Civil War Confiscation in the Reconstruction Supreme Court

in The Limits of Sovereignty

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780226314822
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226314860 | DOI:
Civil War Confiscation in the Reconstruction Supreme Court

Show Summary Details


Confiscation lived on as an important issue for decades after the Civil War and was not entirely put to rest until the twentieth century. Once it ceased to be politically viable, it did not simply vanish. Instead, confiscation remained a fixture in American property law for fifty years. It presented the Supreme Court with a number of important legal and constitutional issues that served as vehicles for the elaboration of property ideology steeped in a conception of the natural rights of individuals. Was permanent, uncompensated property confiscation for disloyalty a legitimate power of Congress? Did a presidential pardon mandate the return of confiscated property? Who had title to confiscated land and how should it be treated in the marketplace? What was the legal and constitutional status of the Confederate Sequestration Act and property seized under the act? The answers to these questions had profound implications both for property law and for alternative conceptions of property that fought for dominance after the Civil War.

Keywords: confiscation; property; Civil War; Supreme Court; Sequestration Act; property law; Congress; disloyalty; presidential pardon; property ideology

Chapter.  11724 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.