 13th Amendment.
The 13th Amendment was passed abolishing slavery in the U.S. Senate in 1864, and in January 1865 the U.S. House of Representatives also passed it.
President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment on February 1st, 1865 and it was passed to the states to ratify.
Each of the states in turned considered it until enough states did eventually ratify it, and the Secretary of State William Henry Seward certified that it had been ratified by the States and it became law and the 13th Amendment on December 18th, 1865.