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Old April 3rd, 2017, 07:56 AM   #91

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With regard to Nixon, he resigned before anything could be done with him. He saw the proverbial writing on the wall and bailed. That said, I don't think his is a good example because while he DID break the laws...he never waged war against his own country like Jeff Davis did.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 10:53 AM   #92
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While people still argue that seceding and waging war against the United States did not constitute treason, it was the general legal opinion of the federal government at that time (as exemplified by both Dana's letter and Johnson's grant of amnesty) that those acts most definitely did constitute treason.
If starting a war that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of American citizens isn't treason, what the hell is?
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 11:04 AM   #93
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The United States is a better country than other countries because we took no vengeance against the uprising's leaders.

If vengeance had been wrought not only the leaders would have suffered but the possibility of innocent people being harmed or killed would have increased greatly.
You mean like all those innocent blacks who were lynched by law-abiding southerners who knew they could get away with it?
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 11:09 AM   #94
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I had the impression that the ACW was to reunite the nation. A harsh policy of treating the defeated Confederates as an enemy instead of fellow citizens gone astray would only have caused more bitterness and resentment than was already the case. Hanging their leaders would only show that the US government was an occupying power, not the legitimate government of a reunited country. Widespread unrest and guerilla warfare may well have continued for years, maybe fuelled by foreign governments, sapping the strength of the country and delaying the westward expansion and economic development of the late 19th century.

The US may have been a very different place.
If you think for a minute that westward expansion would have been slowed by one iota, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

"More bitterness and resentment" is precisely what we got in a South that refused to accept the end of the civil war and which predated on its own black populations for the next 100 years. Give me a break.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 12:00 PM   #95

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. . .
"More bitterness and resentment" is precisely what we got in a South that refused to accept the end of the civil war and which predated on its own black populations for the next 100 years. Give me a break.

Amen, Royal. I'm currently reading Foner's Reconstruction. Tragically, Andrew Johnson got the post-War era off to a bad start by failing to come down hard on the former rebels right away, when they were expecting it. That gave them confidence to move from one outrage against blacks to another. Then the US lost interest in its black citizens, as it has repeatedly since then.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 01:52 PM   #96
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You mean like all those innocent blacks who were lynched by law-abiding southerners who knew they could get away with it?
And hanging Davis would have preempted all that?
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 01:54 PM   #97
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If starting a war that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of American citizens isn't treason, what the hell is?
It's treason - for a citizen.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 02:59 PM   #98

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And hanging Davis would have preempted all that?
Hanging Davis or not, the blacks were completely screwed since the Union under Johnson more or less abandoned them.

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It's treason - for a citizen.
Davis was the 23rd US Secretary of War. I wouldn't exactly call him an average citizen, more like a former government official who turned traitor.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 03:23 PM   #99
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Davis was the 23rd US Secretary of War. I wouldn't exactly call him an average citizen, more like a former government official who turned traitor.
Politician or no, he effectively renounced his citizenship in the USA. In his farewell speech he told the Senate - of course, you can invade a "foreign country." He was referring to post-secession Mississippi. You don't think people have a right to renounce their citizenship?

But, all this type of trial talk is moot. If you win the war, you can kill anyone you want. No need to couch it in high morals. Or is there?

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Hanging Davis or not, the blacks were completely screwed since the Union under Johnson more or less abandoned them.
Please don't put it on one man. Johnson had all he could do not to be removed by the Republicans.

The freed slaves were screwed because they never got territory, Sherman's 40 acres and a mule. And some of this does land on Johnson's doorstep. He was a prime author of the 1862 homestead act, and believed in free land to develop territories into states. A land grant to the freed slaves would have made the dubiously ratified 14th amendment, and changing the fundamental relations among the central government, the states and the citizens unnecessary. Then again, maybe some were not so enamored of confederated government based on states rights. And they didn't just want to reconstruct the south, but reconstruct the national government - and the unrest between southern black and white was a good excuse.

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