Speech of Hon. Geo. W. Julian, of Indiana

Speech of Hon. Geo. W. Julian, of Indiana : Delivered in the House of Representatives, March 18, 1864 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Speech of Hon. Geo. W. Julian, of Indiana: Delivered in the House of Representatives, March 18, 1864 South, at least two-thirds belonged to less than one-third of their number. I make my calculations from our census tables, and such other information as I find within my reach. The bill I have reported therefore contemplates no general seizure and confiscation of the property of the people in the insurrectionary districts. It looks to no sweeping measures against the rights of the masses, but simply to the breaking up and distribu tion of vast monopolies, which have made the few the virtual owners of the multitude, whether white or black. It is a bill to restore the people to their inalienable rights, by chastising the traitors who conspired against the government. It proposes to vest in the United States the lands which may be forfeited by confiscation in punishment of treason, or of other crimes under municipal laws; by confiscation as a right of war, by military seizure, or by process in rem; and by sales for nonpayment of taxes. The guantity of real estate which will thus pass from the hands of rebels cannot now be efinitely determined, but in seeking to estimate it we should bear in mind one impor tant consideration. The war which the rebels are waging against us is no longer a mere insurrection. It is not a grand national riot, but a civil, territorial war between them and the United States. Having taken their stand outside of the Constitution, and rested their cause on the naked ground of lawless might, they have, of necessity, no constitu tional rights; For them the Constitution has ceased to exist. They are belligerents, ene mies of the United States. They still owe allegiance to the government, and are still traitors, but they are at the same time public enemies, who have simply the rights of war, and are to be dealt with according to the laws of war. The rights of war and the rights of peace cannot coexist in the hands of rebels. One party to a contract can not violate it, and yet hold the other bound; and hence the Constitution has nothing whatever to do with our treatment of the rebels, unless we shall see fit voluntarily to waive the rights of war, and deal with them as citizens merely. I am not now uttering my own opinion, but the solemn judgment of the Nation itself, speaking authoritatively through the highest court in. The Union. According to the decision of that court a'civil war between the United States and the rebels has been carried ou for more than two years and a half. In the celebrated prize cases decided last spring, and reported in 2, Black's Re ports, p. 635, Judge Grier says, the parties to a civil war are in the same predicament as two nations who engage in a contest, and have recourse to arms; that a civil war exgsts, and may be prosecuted, on the same footing as if those opposing the government were foreign invaders, wherever the regular course of justice is interrupted by revolt, rebellion, or insurrection, so that the courts cannot be keptopen and that the present civil war between the United States and the so-called Confederate States has such a character and magnitude as to give the United States the same rights and powers which they might exercise is the case of a national or foreign Such, Mr. Speaker, is the law as to the relations existing between the rebels and;the United States. I am not arguing the point, because all argument is closed by this decision. The rebels, are belli gerents, and when they shall be effectually vanquished, they will have simply the rights of a conquered people under the law of nations, that is to say, such rights as we shall choose to grant them, according to the laws of war, untrammelled by the Constitution of the United States. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 22 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 1mm | 45g
  • Forgotten Books
  • United States
  • English
  • , black & white illustrations
  • 0243041411
  • 9780243041411