Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Limits of Sovereignty
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Limits of Sovereignty: Property Confiscation in the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War

Daniel W. Hamilton


Americans take for granted that government does not have the right to permanently seize private property without just compensation. Yet for much of American history, such a view constituted the weaker side of an ongoing argument about government sovereignty and individual rights. What brought about this drastic shift in legal and political thought? This book locates that change in the crucible of the Civil War. In the early days of the war, Congress passed the First and Second Confiscation Acts, authorizing the Union to seize private property in the rebellious states of the Confederacy, and th ... More

Keywords: private property, compensation, sovereignty, individual rights, Civil War, Congress, Confiscation Acts, Sequestration Act, state power, government power

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780226314822
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226314860.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel W. Hamilton, author