No Treason: Three Essays: Law and the Constitution

 
9781434417824: No Treason: Three Essays: Law and the Constitution
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The Union government's actions during the war caused Spooner to radicalize his views to an anarchistic view. In response, Spooner published one of his most famous political tracts, "No Treason." In this lengthy essay, Spooner argued that the Constitution was a contract of government which had been irreparably violated during the war and was thus void. Furthermore, since the government now existing under the Constitution pursued coercive policies that were contrary to the Natural Law and to the consent of the governed, it had been demonstrated that document was unable to adequately stop many abuses against liberty or to prevent tyranny from taking hold. Spooner bolstered his argument by noting that the Federal government, as established by a legal contract, could not legally bind all persons living in the nation since none had ever signed their names or given their consent to it -- that consent had always been assumed, which fails the most basic burdens of proof for a valid contract in the courtroom. Spooner widely circulated the "No Treason" pamphlets, which also contained a legal defense against the crime of treason itself intended for former Confederate soldiers (hence the name of the pamphlet, arguing that "no treason" had been committed in the war by the south). These excerpts were published in DeBow's Review and some other well known southern periodicals of the time.

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