The Legality of the Confederacy

Following on the theme of the last post (“The Name of the War”), the reason why it is called a Civil War – a classic internal struggle within the confines of a single nation – rather than a war between two sovereign nations, is because the United States did not recognize the sovereignty of the Confederacy.

Many respondents seconded this motion and put forward that not a single nation acknowledged the existence of the Confederacy as a separate nation.

While it is true that no European nation acknowledged the existence – primarily because the Union worked damned hard to prevent such recognition – there were several nations who did, in fact, acknowledge the existence of the Confederate States. And these were nations that the U.S. had already acknowledged with treaties of their own. And by international law – generally speaking – if one nation recognizes a nation through treaty, then nations they deal will can also claim legal status.

There are a few countries in the world today who do not have legal status because only one or fewer legal states recognize them. It does not stop them from existing, printing their own money, and electing their own leaders, but does hamper their efforts at getting foreign aid from the U. S. State Department – that is, if any of them were looking for such.

Anyway, these several nations already recognized by the U. S. Government banded together with the Confederacy because they saw future depredations on their lands and people by the United States and hoped to find some safety by aligning themselves with the Confederacy.

Of course, since the U.S. had already broken their treaties with these nations (repeatedly), they probably could care less if the Seminole Nation, the Creek Nation, the Cherokee Nation, and the Choctaw Nation recognized the existence of the Confederacy.

Legal states had, in fact, recognized and treated with the Confederacy as a separate government. The U. S. simply ignored the fact.

Why? Easy! The United States ignored them because they planned to roll over them next.


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