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Book ChapterDOI

The Civil War and American Law

31 Oct 2019-pp 372-396
About: The article was published on 2019-10-31. It has received None citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Spanish Civil War.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For example, between 1880 and 1910, the U.S. federal government devoted over a quarter of its expenditures to pensions distributed among the populace as discussed by the authors, and such expenditures exceeded or nearly equaled other major categories of federal spending.
Abstract: Most of us hold to a nostalgic image of a smaller-scale and less complicated American past, believing that federal and state governments in the United States did not become significant providers of social welfare until the middle of the twentieth century. This received portrait of yesteryear contains much truth, yet it hardly prepares us for some startling facts. Between 1880 and 1910, the U.S. federal government devoted over a quarter of its expenditures to pensions distributed among the populace. Aside from interest payments on the national debt in the early 1880s, such expenditures exceeded or nearly equaled other major categories of federal spending.' By 1910, about 28 percent of all American men aged 65 or more, more than half a million of them, received federal benefits averaging $189 a year.2 Over three-hundred thousand widows,

58 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: Kaczorowski as discussed by the authors argued that the most important question for the framers was whether national or state governments possessed primary authority to determine and secure the status and rights of American citizens, and he concluded that this Republican commitment to the primacy of national citizenship helps explain why racist politicians, with the support of racist constituents, worked to ensure legal protection for the civil rights of blacks.
Abstract: The meaning and scope of the fourteenth amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 remain among the most controversial issues in American constitutional law. Professor Kaczorowski contends that the issues have generated more controversy than they warrant , in part because scholars analyzing the legislative history of the amendment and statute have approached their task with preconceptions reflecting twentieth century legal concerns. He argues that the most important question for the framers was whether national or state governments possessed primary authority to determine and secure the status and rights of American citizens. Relying on records of the congressional debates as well as letters, newspaper clippings, and other contemporaneous evidence of the views of congressmen, federal judges, and federal attorneys, Professor Kaczorowski describes a Republican consensus that such power must ultimately lie in the national government He concludes that this Republican commitment to the primacy of national citizenship helps explain why racist politicians, with the support of racist constituents, worked to ensure legal protection for the civil rights of blacks. INTRODUCTION The Civil War and Reconstruction era witnessed a heroic effort by federal judges and legal officers in the South to protect the civil rights of American citizens.' This effort was successful in diminishing, if not eliminating , the use of terrorism and violence as political weapons. Federal prosecutions of civil rights violators decimated the Ku Klux Klan and brought a period of relative peace to Southern life. Klansmen were prosecuted in their individual capacities for violating citizens' Bill of Rights guarantees and for acts such as murder and assault that would normally be punished under state criminal codes. These prosecutions were brought under Reconstruction civil rights statutes 2 enacted to implement the thirteenth 3 and fourteenth 4 amendments, and federal judges uniformly upheld the constitutionality of these prosecutions. A striking feature of this extraordinary story is the uniformity with which federal judges and legal officers interpreted the scope and meaning of the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. Judges' and federal attorneys' interpretations of these amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 18661 were not only uniform among themselves; they also conformed to interpretations expressed by Republican congressmen and senators in the congressional debates leading to the adoption of the amendments and the Act. What emerges from this congressional, administrative, and judicial record is a commonly shared theory of national civil rights enforcement authority under the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. I …

21 citations