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Old December 23rd, 2016, 04:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Nemowork View Post
Two options.

Either the South had seceded from the US and was an independent nation in which case Lincoln could declare war on them to his hearts content. Particularly since the south fired first, the Japanese got into a bit of trouble about that after Pearl Harbour!

Or you are denying the entire existence of the Southern independence cause and declaring Jefferson /Davis and all other southern supporters as traitors to their only recognized nation?

Can't be both?
are we talking of Lincolns view or mine? From Lincolns view [no right to seceded not really a new nation] he than committed those crimes the poster claimed of davis, Davis did not. My view is very different and i am sure will come up on a future thread related to it. I also would suggest that to americans north and south you have left out the most common view and historical reality of the situation leading to ft sumtner, but that will all be for another thread on topic.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 08:32 AM   #22

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Originally Posted by 1stvermont View Post
are we talking of Lincolns view or mine? From Lincolns view [no right to seceded not really a new nation] he than committed those crimes the poster claimed of davis, Davis did not. My view is very different and i am sure will come up on a future thread related to it. I also would suggest that to americans north and south you have left out the most common view and historical reality of the situation leading to ft sumter, but that will all be for another thread on topic.
The the American Civil War has had every detail discussed ad nauseum on this site and there has been no insignificant fact debated herein. That especially applies to which side actually began the war. The fact is the first act of war was committed by the south when Davis authorized the unwarranted three day artillery barrage on Fort Sumner, which was basically at the mercy of the confederates' mortars. This fact is beyond dispute.

Briefly, Davis was not hanged due to to Lincoln's benevolence. He decided early on that the only way the Union would thrive in the future was if all was forgiven. To hold, maintain, and continue to speak of grudges, retribution, blame, revenge, and hatred of one side toward the other, only perpetuates the rift and will eventually doom the republic. We have enough hatred dividing us; we don't need to continue this spitting contest.

However, if you insist, many of us will not be participating.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 12:18 PM   #23

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Brief reminder to our learned posters who they're dealing with here.

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Old December 25th, 2016, 01:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by StoryMan View Post
Briefly, Davis was not hanged due to to Lincoln's benevolence. He decided early on that the only way the Union would thrive in the future was if all was forgiven. To hold, maintain, and continue to speak of grudges, retribution, blame, revenge, and hatred of one side toward the other, only perpetuates the rift and will eventually doom the republic. We have enough hatred dividing us; we don't need to continue this spitting contest.
Lincoln was a good lawyer and politician, and had good judgement in this matter, but he wasn't around to make the final decision. Just Davis, or how many Confederates are tried for treason? No one has explained how Davis or any one else would be convicted of treason. Not by jury trial in the south or Washington, DC. Would they be tried by Star Chamber?
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Old December 25th, 2016, 06:03 PM   #25
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Brief reminder to our learned posters who they're dealing with here.

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Brief reminder to our learned posters. Apply criticism to Vipers unchallenged post, you will find may faults and untruths.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 07:37 PM   #26

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I have often thought that "The trial of Jefferson Davis" would make a cracking film/play. In real life no one had their day in court.
Neither he, nor any leading confederate politician was brought to trial for treason, although indicted and the defendants DEMANDED such a trial, because of the risk of the trial ending in an acquittal. Of course Jefferson and his supporters maintained that no treason took place as the US constitution did not prohibit secession until after the civil war and he could not have committed treason if he no longer had allegiance to the USA--the fact that he was never brought to trial suggests that the legal brains against him probably agreed, but it would be an interesting scenario to play out.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 07:49 PM   #27

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Secession is not in the Constitution. States cannot secede. What country worthy of the name makes a provision in its fundamental document for its dissolution?
The USA was founded as a Federal State, not as a Unitary State. Federations have broken up, reformed, altered status all over the world many times. The US only changed their own rules AFTER their civil war.
There is an interesting parallel with this year's shenanigans in the EU. Founder countries joined a customs union, which morphed into a unified market, which morphed into some kind of mongrel federation-cum-union , but was not quite either. The first country decides it wants out and those people who profit from the status quo are pretending that secession is impossible, illegal, immoral, fattening, racist, divisive and a danger to the environment. Of course Common Law (which the US shares with the UK) usually works on the idea that something is legal unless there is a law against it--while the continentals are breastfed on Roman law which assumes that those in power can do what they like unless a law has been passed saying that they can't and what is not expressly permitted, is forbidden.
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Old December 25th, 2016, 10:01 PM   #28
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Yeh, it would have been difficult to try Confederates for treason. There is the problem of getting a jury to convict them. Then there are various legal issues as to whether it was treason, most obviously the facts the states seceded. If they tried them by military court or packed the jury or something to get a conviction, there is a good chance the conviction(s) would be overturned on appeal. Any conviction of Davis or other top Confederates would almost certainly be appealed to the US Supreme Court. It wasn't practical.

There were executions of Confederate officers Wirtz and Ferguson for specific offences and Quantrell was killed evading capture when it was clear he would be put on trial.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 02:57 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ancientgeezer View Post
The USA was founded as a Federal State, not as a Unitary State. Federations have broken up, reformed, altered status all over the world many times. The US only changed their own rules AFTER their civil war.
There is an interesting parallel with this year's shenanigans in the EU. Founder countries joined a customs union, which morphed into a unified market, which morphed into some kind of mongrel federation-cum-union , but was not quite either. The first country decides it wants out and those people who profit from the status quo are pretending that secession is impossible, illegal, immoral, fattening, racist, divisive and a danger to the environment. Of course Common Law (which the US shares with the UK) usually works on the idea that something is legal unless there is a law against it--while the continentals are breastfed on Roman law which assumes that those in power can do what they like unless a law has been passed saying that they can't and what is not expressly permitted, is forbidden.
what is wrong with what you have said is not if its legit, but americans are not taught this stuff. When there education comes from that same government in power, it is unlikely it will teach that it was suppose to have limits on its power.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 08:17 PM   #30

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It's a bit bizarre that there has been little recourse to actual sources in this thread, aside from some disingenuously selective quotes dragged hither by a person who has managed to thoroughly discredit themself here previously.

Richard Henry Dana Jr. was appointed by the Attorney General of the United States as a special prosecutor to build the case for treason against Jefferson Davis. He did build such a case, but also urged Evarts (the Attorney General) not to proceed with it. There is a letter in which he explains his reasoning.

I've had trouble finding a good version of the full letter online, though there is one in the fifth reply (by Bob Huddleston) to this piece, which also addressed the question. Special prosecutor Dana writes:

Quote:
In fine, after the fullest consideration, it seems to me that, by pursuing the trial, the Government can get only a re-affirmation by a Circuit Court at nisi prius of a rule of public law settled for this country in every way in which such a matter can be settled, only giving to a jury drawn from the region of the rebellion a chance to disregard the law when announced. It gives that jury a like opportunity to ignore the fact that Jefferson Davis took any part in the late civil war. And one man upon the jury can secure these results. The risks of such absurd and discreditable issues of a great state trial are assumed for the sake of a verdict which, if obtained, will settle nothing in law or national practice not now settled, and nothing in fact not now history, while no judgment rendered thereon do we think will be ever executed.
To put it simply--it was not in the interests of the United States to bring Davis to trial--there was very little to be gained from a "guilty" verdict, while a trial of Davis could have more than one negative effect on the reunified country.

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