Chapter

The Politics of Confiscation

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823224890.003.0008

Series: Reconstructing America

The Politics of Confiscation

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The failure of the confiscation acts, particularly the second, owed to the inattention and declining interest of the Republicans in Congress. The public also expressed serious doubts about altering the goals of the war, as reaction to Lincoln's proclamation of September 22 on freeing slaves and the fall elections in 1862 made clear. The reaction to Lincoln's September 22 preliminary emancipation proclamation revealed the North's divisions over this limited assault upon slavery. Not everyone was pleased with the effect that Lincoln's pardon policy and Bates's instructions had on confiscation. Some supporters of the Union feared that Southerners would lie, take the oath, and avoid confiscation. They were doubtful that these policies were effective strategies to end allegiance to the Confederacy or to halt the rebellion. The Republicans' unwillingness to move together on the land issue needs to be seen clearly. Republican support for the original premises of confiscation had eroded.

Keywords: Republicans; confiscation acts; Union; Southerners; rebellion; slavery; emancipation; Confederacy

Chapter.  7721 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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