The 13th Amendment was a key constitutional amendment passed due to Civil War that helped African-Americans achieve equal rights. The 13th amendment, added to the U.S. Constitution in 1865, stated that slavery was illegal. It also made the Emancipation Proclamation (Abraham Lincoln’s announcement to the seceded states that their slaves were now free) into a law. The people of the United Stated reacted to the idea of abolished slavery in a variety of ways. Some former slave owners wanted the government to give them money in return for the freed slaves. The northern workers feared that the freed African-Americans would take their jobs and work for less pay. The white workers thought that the freed slaves would compete for their jobs, causing pay to go down and working conditions to be poor. However, those concerns were partly unnecessary because the former slaves lacked the education to get certain jobs. In response, Congress passed the 14th amendment, aiding the former slaves. This amendment stated that everyone in the United States, including the African-Americans, were rightful citizens. This amendment ensured that the states could not take away key rights such as going to school, suing others in court, or voting on political decisions. After the 13th and 14th amendment, former slaves still didn’t have as many rights as whites in the United States but at least they were able to participate in their government.