The Instigator
DanT
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Logan94
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

: According to the Constitution the South committed treason in the Civil War

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DanT
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,934 times Debate No: 34156
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (2)

 

DanT

Con

Resolution: According to the Constitution South committed treason in the Civil War

Defintions:
Treason: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Rules:
1.)Supreme Court cases are not an arguement, they can only serve as a source
2.) No Ad Hominem Attacks
3.) Dismissed arguements will be considered dropped
4.) The debate is centered around the constitution

Debate Format:
1st round: acceptance only
2nd round: Arguements / no rebuttals
3rd round: Rebuttals / no arguements
4th round: Defense against rebuttals & closing remarks / no new arguements or rebuttals
Debate Round No. 1
DanT

Con


1.) Treason is a State crime not a Federal Crime


The US constitution clearly states that “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them”; “them” being plural. [1]


Article 4 section to also reads “A Person charged in any State with Treason… who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.”[1]


Therefore states have jurisdiction over Treason cases, because Treason is a crime against the Member States not the Union State.


This is why Article 2 Section 4 states that “The President… shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”[1] If the definition of treason is waging war against the federal government, then the Commander-in-chief can’t commit treason.


A person commits treason when they take up arms against their own state, not when they take up arms to defend their State from the Federal Government.


2.) Secession


Just as a citizen has a right to renounce their citizenship, so does a state have a right to renounce their ties to the union. After a state secedes the citizens of that state are no longer citizens of the United States. Because they are not US citizens they cannot be traitors. By renouncing their ties to the United States, they had effectively renounced their US citizenship.


After the Civil War the union recognized that the South was no longer citizens, and so they required that the south naturalize back into the US by taking a loyalty oath. Some people were ineligible to take the oath, such as political leaders and officers above the rank of colonel, and therefore could not regain citizenship. [2]


3.) Due Process


In the US you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Article 3 section 3 of the US constitution states that “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.” [1] Unless there were 2 witnesses testifying in open court, or the suspected traitor gave a confession in open court, they cannot be deemed a traitor. Unless their case was brought before an open court, they cannot be deemed “traitors”.


1.) http://www.archives.gov...


2.) http://www.phuhs.org...


Logan94

Pro

South Carolina on 20 December 1860.
Mississippi on 9 January 1861.
Florida on 10 January 1861.
Alabama on 11 January 1861.
Georgia on 19 January 1861.
Louisiana on 26 January 1861.
Texas on 1 February 1861.
Virginia on 17 April 1861.
Arkansas on 6 May 1861.
North Carolina on 20 May 1861.
Tennessee on 8 June 1861.

These are the states and dates that they succeeded from the union and joined the confederacy. The civil war began on April 12th 1861, all states listed above fought on side of confederacy from beginning of civil war. The states of Virginia, Arkansas, North Caroline, and Tennessee all committed treason by declaring war on the United States before they succeeded. They then joined the confederacy, by these states joining the confederacy we can say that some confederate states committed treason. since the resolution is that the south, not confederacy, committed treason i proven this to be true. Because of how the resolution is written i do not have to prove the entire entity of the confederacy committed treason. I only have to prove that part of it did, which i did.
Debate Round No. 2
DanT

Con


Rebuttals


Declaration of War


Pro claims that the southern states declared war on the north; in actuality a declaration of war was never issued. The Civil War began at Ft. Sumter. The CSA claimed that Ft. Sumter belonged to the south, because it was on southern territory, but the Union claimed it belonged to the north because it was on Federal land. The CSA offered to pay for the forts, but Lincoln rejected the proposal because it would mean recognizing the States’ right to secede. The south laid siege to the fort in order to force the union army to surrender the fort peacefully. When Lincoln heard that the Fort was low on rations, he sent supplies to the Fort, which eventually led to the bombardment of Ft. Sumter.


Declaring one’s secession from the Union is not a declaration of war, it is a declaration of independence.


https://www.youtube.com...


Joining the Confederacy


The states did not join the confederacy until after they seceded. The following are the dates of admission to the confederacy;


South Carolina: Feb. 8, 1861


Mississippi: Feb. 8, 1861


Florida: Feb. 8, 1861


Alabama: Feb. 8, 1861


Georgia: Feb. 8, 1861


Louisiana: Feb. 8, 1861


Texas: March. 2, 1861


Virginia: May 7, 1861


Arkansas: May 18, 1861


North Carolina: May 21, 1861


Tennessee: July 2, 1861


Missouri: Nov. 28, 1861


Kentucky: Dec. 10, 1861



General Robert E. Lee actually denounced the confederacy until Virginia seceded. In one letter he wrote: “I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union. It would be an accumulation of all the evils we complain of, and I am willing to sacrifice everything but honour for its preservation.”[1]



Lincoln offered to make Robert E Lee a commander of the Union forces, but Lee declined because Virginia was on the road to secession, and he did not want to fight his own state. Lee wrote:


“I declined the offer he made me to take command of the army in the field, stating as candidly and courteously as I could, that though opposed to secession and deprecating war, I could take no part in the invasion of the Southern States.” [2]



1.) http://www.pbs.org...


2.) http://leearchive.wlu.edu...


Logan94

Pro

My opponent still believes that i have to prove that the confederacy committed treason. All i have to prove is that the South committed treason.
As my opponent has defined treason, it is levying war against themselves. The southern states that were still a part of the union and fought on the side of the confederacy before they succeeded were committing treason. They levied war against them before they succeeded. This means they committed treason according to my opponents definition. Had they already succeeded they would have been a separate nation and there would be no treason. The South committed treason! it is very obvious. Not the confederacy but the south, as written in the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
DanT

Con


Pro dropped my entire 2nd round, therefore my 2nd round is assumed true.


As per the rules, I will devote my last round to defending against Pro’s 3rd round rebuttals, which is aimed towards my 3rd round rebuttals rather than my 2nd round arguments.


Defense


Hasty generalization


The Southern States did not fight until after their secession. While some southerners fought prior to secession as individuals, it would be a logical fallacy to claim that the sample is reflective of the population as a whole. Just because X is true for Southerner A, does not mean it is true for Southerner B, C, and D.


Some southerners in the Deep South actually fought for the Union, against their State. These southerners were deemed traitors by the south, for taking up arms against their own state. Some Northerners were sympathetic to the Southern Cause, and were deemed traitors by the North. People living in the Neutral Border States took up arms to support both sides. According to Pro’s logic, the North committed treason during the civil war, because there were some northern traitors. The states did not take up arms, until after they seceded. Prior to secession very few southerners took up arms. The whole point of the south taking up arms was to defend their state. That is why northern traitors didn’t take up arms.


In order to avoid the logical fallacy of hasty generalization, when the resolution uses general terms like “the south”, it refers to the southern states or the CSA.


Pro is relying heavily on semantics in order to change the context of “the south”.


The constitution


A key component missing from Pro’s argument is the constitutional basis of treason. In order to be deemed a traitor you need to meet the following criteria;


1.) Take up arms against your state or assist the enemies of your state


2.) Be convicted of treason by the testimony of 2 witnesses, or by a confession


These criteria have not been met.


Logan94

Pro

i did address the 2nd round when i showed that i did not have to prove that the confederacy committed conspiracy. therefor his entire 2nd contention had no relevance.

1. the southern states did fight prior to to succession! This proves that the south committed treason. Also we are not debating if northerners have committed treason, so that has no relevance.

2. You can not change the meaning or reference of the resolution during the las round. I am not relying on the term "the south" but am just arguing the resolution best i can as it is written. If he wanted to debate the confederacy committing treason then he should have written the resolution to say so.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logan94 3 years ago
Logan94
will anyone vote or leave comments before this debate is over, i want to see other opinions on this debate. Thank You.
Posted by Logan94 3 years ago
Logan94
according to pro's logic, there was no spanish-american war. The spanish just took up arms to defend themselves. HAHA that is the main part of all wars! a state has to defend itself from another aggressive state.
Posted by DanT 3 years ago
DanT
"1) I saw this as redefining treason. I had no reason to go with this definition given how treason was already defined in round #1."

Redefine requires a new definition. I used the same definition as in round 1, just with clarification.

"2) Yes you did. Then CON proved that the South attacked the North before they renounced citizenship."

No he didn't. The south did not wage war against their state. The whole point of taking up arms was to defend their state. The southerners who joined the war prior to the secession of their state was in the minority. This is the hasty generalization fallacy.

"3) I found this largely irrelevant, since the Supreme Court was rendered irrelevant for the purposes of this debate. (your first round #1 stipulation)."
The supreme court is irrelevant as an argument, not as a source. The rule about the supreme court was to prevent appeals to authority. The supreme court is not the only court responsible for treason trials. Lower courts can also be referenced.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@DanT: "I doubt that. You obviously have a grudge against me. You have been trolling me in the forums, and you have been trolling my debates."

I've been thinking the same of you DanT. Am I trolling this debate? No. Have I trolled ANY of your debates? No. Your ability to judge character is now something I will also severely question.

Again, I don't have a grudge against you. Am I extremely annoyed at your inability to comprehend simple English sentences? Yes...however this simply doesn't translate into a grudge.

Again, I have no reason to post here, unless you begin to attack my character. Good day.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Anyway, I have no real reason to continue posting here. I've said my peace, I've not scored this debate, and so I am not invested in defending my vote.

Just take my criticism as you will. Good day.
Posted by DanT 3 years ago
DanT
"I have little to anything against you personally, but your ability to effectively argue a case is something I severely question."

I doubt that. You obviously have a grudge against me. You have been trolling me in the forums, and you have been trolling my debates.
Posted by DanT 3 years ago
DanT
"See, DanT, you DEFINED treason in round #1. Therefore, the definition of treason was NOT up for debate."

Again with your semantics. The point of the debate is to prove that the south fit the constitutional definition of treason. Hence the point of the debate was to interpret the constitutional definition of treason. Pro had the BOP to prove that the south fit this definition, which he failed to meet.

It was clear by my round 2 and the resolution that I meant the southern states and not individual southerners. Just because Southerner A is a traitor, does not mean Southerner B, C, and D are also traitors.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@DanT:

Again, take this as constructive criticism. I have little to anything against you personally, but your ability to effectively argue a case is something I severely question.

1) In my 2nd round I proved that it is not treason to bear arms against the Federal Government in defense of your state. 2) I proved the south could not be traitors because they were not citizens. 3) I also proved that one is innocent of treason until proven guilty in a court of law.

1) I saw this as redefining treason. I had no reason to go with this definition given how treason was already defined in round #1.

2) Yes you did. Then CON proved that the South attacked the North before they renounced citizenship.

3) I found this largely irrelevant, since the Supreme Court was rendered irrelevant for the purposes of this debate. (your first round #1 stipulation).
Posted by DanT 3 years ago
DanT
How is my 2nd round irrelevant to the resolution?

The resolution is "According to the Constitution South committed treason in the Civil War"

In my 2nd round I proved that it is not treason to bear arms against the Federal Government in defense of your state. I proved the south could not be traitors because they were not citizens. I also proved that one is innocent of treason until proven guilty in a court of law.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@DanT,

Semantics are a tool used to convey meaning. Properly used, semantics add CLARITY to an argument.

Poorly used, semantics leads to obfuscation.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Noumena 3 years ago
Noumena
DanTLogan94Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con presented an argument defending the lack of applicability of treason law towards the Southern states that seceded and differentiated between an initial declaration of war against and independence from a government. His argument served to show that the Southern states act of secession constituted the former. Pro's argument seemed to bypass this showing that certain states declared war before secession. The argument came down to whether or not (a) any Southern states began fighting before they officially seceded and (b) whether the individuals who *did* fight before secession constituted the "South". On (a), Pro gives us no historical source or non-muddled explanation to accept. On (b) Con refuted the generalization by the fact that he was referring to official governments rather than random individuals or groups. The debate clearly covers the "South" as an organized territory i.e., the CSA. S/G to Con for numerous errors throughout on Pro's part. Sources for actual use by Pro.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
DanTLogan94Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Will not score due to possible undue bias. DanT's case is interesting, but largely irrelevant to the resolution. Logan's case was short, succinct, and pertinent.