Did the CSA ever declare war on the USA?


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WJC

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They thought they were a nation, masqueraded as a nation, and their 'Congress' declared war in an "Act Recognizing a State of War", published May 6, 1861.
<Frank Moore, Editor, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events.... (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1861), Vol. I, pp. 195-197.>
 

John Hartwell

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They thought they were a nation, masqueraded as a nation, and their 'Congress' declared war in an "Act Recognizing a State of War", published May 6, 1861.
<Frank Moore, Editor, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events.... (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1861), Vol. I, pp. 195-197.>
Thank you, that's what I wanted to know.
 
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Old_Glory

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Did the Confederacy, or any of its constituents, ever officially declare a "state of war" to exist with the United States?
I'm not sure that was ever officially declared either way. Maybe someone else knows.
 
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CSA Today

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They thought they were a nation, masqueraded as a nation, and their 'Congress' declared war in an "Act Recognizing a State of War", published May 6, 1861.
<Frank Moore, Editor, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events.... (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1861), Vol. I, pp. 195-197.>
Recognizing a state of war existed after Lincoln called for troops to invade the CS is not an official declaration of war on the US.
 

diane

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It's been my understanding that the Confederate Congress did only acknowledge a state of war existed between them and the United States but they would never have declared war themselves. That would have made them the belligerent and they wanted to keep up the righteousness of their cause. We are trying to leave the Union peacefully but they won't let us looked a lot better to the European powers they hoped would recognize them and maybe help.
 

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I'm not sure that was ever officially declared either way. Maybe someone else knows.
Recognizing a state of war existed after Lincoln called for troops to invade the CS is not an official declaration of war on the US.
Well, officially declaring a state of war to exist is a legal procedure legitimate governments take when at war with a foreign nation, whoever "starts" the fighting. Lincoln was under no obligation to request a declaration of war from Congress because he was well within his constitutional powers in opposing armed insurrection within the USA. The Confederacy, claiming to be an independent nation, should logically have done so. I would be very surprised if they did not, for they were generally quite careful about the outward signs of sovereignty. Of course, having starting out with the disputable assumption that unilateral secession was constitutionally legal, made the whole question of independent nationhood moot -- unless they could gain it extra-constitutionally, by force of arms.
 
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Recognizing a state of war existed after Lincoln called for troops to invade the CS is not an official declaration of war on the US.
I agree that the recognition of a state of war is not a declaration of war. My quibble is with your use of the word "invade." The Confederacy was not a de jure sovereign in April 1861 nor was it ever so in its 4 year existence. Lincoln's April 15th proclamation was to suppress the rebellion in the states that had declared their secession and to retake the federal forts and properties that had been seized. Lincoln never invaded anything.
 

Old_Glory

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Well, officially declaring a state of war to exist is a legal procedure legitimate governments take when at war with a foreign nation, whoever "starts" the fighting. Lincoln was under no obligation to request a declaration of war from Congress because he was well within his constitutional powers in opposing armed insurrection within the USA.
Calling the Confederacy an armed insurrection is a great understatement. There was really no laws for it either way. All the representatives left the Union. I do not believe that is something that falls under armed insurrection even remotely. It is a beast all unto itself.
 

WJC

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Recognizing a state of war existed after Lincoln called for troops to invade the CS is not an official declaration of war on the US.
Thanks for your response.
Why not? Whether one considers the rebels aggressors or victims, does not invalidate the declaration of their Congress.
Think back to the various US declarations of war. In each case, they use essentially the same process and language, stating that "a state of war exists...."
Often, but not always, both parties to a conflict declare war. In this case, only one of the 'combatants' officially declared war: the so-called Confederate States.
 

WJC

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the recognition of a state of war is not a declaration of war.
Oh? Compare the language used here:
Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:
Therefore be it
Resolved, etc., That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United states.​
<Declarations of a State of War with Japan, Germany, and Italy, December 8, 1941.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/dec04.asp#japan>
 

WJC

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Yes, they did. Among other places, the full text is in Frank Moore, Editor, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events.... (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1861), Vol. I, pp. 195-197.
 

WJC

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***Posted as Moderator***
A reminder: this thread asks "Did the CSA ever declare war on the USA?"

It is not yet another Fort Sumter thread. Nor is it another 'Lincoln declared war on the south' thread.
Please stay on-topic.
 

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I would have thought that this would be a simple open and shut question: Yes, the Confederate Congress formally passed an act recognizing war between the United States and the Confederate States. It is rather long, but has much in common with the 1812 and 1846 declarations of war passed by the U.S. Congress. It also contains sections governing matters that either would have been separate acts passed by U.S. Congresses after declaring war or addressing matters that simply did not exist in the nascent Confederate statute books.

All black and white boilerplate war making laws.

And I can say that stating that the Confederate Congress clearly started the war, clearly were only pretending to govern a "nation," and clearly counted as a vague "combination" too powerful for ordinary law enforcement under various federal laws authorizing the President to put down rebellions.
 


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