David Maxey goes into depth about the enforcement of treason during the American Revolution, and the difference between committing treason as a patriot and as a loyalist. He talks about how the crime can be seen as confusing, as one would think treason against one party would simply mean to convert to the other. Laws were fuzzy, governments were confusing, and the crime was one that was being worked toward diminishing piece by piece.
The quote below states very briefly the view on how treason was treated as a crime when it came to social movements, specifically in the patriotic view point.
“As Thomas McKean, a signer of the Declaration and later Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, observed in an early case that came before him as a judge, in civil wars, every man chooses his party; but generally that side which prevails arrogates the right of treating those who are vanquished as rebels. Benjamin Franklin made the point more tellingly when, as he was about to sign the Declaration, he remarked, ‘We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang separately.'”
Read the whole page here!