Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

This is the third installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the lead-up to the U.S. Civil War that would have protected the institution of slavery. When the second session of the 36th Congress convened in late 1860, the issue of slavery had grown increasingly divisive, … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

What you may not know about the Bill of Rights

December 15 is Bill of Rights Day, which commemorates the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. For more information on events and resources at the National Archives, visit our Bill of Rights Day website. How much do you know about the Bill of Rights? We know a lot and have written … Continue reading What you may not know about the Bill of Rights

On Exhibit: Abolishing Slavery

On December 6, 1865, with Georgia’s ratification of the 13th Amendment, slavery throughout the United States became illegal. Just a few years earlier, in 1861, Ohio Representative Thomas Corwin proposed—and both Houses of Congress passed—a constitutional amendment that would have done the exact opposite. Corwin’s amendment read, "No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which … Continue reading On Exhibit: Abolishing Slavery

Eight myths about the Constitution

Constitution Day is September 17. We've got events, programs, and activities at National Archives locations across the United States. Pundits, candidates, and party activists like to cite the Constitution of the United States as the moral and legal backing for whatever they’re proposing. Or they say that something an opponent proposes is unconstitutional. But the … Continue reading Eight myths about the Constitution