Skip to main content

Confiscation Acts 12 Stat. 319 (1861) 12 Stat. 589 (1862)

CONFISCATION ACTS 12 Stat. 319 (1861) 12 Stat. 589 (1862)

Congress enacted the Confiscation Acts "to insure the speedy termination of the present rebellion." Both statutes liberated the slaves of certain rebels and authorized the confiscation of other types of property by judicial procedures based on admiralty and revenue models. Both statutes were compromise measures, influenced by the progressive goal of emancipation of slaves and by a respect for the rights of private property.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the acts in the 6–3 decision of Miller v. United States (1871), finding congressional authority in the war powers clauses of Article I. The majority shrugged off Fifth and Sixth Amendment objections on the grounds that the statutes were not ordinary punitive legislation but rather were extraordinary war measures.

The acts were indifferently and arbitrarily enforced, producing a total of less than $130,000 net to the Treasury. Property of Confederates was also virtually confiscated in proceedings for nonpayment of the wartime direct tax, under the Captured and Abandoned Property Act of 1863, and through President abraham lincoln's contraband emancipation policies.

William M. Wiecek
(1986)

Bibliography

Randall, James G. 1951 Constitutional Problems under Lincoln. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Confiscation Acts 12 Stat. 319 (1861) 12 Stat. 589 (1862)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 May. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Confiscation Acts 12 Stat. 319 (1861) 12 Stat. 589 (1862)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 24, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/confiscation-acts-12-stat-319-1861-12-stat-589-1862

"Confiscation Acts 12 Stat. 319 (1861) 12 Stat. 589 (1862)." Encyclopedia of the American Constitution. . Retrieved May 24, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/politics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/confiscation-acts-12-stat-319-1861-12-stat-589-1862

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.