1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Lincoln Legitimized the Confederacy with the Blockade

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by 5fish, May 22, 2018.

  1. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Yes, Lincoln's blockade of the Confederacy in legal terms recognized the Confederacy as a Nation state. I see how history ignores the following for the Confederate States of America was a nation-state...

    But the blockade was a different matter, primarily because of its implications for possible recognition of the Confederacy as a nation. The international community respected blockades when they featured two or more nations at war. But the Union did not want to concede that this was a war instead of a rebellion.

    In his Memoirs of Service Afloat, Raphael Semmes contended that the announcement of a blockade carried de facto recognition of the Confederate States of America as an independent national entity since countries do not blockade their own ports but rather close them (See Boston Port Act).[2] Under international law and maritime law, however, nations had the right to stop and search neutral ships in international waters if they were suspected of violating a blockade, something port closures would not allow. In an effort to avoid conflict between the United States and Britain over the searching of British merchant vessels thought to be trading with the Confederacy, the Union needed the privileges of international law that came with the declaration of a blockade.

    Lincoln did open the door... If you can get loans your a nation-state

    However, by effectively declaring the Confederate States of America to be belligerents—rather than insurrectionists, who under international law were not eligible for recognition by foreign powers—Lincoln opened the way for Britain and France to recognize the Confederacy. Britain's proclamation of neutrality was consistent with the Lincoln Administration's position—that under international law the Confederates were belligerents—and helped legitimize the Confederate States of America's national right to obtain loans and buy arms from neutral nations. The British proclamation also formally gave Britain the diplomatic right to discuss openly which side, if any, to support.[3]

    Lincoln used the word blockade in his Proclamation blockading the Southern ports.

    Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful proceedings, or until the same shall ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States, and of the law of Nations, in such case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall attempt to leave either of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the Commander of one of the blockading vessels, who will endorse on her register the fact and date of such warning, and if the same vessel shall again attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize, as may be deemed advisable.

    The Confederacy was a nation-state even under international laws... The evidence is clear...
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    There was a declaration of war by Congress all but in name on July 13, 1861. They did not even give it a name to this new legislation. What spines they have... We have a blockade and an act of war all but in a name so the Confederacy was a nation-state...

    In fact, one of the measures that came close to a declaration of war--which never occurred--was an act passed on July 13, 1861, which empowered the president to close ports of areas deemed in insurrection against the government. The act “to provide for the Collection of Duties on Imports, and for other Purposes” can hardly be considered an inspirational call to arms for a populace, but it did allow the president to claim legal justification for his policies.

    I found the act here is the link:::

    https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/37th-congress/c37.pdf
     
  4. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32,006
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Love to see the international law on this.
     
  5. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Its international law on Blockades...

    Our Supreme court was mixed...

    Here an odd line both nations have to acknowledge each other for a state of war...

    "...it is not necessary to constitute war, that both parties should be acknowledged as independent nations or sovereign States."
    In making its decision, the Court looked to recent British interpretations of international law, and concluded that the Southern Confederacy was indeed a belligerent, but a belligerent did not have to be a nation and furthermore that the name of the war was irrelevant.


    Now, yes... it was 5-4 decision here is the dissent:
    Justice Nelson
    The dissenting opinion by the Court noted that the President is not given authority by the Constitution to declare war; the power to declare war lies with Congress. The Civil War did not exist until it was declared so by Congress. Lincoln ordered the blockade before Congress had declared a war. As such, Nelson and the minority believed that the blockade was unconstitutional. They further contend that even had Lincoln been granted the authority for the blockade, he would need to provide the neutral parties with a proper notice of seizure.

    I want to point out that SCOTUS recognized the Confederacy as a belligerent, not an insurrection... again a nation-state all but in name...
     
    Andersonh1, uaskme and Rebforever like this.
  6. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    26,294
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  7. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32,006
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
  8. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Rebforever, Andersonh1 and uaskme like this.
  9. demiurge

    demiurge Corporal

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    342
  10. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Here is the opening definition of a blockade... highlighted parts...

    A blockade is a belligerent operation to prevent vessels and/or aircraft of all nations, enemy and neutral (Neutrality in Naval Warfare), from entering or exiting specified ports, airports, or coastal areas belonging to, occupied by, or under the control of an enemy nation.

    A blockade must be distinguished from other belligerent measures

    Moreover, a blockade should not be confused with embargoes, measures of force protection, eg warning zones and ‘defence bubbles’, and exclusion or war zones. With zones the focus lies on the three dimensional space within the declared limits

    Finally, today there is no longer any need to separately deal with so-called pacific blockades (for the contrary position see Rousseau 261–63). Either the establishment and maintenance of a pacific blockade is an ‘act of war’ (Whiteman 868) since it involves the use of military force by one State against another State, and will thus bring into existence an international armed conflict in the sense of Common Art.

    http://opil.ouplaw.com/view/10.1093/law:epil/9780199231690/law-9780199231690-e252
     
  11. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Lincoln says the Constitution changes to events like war, rebellion, and in peace... so it always opened to be manipulated

    In 1863, Lincoln wrote with much understatement that " the Constitution is not in its application in all respects the same in cases of rebellion or invasion involving the public safety, as it is in times of profound peace and public security."39 According to Governor Oliver Morton of Indiana, Some politicians seem to ignore the fact that there is a vast difference between war and peace, and insist that war shall be carried on just as we carry on peace. They do not comprehend that war, from its very nature, involves the exercise of powers, which, in times of peace, are unnecessary, and are prohibited. . . . War and peace are antagonistic states, and each has its conditions, privileges, and immunities, which are antagonistic to those of the other; and while our Constitution is formed, and provides mainly for peace, yet it recognizes and provides for the possibilities of war. 40

    Read this Buchanan's AG if you use force gives them independence... an odd thought

    In November, South Carolina and Georgia began taking steps to secede and raise military forces.82 Buchanan's Attorney General, Jeremiah Black, delivered a formal legal opinion that secession was unconstitutional and limited military force could be used in aid of the criminal justice authorities if federal property or personnel were threatened or laws defied.83 Black concluded, however, that if federal courts closed and executive officers resigned, leaving no criminal processes to be aided by the use of troops, any further military activity ordered by the President or Congress would be "wholly illegal" and "simply making war" upon the seceded states and their people. 84 These "hostilities carried on by the Central Government" against a seceded state "would be ipso facto an expulsion of such State from the Union," and because it treated the state "as an alien and an enemy, she would be compelled to act accordingly." 5 Under this perverse rule, the national government must concede defeat and independence to rebelling states-precisely what they wanted-the instant the rebellion gathered enough force to shut down federal courts and offices.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    Rebforever and Andersonh1 like this.
  12. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    The International community treated the CSA as a nation-state allowing it to borrow money and buy arms on international markets as any other state.

    The CSA did choose its own representative government which is one requirement under your quote... It had recognition by other governments, but not official recognition...

    The Confederacy should have look for small nation-states or kingdoms to recognize them as a nation. If they could have gotten a handful of the small nations to recognize them may have swayed one of the bigger European states to do so...
     
    Rebforever and Andersonh1 like this.
  13. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    32,006
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Rebel groups buy arms even today without being a nation-state. The borrowing of money was between private parties. The international community regarded the CSA as a high-risk high-profit market.
     
    Leftyhunter1962 likes this.
  14. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    26,294
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I still don't see why the CSA is being referred to as a nation-state. I know you understand what a nation-state is, but I get disturbed every time I see the phrase.
     
  15. wausaubob

    wausaubob Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Messages:
    6,092
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    There were lots of theories, but eventually Lincoln and Halleck relied on Francis Lieber to put their theory of war into writing. Lincoln and Halleck had too many other responsibilities to do it.
    There were a lot of theories before 1863. By January 1, 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was in place, by April all United States officers had a copy of General Order No. 100. By July 4, 1863 Vicksburg had surrendered, and by September 1863 the British Foreign ministry had the Laird rams, which were intended to break the United States blockade, were tied up in the courts in England.
    So despite all theories, the Confederacy gained only limited belligerent rights and Britain retreated into obeying the laws of neutrality.
    Don Doyle does a much better job with all of this in The Cause of All Nations.
    Nice search words though. Lincoln, Confederate, blockade and legitimized!
     
  16. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    26,294
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Really, stop saying that the blockade proves that the Confederacy was a nation state. The law of blockade does not require that the targeted entity be a nation state. The term nation state is a term of art and not simply a combination of the casually used words "nation" and "state."
     
  17. uaskme

    uaskme First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,356
    Erlanger Cotton Bonds
    http://nautarch.tamu.edu/PROJECTS/denbigh/erlanger.htm
     
    Andersonh1 and CSA Today like this.
  18. wausaubob

    wausaubob Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Messages:
    6,092
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Blockade is part of the international naval law and gives the blockading navy rights of inspection at sea, which were absolutely necessary to deter sailing ships away from the Confederate ports. The blockade runners were narrow beam steamships designed to outrace and elude the blockading ships.
     
    leftyhunter and USS ALASKA like this.
  19. 5fish

    5fish Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    Central Florida
    You cannot blockade one's own ports. You can only close one's own ports. You can only blockade another entity's ports.
    Whom ports were Lincoln blockading when he issued Blockade Proclamation in April 1861. Do you see the issue by blockading the southern ports it's an act of recognition of the CSA for they were not his ports...

    Blockade Lawful the age-old question...

    Whether or not a blockade was seen as lawful depended on the laws of the nations whose trade was influenced by the blockade. The Brazilian blockade of Río de la Plata in 1826 during the Cisplatine War, for instance, was considered lawful according to British law but unlawful according to French and American law. The latter two countries announced they would actively defend their ships against Brazilian blockaders, while Britain was forced to steer for a peaceful solution between Brazil and Argentina.[12]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    Rebforever and Andersonh1 like this.
  20. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    26,294
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Blockading ports does not make the target into a nation-state. For instance, if Britain blockaded a port of the Hapsburg Empire, that would not turn that empire into a nation-state. You just don't understand the meaning of that term and you should stop using it.
     
  21. 19thGeorgia

    19thGeorgia Sergeant Major

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,004
    The reason that several nations declared neutrality was the blockade of Southern ports. This gave the Confederacy a legal standing in the international community as a belligerent. Otherwise, agents like Caleb Huse would not have been able to purchase military supplies in Europe. And if Raphael Semmes had set foot in a foreign port he would have been arrested for piracy.
     
    CW Buff, Rebforever, 5fish and 3 others like this.

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)