made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves.What need was there of this second stipulation? Because the laws were not enacted, nor the proclamation issued under any grant of power in the Constitution or under its authority. Now, the exercise of a power by government, for which it has no constitutional authority, is not only a usurpation, but it destroys the sanction of all written instruments of government. Also, what has become of the unalienable right of property, which all the state governments were created to protect and preserve? Where was the sovereignty of the people under these proceedings? Yet the Confederate citizen was required to bind himself by an oath to abide by and faithfully support all these usurpations, the alternative being to resist the government, or to aid and abet a violation of the Constitution. Meanwhile, each of the late Confederate States was occupied by a military force of the government of the United States, and military orders were the supreme law; that government thereby proceeded to establish a state organization based on the principle of its own sovereignty. In the first place, the President of the United States issued a proclamation in such terms as to be applicable to each of the Confederate States wherever its affairs were in such process of subjugation as to permit the commencement of the proposed organization. This proclamation begins by setting forth four propositions as the basis of his authority; first, the Constitution declares that the United States shall guarantee to every state in the Union a republican form of government, and protect each against invasion and domestic violence; second, the President is commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, as well as chief civil executive officer, and bound to take care that the laws be faithfully executed; third, the rebellion, in its revolutionary progress, deprived the people of all civil government; fourth, it becomes necessary and proper to enforce and carry out the obligations of the United States to the people of the state in securing it in the enjoyment of a republican form of government. Therefore . . . These propositions call for a notice as well because of their fallacy as their enormity. The third declares that the so-called rebellion, in its progress, deprived the people of each Confederate state of all civil government. There was a government over each Confederate state, then existing and in full operation. It was, in all its internal relations, the same government which existed when the state was a member of the Union, whereby it was recognized by the government of the United States and by the other states as a lawful and republican state
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.