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The Civil War Confiscation ActsFailing to Reconstruct the South$
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John Syrett

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224890

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823224890.001.0001

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The Second Act: Divided Republican Support and Flawed Result

The Second Act: Divided Republican Support and Flawed Result

(p.35) 3 The Second Act: Divided Republican Support and Flawed Result
The Civil War Confiscation Acts

John Syrett

Fordham University Press

Republican differences over the Second Confiscation Act reveal the limits of the radicals' influence in the Thirty-seventh Congress, at least on confiscation. The Senate Judiciary Committee, dominated by Republicans, circumscribed Trumbull's original proposal from its inception. And from the start of debate in both houses the moderates prevailed in both rhetoric and legislative compromises. The bill encouraged many, especially freed slaves, to expect land reform even as it scared others, particularly in the South, about the potential of confiscation and reconstruction and helped create a false reputation for radicals. Supporters of confiscation tried various arguments to assuage the critics' claims that in rem proceedings violated the Constitution, which requires that the trials of all crimes, other than impeachment cases, shall be by jury in the state where the crime occurred. Lincoln signed the second act into law on July 17, 1862.

Keywords:   Republican, Senate Judiciary Committee, Trumbull, confiscation, Second Confiscation Act, Constitution, Lincoln

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