I would define treason this way-the crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.So, then: how would you define treason?
In fairness to Lincoln on this one it would be kinda tricky to declare insurrection on a name by name bases of people with the Confederate States. I suspect that survey would have taken longer to make and then read aloud than the war....Treason conviction carried the death penalty from 1790. In 1862 the US Govt. enacted a treason act allowing for confiscations of property, etc., and up to 10 years imprisonment. This act was predicated on the War Powers of the Constitution, not on the treason clause evidently. The oaths of allegiance during the war and later Presidential pardons relieved people in the Confederate States of the confiscatory elements of this act...
One of the interesting things about those times was, if you were a Southerner in 1861, if you did NOTHING but mind your own business, you were alternatively declared a citizen of the Confederate States by your seceding State, and in a state of insurrection against the US Government by President Lincoln's August, 1861 proclamation. You were subsequently subject to the Confederate conscription which declared all free white men in service, and maybe declared a "deserter" for not enrolling/reporting. And at war's end if enrolled in the CSA or even the required State militia service you were subject to receiving a US parole, and afterward to being pardoned by another presidential proclamation...
If they were in Union occupied areas during the war, still doing NOTHING (as in not subscribing to the oath of allegiance to the US), the same fellows were potentially subject to being expelled from their property, etc.
In fairness to Lincoln on this one it would be kinda tricky to declare insurrection on a name by name bases of people with the Confederate States. I suspect that survey would have taken longer to make and then read aloud than the war....
There is no provision in the Constitution for unilateral secession. Should I declare my independence from the State of Maine, my "new stance" would have no legal standing.If you openly renounce your allegiance to someone or an institution you cannot betray it. You have in no uncertain terms declared your new stance.
Do you mean articles of secession? Many stated directly and most others declared implicitly that they were motivated by a desire to preserve slavery.The Confederates wrote Declaration of Independences clearly stating they were leaving. Army Officers in the US Army resigned their commissions then went back to their respective states.
Doesn't disprove what? That it wasn't part of a policy? I think you're inaccurate: I don't believe there was a policy--CSA had ceased to exist. The assassins were hotheads acting on their own. In fact, they did a tremendous disservice to the South because their deed opened the door to a flawed Reconstruction.Well the Confederacy did not seek to kill Lincoln as a policy. The fact he was assassinated after the war does not disprove that.
Fort Sumter (and the similar incidents that preceded it) was not a violent attempt? Sending slaver agents into New England (as well as other northern states) wasn't an attempt to nullify state's rights and a violent provocation (why weren't they willing to leave New England alone?)?The Confederates did not try to overthrow the US Government.
Out of bounds.Do you think the UK betrayed the EU with Brexit??
I'm afraid that you seem to believe that, since no Confederate was convicted of treason, none were guilty of it. But I counter than none were ever prosecuted in the first place. They bore arms against their government and tried to kill its leaders and representatives. That is treason.Article III, Section 3, Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
So, there were two pardons--thanks for pointing that out. I didn't know that, and I learned something today! As the subject line for this thread notes, "It's complicated."A pardon is not a trial
Secondly that was not the pardon that was offered to about 99.9 of all Confederates. This was. https://millercenter.org/the-presid...oclamation-pardoning-persons-who-participated
That pardon did not mention treason. You can read it forever and not find that word.
The later pardon mentioned treason and that was offered to high ranking ones some of which declined it. They were not put on trial after that though. Lastly accepting a pardon did not confer accepting guilt until 1915.
The case for treason is pretty slim in my book.
There is no such thing as mass trial or kinda trial. It's a trial or it isn't.
Not a single Confederate was put on trial for treason period. Obviously no Confederate was convicted of it.
They knew how to do trials after the Civil War. They knew where the Confederates were. They executed one, Henry Wirz for war crimes. So they could have done all that. They didn't. My explanation for that would be they knew it legally wouldn't hold up.