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Does a State have the right to secede?
08-21-2013, 06:28 PM
Post: #27
RE: Does a State have the right to secede?
I'm afraid if we only look at Lincoln's argument against secession as doctrine. There would be no further debate at all. But what about his arguments for it?

Secessionists believed states had the right to secede because of the reserved powers clause of the Constitution’s – and the Bill of Rights’ - Tenth Amendment which says,
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

To secessionists, nothing could be clearer: the Constitution did not prohibit states from seceding. Therefore, the right to secede was reserved to the states. Such had been the thinking all across the nation ever since the Constitution had been ratified in 1788. In fact, several secessions had been proposed in the first 70 years after the Constitution was ratified, in different sections of the country, and nobody ever said that secession would be illegal. Even Abraham Lincoln himself, while he was a member of the House of Representatives (Illinois 7th District, March 4, 1847 to March 3, 1849), spoke in favor of the right of secession.When Lincoln was in the House of Representatives, he spoke in favor of the right of Texas to secede and return to independence. Texas had become a state within the United States on December 29, 1845. In 1847, Lincoln believed that Texas’ return to independence could bring a quick end to the U.S.-Mexico War. Within this context, the Congressional Records for 1847 quote Lincoln as having argued, “Any people whatever have the right to abolish the existing government and form a new one that suits them better." On January 12, 1848, Lincoln said, "Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better."

In 1820 Maine voted to secede from Massachusetts, and the secession and formation of the state of Maine occurred in 1820.

Liz you wrote: You mention natural rights, in the context of "revolution." But what about the natural right of every human being to be free in his person and free from being governed by a slave master or a slave power without his consent?

As a free people don't we have the right and the duty to Rebel against a Tyrannical Government? Our Forefathers thought so. What if that slave master IS the Government? People can be made slaves of the Government, There are instances of this all over the world.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure." - Jefferson

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln

The right to revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression, if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. - U.S. Grant

We can find numerous talk about Rebellion from before and up to the Civil War.

I Am in favor of a different kind of rebellion.

"The ballot is stronger than the bullett." - Abraham Lincoln

" 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 06:28 PM
RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - Hess1865 - 08-24-2013, 09:04 PM

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