Restricted Analyzing the Confederate Constitution

jgoodguy

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But, logically,, is it reasonable to make the institution of slavery a states right, protected by states law, while slave ownership was a personal right of every (white)citizen of the, confederacy protected by the csa Constitution?

Your post seems to me to be in line with US jurisprudence until the 13th Amendment. The right to own slaves was extended to black citizens in the Slave States of both the US and CSA. Dred Scot, for example, established property rights in slaves was Constitutionally protected. Lemmon v New York, scheduled to be heard by the same SCOTUS would have extended that to the Northern Free States.
 

OpnCoronet

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Your post seems to me to be in line with US jurisprudence until the 13th Amendment. The right to own slaves was extended to black citizens in the Slave States of both the US and CSA. Dred Scot, for example, established property rights in slaves was Constitutionally protected. Lemmon v New York, scheduled to be heard by the same SCOTUS would have extended that to the Northern Free States.



Was the right to own slaves a guarantee of the U.S. Constitution, to every citizen of the United States?
 

jgoodguy

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Was the right to own slaves a guarantee of the U.S. Constitution, to every citizen of the United States?
Scott v. Sandford | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

1. The territory thus acquired is acquired by the people of the United States for their common and equal benefit through their agent and trustee, the Federal Government. Congress can exercise no power over the rights of persons or property of a citizen in the Territory which is prohibited by the Constitution. The Government and the citizen, whenever the Territory is open to settlement, both enter it with their respective rights defined and limited by the Constitution.
 

OpnCoronet

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Scott v. Sandford | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

1. The territory thus acquired is acquired by the people of the United States for their common and equal benefit through their agent and trustee, the Federal Government. Congress can exercise no power over the rights of persons or property of a citizen in the Territory which is prohibited by the Constitution. The Government and the citizen, whenever the Territory is open to settlement, both enter it with their respective rights defined and limited by the Constitution.




Well we are descending into the murkey waters of lawyerly debate over interpretation, weighing the validity of negative assent against that of a positive one and I am full of trepidation in going too far from shore in it.

It certainly seems to me, that the framers of the csa Constitution, went out of their way to say explicitly, what the Constitution of the United States said could say only by interpretation.

It seems that Taney was saying that the right of every citizen to own slaves, was Constitutionally secure, even in the face of state law to the contrary?( debatable point under the old Constitution up to Dred Scott. but not under the csa Constitution)
 

jgoodguy

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Well we are descending into the murkey waters of lawyerly debate over interpretation, weighing the validity of negative assent against that of a positive one and I am full of trepidation in going too far from shore in it.

It certainly seems to me, that the framers of the csa Constitution, went out of their way to say explicitly, what the Constitution of the United States said could say only by interpretation.

It seems that Taney was saying that the right of every citizen to own slaves, was Constitutionally secure, even in the face of state law to the contrary?( debatable point under the old Constitution up to Dred Scott. but not under the csa Constitution)
IMHO the CSA Constitution implemented Dred Scott and Lemmon vs New York plus the fugitive slave cases. An unique feature of the CSA is that the lack of even a neutered Supreme Court means that the interpretation of the Constitution is by State Courts and executed be the State governor.
 

byron ed

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The Confederate Constitution was more or less a copy of the American Constitution with some changes made to fit Southern interpretations.

If that's all it was we'd not even be discussing the topic.

Attempted euphemism aside, "Southern interpretations" means white Southern intent to keep and expand slavery. Why beat around the bush?
 
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jgoodguy

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If that's all it was we'd not even be discussing the topic.

Attempted euphemism aside, "Southern interpretations" means white Southern intent to keep and expand slavery. Why beat around the bush?
Because the devil is in the details.
 

byron ed

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Because the devil is in the details.

Human bondage is a detail? I've noted before here how playing Constitutional Lawyer completely obscures the discussion about what was happening with people's lives on the ground in the Antebellum and CW period. It's to elevate the paper chase to the status of moral standard, for the mere gain of one-upsmanship in a hobby forum. The ultimate irony is that no one here has anywhere near the legal gravitas, ne proper training, to be interpreting Constitutional law -- let alone having the last word.

The reality of the CW was blood on the dust, not ink on the paper.
 

jgoodguy

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Human bondage is a detail? I've noted before here how playing Constitutional Lawyer completely obscures the discussion about what was happening with people's lives on the ground in the Antebellum and CW period. It's to elevate the paper chase to the status of moral standard, for the mere gain of one-upsmanship in a hobby forum. The ultimate irony is that no one here has anywhere near the legal gravitas, ne proper training, to be interpreting Constitutional law -- let alone having the last word.

The reality of the CW was blood on the dust, not ink on the paper.
You're in the Session and Politics where we do history not morality. Morality is in the area of theology and philosophy. We a discussion group mostly composed of lay folks. We discuss political stuff. If you are unhappy here, be elsewhere.
 
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BlueandGrayl

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If that's all it was we'd not even be discussing the topic.

Attempted euphemism aside, "Southern interpretations" means white Southern intent to keep and expand slavery. Why beat around the bush?
I'm only using Southern interpretations to describe their viewpoints. Thing was the North and the South had very different views on economics and the Constitution.
 

byron ed

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You're in the Session and Politics where we do history not morality. Morality is in the area of theology and philosophy. We a discussion group mostly composed of lay folks. If you are unhappy here, be elsewhere.

That would explain what's going on, discussing politics as if morality isn't (or wasn't) always a huge factor in politics. Though that's not possible in reality, I can accept that is the premise of this forum.
 

BlueandGrayl

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Of course if we're looking to history what about the American Patriots of 1776 many were slaveowners (and prior to the Revolution had no objections to slavery) aside from some exceptions such as John Adams. The Declaration of Independence was declaring the United States formation and it mentioned they were severing ties with Great Britain which is more or less secession plus there was a considerable contingent of American Loyalists. So there was some similarity between 1776 and 1861 aside from some of the circumstances being different.
 

jgoodguy

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Of course if we're looking to history what about the American Patriots of 1776 many were slaveowners (and prior to the Revolution had no objections to slavery) aside from some exceptions such as John Adams. The Declaration of Independence was declaring the United States formation and it mentioned they were severing ties with Great Britain which is more or less secession plus there was a considerable contingent of American Loyalists. So there was some similarity between 1776 and 1861 aside from some of the circumstances being different.
IMHO if the 7500 year history of slavery prior to 1865 was a 24-hour clock, the US gets in at about 11:00 PM 23:00. A hour before midnight. First major abolition is 11:53 PM. 23:53 7 minutes before midnight. Secession is at 11:59:45 PM 23:59:45 15 seconds before midnight.

They were both revolutions. Some historians speculate that the 1776 Southern Slave Holders rebelled in part because of a fear that slavery was not safe in far away the London parlement. I agree with the speculation, but the evidence is circumstantial. Unlike the 1860-65 rebels, the 1776 rebels did not express that expressly.
 

MattL

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That would explain what's going on, discussing politics as if morality isn't (or wasn't) always a huge factor in politics. Though that's not possible in reality, I can accept that is the premise of this forum.

The problem comes whether you are studying the time period contemporary to itself or applying modern morals to that time period. Yes some people in that time period thought slavery was immoral, hence many States making it illegal. On the other hand many people didn't see it as immoral. If you are talking about historical morality then your opinion of what or wasn't moral has no bearing at all.
 

MattL

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Of course if we're looking to history what about the American Patriots of 1776 many were slaveowners (and prior to the Revolution had no objections to slavery) aside from some exceptions such as John Adams. The Declaration of Independence was declaring the United States formation and it mentioned they were severing ties with Great Britain which is more or less secession plus there was a considerable contingent of American Loyalists. So there was some similarity between 1776 and 1861 aside from some of the circumstances being different.

We still have legal constitutionally protected slavery btw. It's in the 13th amendment. So in that premise slavery connects all of US history until the present even.

With that said the American Revolution is called a "Revolution" proudly not just some simple secession. Confederates mostly argued they weren't enacting a revolution, just a legal secession. Extremely important distinctions that contemporaries tried to make.

There are many other and countless differences between the two events (probably far more differences than similarities) including the entire sort of grievances as well like "no taxation without representation"... which led to them establishing the entire representation and system in the US Constitution that then was deemed flawed by the Confederates. The slavery comparison breaks down quickly since it wasn't a dividing line between sides and a cause of events like it was during the Civil War.
 

jgoodguy

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We still have legal constitutionally protected slavery btw. It's in the 13th amendment. So in that premise slavery connects all of US history until the present even.

With that said the American Revolution is called a "Revolution" proudly not just some simple secession. Confederates mostly argued they weren't enacting a revolution, just a legal secession. Extremely important distinctions that contemporaries tried to make.

There are many other and countless differences between the two events (probably far more differences than similarities) including the entire sort of grievances as well like "no taxation without representation"... which led to them establishing the entire representation and system in the US Constitution that then was deemed flawed by the Confederates. The slavery comparison breaks down quickly since it wasn't a dividing line between sides and a cause of events like it was during the Civil War.
Good points. In the main, both were rebellions for independence. The root causes were different. One was rights of Englishmen the other the rights of Americans.
 

jgoodguy

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Exactly... and the baseline for an Englishman (especially a colonial one) vs American were worlds apart (so apart in fact it cause a Revolution).
Sometime about the time of the Revolution, the word American crept into the language.
 

byron ed

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The problem comes whether you are studying the time period contemporary to itself or applying modern morals to that time period. Yes some people in that time period thought slavery was immoral, hence many States making it illegal. On the other hand many people didn't see it as immoral. If you are talking about historical morality then your opinion of what or wasn't moral has no bearing at all.

Way overplayed, this thing about "period" morals. It's an attempt to equate period morals with period acceptance levels, which do change over time and between various cultures.*

The only aspect being considered here however is what was constitutionally legal.


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* Humans born into any age or culture have an innate moral compass. It can be supplanted with enough societal pressure, the popular acceptance level. For instance, killing one's child is innately immoral but in certain societies becomes acceptable as a religious sacrifice. For another instance, Americans North and South accepted slavery despite their innate moral compass directing them that it was wrong. Acceptance leads to permission, permission sometimes to horror.
 
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