4. How was the issue of slavery dealt with in the final version of the Constitution?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Emancipation Proclamation was a positive move toward banning slavery in the United States. The Proclamation made in 1863 was bolstered by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It abolished slavery and involuntary servitude throughout the United States. However, efforts and progress made by the Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment were watered down by the Jim Crow laws that instituted segregation in the southern United States.

Prior to the constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, the Union was split between states that accepted slavery and those that rejected slavery. The Constitution also made provisions for the continued practice of slavery by stating how slaves would be factored into the determination of representative seats in Congress (Three-Fifths Compromise). The Thirteenth Amendment officially and legally freed all slaves in the Union and also voided the Three-Fifths Compromise, which made it possible for the continuity of slavery.

The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments sought to address the challenges of segregation and the Black Codes by making their existence and enforcement illegal.