The Second Act: Divided Republican Support and Flawed Result

John Syrett

in The Civil War Confiscation Acts

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780823224890
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240852 | DOI:

Series: Reconstructing America

The Second Act: Divided Republican Support and Flawed Result

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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

Chapter.  9564 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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