Was the Emancipation Proclamation Constitutional?

Was the Emancipation Proclamatio Constitutional?

  • Yes

    Votes: 12 54.5%
  • No

    Votes: 7 31.8%
  • Don't Know

    Votes: 3 13.6%

  • Total voters
    22

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huskerblitz

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What difference does it make with the passage of the 13th Amendment? So with that I will say no because as a war measure it denied due process to those losing property.
 

gem

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What difference does it make with the passage of the 13th Amendment? So with that I will say no because as a war measure it denied due process to those losing property.
He believed that to be the case for states in the Union. However, for states in rebellion he believed their property (slaves) were contraband of war, and thus as Commander in Chief of the military he had the right under the Constitution to seize their contraband.
 

civilken

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I believe lincoln used his war powers act to free the slaves, that is why he did not do it in the free states also part of a political maneuver not to start trouble he needed to hold onto the union states all of them that's why she pushed for the 13 amendment he knew his war powers act may not hold up after the war.
 

brass napoleon

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I think it's generally (but not universally) agreed that it was constitutional for Lincoln to emancipate slaves in regions that were under rebellion while the rebellion was in process. It becomes a much more touchy issue if Lincoln had emancipated slaves in regions that weren't under rebellion. The question also remains whether any emancipations would have held up after the rebellion was over. The latter was a major reason why the 13th amendment was so important.
 

unicornforge

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..... I may be wrong, but wasn't Lincoln accused of multiple unconstitutional acts while in office, such as limiting free speech, and unlawful imprisonment of those that disagreed with him ?

And would pointing cannons at Baltimore, etc. be considered unconstitutional to use the military against citizens?
 

brass napoleon

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..... I may be wrong, but wasn't Lincoln accused of multiple unconstitutional acts while in office, such as limiting free speech, and unlawful imprisonment of those that disagreed with him ?

And would pointing cannons at Baltimore, etc. be considered unconstitutional to use the military against citizens?
Of course his political enemies accused him of that, but others disagreed. Those are topics for other threads, however, and they've been covered in depth on this forum.
 

Andersonh1

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No, it wasn't, and Lincoln pretty much admitted that. Outside of wartime he would have a hard time justifying the measure in court. Hence the need for the 13th amendment to make the abolition of slavery legal beyond all dispute.
 

rpkennedy

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It was legal insomuch as it was a wartime measure and affected only specific regions that were considered in rebellion. What it did not do was permanently end slavery and so the XIII Amendment was required.

R
 
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John Winn

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I think it's generally (but not universally) agreed that it was constitutional for Lincoln to emancipate slaves in regions that were under rebellion while the rebellion was in process. It becomes a much more touchy issue if Lincoln had emancipated slaves in regions that weren't under rebellion. The question also remains whether any emancipations would have held up after the rebellion was over. The latter was a major reason why the 13th amendment was so important.
Yes, that's it in a nutshell. And the proclamation clearly exempted regions under Union control. My guess is had the 13th not happened for some reason there'd have been a fight about any slaves who were freed during the war. I can imagine, though, that Lincoln - had he survived - might have got away with it as the war measure it was just as other property confiscation was allowed.
 

tonijustine

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No, it wasn't, and Lincoln pretty much admitted that. Outside of wartime he would have a hard time justifying the measure in court. Hence the need for the 13th amendment to make the abolition of slavery legal beyond all dispute.
But it wasn't outside of wartime, and he was using his war powers to confiscate property of those in open rebellion, so that fact isn't incidental to the discussion.

Just because it wouldn't have been Constitutional under other circumstances doesn't mean it wasn't Constitutional under the circumstances it actually occurred.
 

Bruce Vail

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No, but it is an excellent example of Lincoln's skillful political calculation. He knew that a Constitutional Amendment would be necessary to abolish slavery, and that the Proclamation would be an effective step in that direction. He also knew it was an unavoidable measure to win the war.
 

cash

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What difference does it make with the passage of the 13th Amendment? So with that I will say no because as a war measure it denied due process to those losing property.
There is no such thing as due process for an enemy in time of war.
 

cash

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No, it wasn't, and Lincoln pretty much admitted that. Outside of wartime he would have a hard time justifying the measure in court. Hence the need for the 13th amendment to make the abolition of slavery legal beyond all dispute.
Wrong. It was during wartime and Lincoln admitted no such thing.
 


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