"Whom Can We Trust Now?": The Meaning of Treason in the United States, from the Revolution Through the Civil War
Lexington Books, 2006 - 266 pages
For several hours in August 1787, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention debated the two sentences defining treason that would serve as the only criminal law in the U.S. Constitution. As storied and controversial as this ancient crime was, the meaning of treason for the new democratic republic was difficult to foresee. Historian and lawyer Brian Carso demonstrates that although treason law was conflicted and awkward, the broader idea of treason gave recognizable shape to abstract ideas of loyalty, betrayal, allegiance, and political obligation in the United States. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Carso begins by exploring the nature of loyalty and betrayal in a democratic republic, using examples ranging from Socrates in Plato's Crito to the dilemma of Robert E. Lee in 1861 and the trial of Timothy McVeigh in 1997. Turning to legal history, the study considers the historical antecedents of the Treason Clause of the U.S. Constitution and examines the utility of American treason law as it was applied in a variety of cases, most notably in the 1807 trial of Aaron Burr, in which Supreme Court Justice John Marshall used twenty-five thousand words to explicate the Treason Clause. Finding that the antinomies of treason law in a democratic republic make successful prosecutions against treason nearly impossible, Carso turns to the political, intellectual, and cultural realms of civic life to identify and to explain the broader meaning of treason. The study investigates the perpetual condemnation of Benedict Arnold and the many ways treason animated civic discourse during the Civil war. By examining editorials, sermons, histories, orations, art, literature, and political cartoons, Carso identifies how the meaning of treason engaged the public imagination in a variety of compelling forms and instructed citizens on loyalty and betrayal outside the courtroom as much as within it.
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What is a Traitor? Loyalty Betrayal and the State
A Republic If You Can Keep It The Evolution of Treason in America 16201787
Seasons of Insurrection Early Rebellions and the Trial of Aaron Burr
The Damnation of His Fame Benedict Arnold and the Cultural Punishment of Betrayal
With Malice Toward None Treason Amnesty and the Language of Betrayal during the Civil War
25 Edward Aaron Burr Adams allegiance American Law American Revolution Andre's argued army Arnold's treason authority Benedict Arnold Bernard Bailyn betrayal Blackstone Bollman Boston British Burr Trials Burr's character citizens Civil colonies colonists Confederate Congress Constitution constructive treason Continental Army Continental Congress crime debate declared defined Edward III enemy English explained fame federal Federalist hang Harper's Weekly historian History idea of treason indictment infamy insurrection James Jefferson Davis John jury Justice king Law of Treason levying Liberty Lincoln loyalty Madison Marshall Massachusetts meaning of treason Mercy Otis Warren military moral overt act Pardon and Amnesty Patriot person Philadelphia political popular sovereignty President Press prosecution punishment quoted Ramsay rebellion rebels republican Revolutionary secession sovereign statute Thomas Jefferson tion traitor trea treachery Treason Clause treason law Treason of Benedict U.S. Supreme Court Union United Virginia virtue Warren West Point Whiskey Rebellion Wilkinson William wrote York