Secession and Civil War Questions and Answers

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Do you believe the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act were justified under the circumstances? Give reasons for your opinion.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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These Acts were not necessary. They were essentially prejudicial and discriminatory. There is no justification, but the circumstances that led to their passing were trumped up, and caused by fear. It is the sad side of American history, that we allowed any such thing.

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Throughout history and into the present, government restriction on civil liberties has almost always been proven unjustified.  During World War I, there was no really organized opposition or significant spy rings, or afterwards, any communist conspiracy.  A government crackdown was not warranted.

In World War II we interned 120,000 Japanese-Americans, citizens, out of hysterical fear, to no good end.

As a nation, we tend to do foolish things with our freedom when we are afraid.

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enotechris eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Why not? Marriages dissolve; why not countries? People can divorce, but states cannot secede?  My wife wants to leave, but I decree its in the best interest of the family for her to stay, and force her to do so? And when she moves into another...

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enotechris eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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krishna-agrawala | Student

It appears enoteschris, in his post #4 is criticizing President Abraham Lincoln for taking stiff measures to protect the unity of United States of America. He says:

Lincoln suspending  habeas corpus and dissolving Maryland's legislature (so they wouldn't vote to secede) was patently unconstitutional and a grave abuse of presidential power.

I think, this kind of criticism is highly unfair to a great man. Lincoln's actions were prompted, not by consideration of personal gains, but by the desire for good of people of USA. Acting against the constitution of a country is very much justified when the very existence of a country is threatened. And tearing apart a country in two, is definitely threatening the very existence of the country. As to the right of the states to secede, it is not just as simple as checking in and out of a hotel. A marriage is a voluntary partnership between husband and wife. This does not mean that either of the two partner has a right to walk out the other just because he or she decides to do so.