The Civil War Confiscation Acts: Failing to Reconstruct the South

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Fordham Univ Press, 2005 - 282 páginas
This book is the first full account in more than 20 years of two significant, but relatively understudied, laws passed during the Civil War. The Confiscation Acts (1861-62) were designed to sanction slave holding states by authorizing the Federal Government to seize rebel properties (including land and other assets held in Northern and border states) and grant freedom to slaves who fought with or worked for the Confederate military. Abraham Lincoln objected to the Acts for fear they might push border states, particularly Missouri and Kentucky, into secession. The Acts were eventually rendered moot by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. John Syrett examines the political contexts of the Acts, especially the debates in Congress, and demonstrates how the failure of the confiscation acts during the war presaged the political and structural shortcomings of Reconstruction after the war.

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Contenido

Act and Its Opponents
20
Divided Republican
35
Early Military Confiscation
73
Rules of War and Later Military
88
The Treasurys Part
103
The Politics of Confiscation 120 8
120
Andrew Johnson and the End
137
Constitutionality and Duration
169
Conclusion
185
Appendix
191
Notes
197
Selected Bibliography
249
Index
269
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Página 60 - I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
Página 195 - ... against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due is his lawful...
Página 195 - States is authorized to employ as many persons of African descent as he may deem necessary and proper for the suppression of this rebellion, and for this purpose he may organize and use them in such manner as he may judge best for the public welfare.
Página 56 - The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent, not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours.
Página 52 - If the war continues long, as it must, if the object be not sooner attained, the institution in your States will be extinguished by mere friction and abrasion — by the mere incidents of the war. It will be gone and you will have nothing valuable in lieu of it.
Página 8 - I think there is great danger that the closing paragraph, in relation to the confiscation of property and the liberating slaves of traitorous owners, will alarm our Southern Union friends and turn them against us; perhaps ruin our rather fair prospect for Kentucky.
Página 192 - ... incite, set on foot, assist, or engage in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States, or the laws thereof, or shall give aid or comfort thereto, or shall engage in or give aid and comfort to any such existing rebellion or insurrection.
Página 60 - What good would a proclamation of emancipation from me do, especially as we are now situated? I do not want to issue a document that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the Pope's bull against the comet! Would my word free the slaves, when I cannot even enforce the Constitution in the rebel States? Is there a single court, or magistrate, or individual that would be influenced by it there?
Página 52 - ... within certain States, and I repudiated the proclamation. He expected more good and less harm from the measure than I could believe would follow. Yet, in repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction if not offence, to many whose support the country cannot afford to lose.
Página 29 - Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country ; that this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired ;...

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John Syrett is Professor of History Emeritus at Trent University.

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