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Does a State have the right to secede?
08-21-2013, 01:49 PM (This post was last modified: 08-21-2013 02:18 PM by brtmchl.)
Post: #24
RE: Does a State have the right to secede?
Liz, I did consider your point, but I did not accept it as being the defining argument on an issue that has been argued since the founding of this country. And one that still confuses people today. I agree with you on many things. I agree with you that Lincoln was a brilliant man. I also agree that Southerners would have quite the gall to complain, however I can also see Southerners asking were the Union has the gall to condemn seccession; but also Ok it, as it suits their need. I don't believe in seccession, but then again I am not a citizen of the United States during the mid 1800's. Many southern whites had considered themselves more Southern than American and would fight for their state and their region to be independent of the larger nation. That regionalism became a Southern nationalism, whose belief was that the United States Constitution was a compact among states that could be abandoned at any time without consultation and that each state had a right to secede.

You requested that we keep this in accordance with Lincoln's time, I'm simply stating that before and up to the Civil War, The notion of seccession wasn't clear. There were other attempts by Northerners before Southerners "opted out" of the Union.

Some have argued for secession as a constitutional right and others as from a natural right of revolution. The issue of secession was argued in many forums and advocated from time to time in both the North and South in the decades after (adopting) the Constitution and before the American Civil War.

"The true principles of our federal compact", to sever ourselves from that union we so much value, rather than give up the rights of self government which we have reserved, and in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness." - Thomas Jefferson

1844 with his "Address to the Friends of Freedom and Emancipation in the United States," William Lloyd Garrison called for secession. Garrison wrote: the Constitution was created "at the expense of the colored population of the country"; southerners were dominating the nation—especially representation in Congress—because of the Three-Fifths Compromise; now it was time "to set the captive free by the potency of truth" and to "secede from the government".

As pertaining to W. Virginia:
Article IV, Section. 3, Clause 1 of the United States Constitutions reads: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress. Some of the movements to partition states have or do identify themselves as "secessionist" movements.

This is an example of Lincoln's brillance as a lawyer. Not recognizing the Rebellious Governments and Only recognizing factions of the State that were loyal to the Union as the legitimate Government.

As far as your slave arguement. I don't see one. As horrible as slavery was, it was LEGAL. The Union recognized it as legal. The Supreme Court backed it up with it's horrible decision on Dredd Scott, and the Fugitive Slave Act was law.
Let's also not forget that Virginia voted down secession. That is until Lincoln made a call for troops immediately after Fort Sumter, a majority of Virginians voted in favor of secession feeling that the Federal government of the Union was becoming too coercive. Lincoln's quick action to recruit troops to suppress the southern force was met with protest by Virginia. With a final vote of 88 to 55, the Virginia convention decided to secede on April 17th, 1861.

Let's also not forget the difficulties that Jefferson Davis had, dealing with Southern States and their views of States Rights who continually threatened to leave the Confederacy. Georgia accused Davis of destroying states' rights and individual liberty. The first conscription act in North America authorizing Davis to draft soldiers was said to be the "essence of military despotism."

I'm really not trying to make this a heated debate. The problem when writing is that people misconceive the tone. It is however an interesting debate to have, as pertaining to the TIME. I don't even believe in Seccession, but I have a modern Government mentality. And a 21st century understanding of the Constitution. I can only imagine that the people of the time, some of who may have been decendents of the authors, had a better understanding. We all know politicians would never say one thing and write into law something else. I see the Constitution as it has evolved, not the way it was looked upon in the 19th century.
In 2008 an International poll found that 22% of Americans believed that "any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic."
Secession, what it really is, is Rebellion. Which any truly "free people" have the natural right to do.

" Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian." - Henry Ford
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RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - brtmchl - 08-21-2013 01:49 PM
RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - Hess1865 - 08-24-2013, 09:04 PM

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