jpete wrote:But Larry, wasn't the Emancipation Proclamation similar to Congress passing a law regarding something in Canada?
The Confederacy was it's own country with a president and a congress of it's own.
Lincoln even stated that releasing the northern slaves would require an act of Congress, not the POTUS.
The war started over excessive taxation of the south by the north in 1861. The Proclamation was delivered in 1863 to force the south to fight an internal war while also fighting the north.
We had unlimited men coming in from overseas through NYC while the south was facing a manpower shortage. Lincoln had to deprive the south of using the slaves to extend the war.
If it had gone on much longer, it was possible that France would come to the Confederacy's aid and we might be two countries today.
All true, but since the North never recognized the secessions of any of the Southern States, and since such an event as Civil War stood without precedent, from the Northern perspective they were within their rights.
Where the problem in this view arises is that the Constitution itself clearly granted the States the right to secede. Therefore from the very moment the Southern States seceded, the North was in the wrong to pursue bringing them back into the Union through force.
So ultimately you are right jpete. The North (be it under the auspicies of Republicans, Democrats, Whigs, or otherwise) could not legally free the slaves in the South since they were within the boundaries of a foreign nation that was not under the law of either the North or the Constitution of the United States, but had its own Constitution and laws. If the Supreme Court would have ever reviewed the actions of the North, it would have been interesting to see if they would have boned up and told Lincoln to remove his troops from the South and let them alone.