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Does a State have the right to secede?
10-22-2013, 11:24 AM
Post: #57
RE: Does a State have the right to secede?
(08-22-2013 04:59 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  I do not feel adequate to enter this discussion, but I do have a question in case anyone would like to respond. Are "nullification" and "secession" two separate concepts, or are they essentially the same overall concept? The reason I ask is that courts look for precedents when they make decisions, and Lincoln was a lawyer. Nullification was an issue in 1832, and Andrew Jackson issued a proclamation regarding nullification. Just one paragraph of it reads:

The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a government, not a league, and whether it be formed by compact between the States, or in any other manner, its character is the same. It is a government in which all the people are represented, which operates directly on the people individually, not upon the States; they retained all the power they did not grant. But each State having expressly parted with so many powers as to constitute jointly with the other States a single nation, cannot from that period possess any right to secede, because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any injury to that unity is not only a breach which would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is an offense against the whole Union. To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation.

Does anyone know if Lincoln looked at this as a precedent? Did this help him decide his own position on secession?

Thank you for any possible responses.

Mr. George Thompson, the English anti-slavery orator, delivered an address in the House of Representatives, to a large audience, April 6, 1864. The folllowing morning, Mr. Thompson and party called at the White House.

Mr. Lincoln thereupon said:

"Mr. Thompson, the people of Great Britain and of other foreign governmnents were in one great error in reference to the conflict. They seemed to think that the moment I was President, I had the power to abolish slavery, forgetting that, before I could have any power whatsoever, I had to take the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and execute the laws as I found them. When the rebellion broke out, my duty did not admit of a question. That was, first, by all strictly lawful means to endeavor to maintain the integrity of the Government. I did not consider that I had a right to touch the 'state' institution of slavery until all other measures for restoring the Union had failed. The paramount idea of the Constitution is the preservation of the Union. It may not be specified in so many words, but that this was the idea of its founders is evident; for, without the Union, the Constitution would be worthless. It seems clear, then, that in the last extremity, if any local institution threatened the existence of the Union, the Executive could not hesitate as to his duty. In our case, the moment came when I felt that slavery must die that the nation might live! . . . ."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - David Lockmiller - 10-22-2013 11:24 AM
RE: Does a State have the right to secede? - Hess1865 - 08-24-2013, 08:04 PM

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