Confederates advocating secession via the US Constitution

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Very true. the US Constitution was all about empowering the Federal government.
And yet, most of the states demanded something like the 10th amendment before they would agree to ratify, which indicates to me an intention to protect their own sovereignty, and to hold on to any power that the Constitution did not explicitly restrict.
 

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One view of the tenth is that the right of secession, if there is any belongs to the people of the United States. Anyone making a claim that it exclusively belongs to the States needs to make an explicit case that is the only interpretation.
- Each state was, at one time, independent of the others. This was true under the Continental Congress and under the Articles of Confederation. They worked together and had common cause, but there was no single authority over all of them. So at this point, "secession", i.e. operating apart from all the other states in the Union without any need to ask for consent was clearly a right.
- The question is, was this right given up to the Federal government when the Constitution was ratified? Some aspects of former state power were clearly placed under the purview of the general government, but was the right to withdraw from the Union one that was ever specifically surrendered? Can we see anywhere in the language of the Constitution that it is plainly stated "once you're in the Union, you give up all right to ever leave it?" or words to that effect?

I believe that what you see in the early decades of the United States is a consolidation of power and national authority, first by the Federalists and then by the courts, that went beyond what was intended by the people of the several states at the time of ratification. I still think the insistence on something like the 10th amendment as a condition of ratification clearly points to an unwillingness to surrender finally and forever all state sovereignty that was won during the revolution. I think this also counters Unionblue's comment that the people of the states saw the Federal government as something that would protect that sovereignty. I think it's more complicated than that, and the concerns that the states expressed during ratification tell us a lot about the kind of government they were concerned they were getting.
 
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You know people I think it Was Madison that said the power to dissolve the Union rested with the PEOPLE of the country as whole not the people of an individual state. He was a big architect of the original constitution so I say his words/opinion carry alot of,alot of weight. I know modern people bring up Jefferson as a counterweight to Madison but Jefferson didn't even attend said convention since I think he was in France at the time on government business.
 
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- Each state was, at one time, independent of the others. This was true under the Continental Congress and under the Articles of Confederation. They worked together and had common cause, but there was no single authority over all of them. So at this point, "secession", i.e. operating apart from all the other states in the Union without any need to ask for consent was clearly a right.
- The question is, was this right given up to the Federal government when the Constitution was ratified? Some aspects were clearly placed under the purview of the general government, but was the right to withdraw from the Union one that was ever specifically surrendered? Can we see anywhere in the language of the Constitution that it is plainly stated "once you're in the Union, you give up all right to ever leave it?" or words to that effect?
In section 11 of the Articles of Confederation it quite clearly states the Union was perpetual and the Constitution of 1787 starts off saying "In Order To Form a More Perfect Union". Seems quite clear to me the Union was designed to stay permanent even before the 1787 document....
 
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In section 11 of the Articles of Confederation it quite clearly states the Union was perpetual and the Constitution of 1787 starts off saying "In Order To Form a More Perfect Union". Seems quite clear to me the Union was designed to stay permanent even before the 1787 document....
Why do you assume "a more perfect union" refers to carrying on the perpetual state of the AOC? I don't see the connection between the two.

They took the word "perpetual" out of the Constitution.
 
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Why do you assume "a more perfect union" refers to carrying on the perpetual state of the AOC? I don't see the connection between the two.

They took the word "perpetual" out of the Constitution.

The the old AOC wasn't working and it was a Union in and of itself . I assume perpetual union even if not directly stated was implied by the phrase "In order to form a More Perfect Union" you can't have a more "perfect union" if one state or group of states throws a hissy fit and threatens to withdraw every time they don't get their way OR wouldn't do it's part in the old Confederation OR cry because they needed a more powerful federal government but don't want the downside of such . Look at this away as an example a state or group of states in one step can't give the Federal government the right to make treaties then drop out of the Union and state they weren't following any treaties previously negotiated. I'm sure there are other similar issues that can be shown in the constitution showing the absurdity of seccession one the Constitution was ratified in 1787..One final note Our government evolved from the Continental Congress to the AOC to current Constitution,in each step the states agreed to have more & more of their powers taken over and/or controlled by the Fedral Government.
 

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- Each state was, at one time, independent of the others. This was true under the Continental Congress and under the Articles of Confederation. They worked together and had common cause, but there was no single authority over all of them. So at this point, "secession", i.e. operating apart from all the other states in the Union without any need to ask for consent was clearly a right.


- The question is, was this right given up to the Federal government when the Constitution was ratified? Some aspects of former state power were clearly placed under the purview of the general government, but was the right to withdraw from the Union one that was ever specifically surrendered? Can we see anywhere in the language of the Constitution that it is plainly stated "once you're in the Union, you give up all right to ever leave it?" or words to that effect?

I believe that what you see in the early decades of the United States is a consolidation of power and national authority, first by the Federalists and then by the courts, that went beyond what was intended by the people of the several states at the time of ratification. I still think the insistence on something like the 10th amendment as a condition of ratification clearly points to an unwillingness to surrender finally and forever all state sovereignty that was won during the revolution. I think this also counters Unionblue's comment that the people of the states saw the Federal government as something that would protect that sovereignty. I think it's more complicated than that, and the concerns that the states expressed during ratification tell us a lot about the kind of government they were concerned they were getting.
Technically Power. Sovereigns have powers, individuals have rights.

Is the power of secession inherent in a confederation? It cannot be just assumed. Likewise asking or not asking for consent is a unproved assumption. A fully sovereign international entity not bound by treaties or other agreements can pretty much do what it wants, but once it enters into agreements it loses some sovereignty. The question is how much.

Assuming a State's capital is occupied by the British, who set up a rump loyalist government, can that State leave the Articles of Confederation even if the country side is filled with Patriots? Can a AOC State secede to avoid debts owed to other States?

From
International law, a treatise : Oppenheim, L. (Lassa), 1858-1919
Emphasis mine.

In the eighteenth century matters changed Meaning again. The fact that the several hundred reigning reigning princes of the member-States of the German Empire had practically, although not theoretically, become more or less independent since the Westphalian Peace, enforced the necessity upon publicists to recognize a distinction between an absolute, perfect, full sovereignty, on the one hand, and, on the other, a relative, imperfect, not-full or half-sovereignty. Absolute and full sovereignty was attributed to those monarchs who enjoyed an unqualified independence within and without their States. Relative and not-full sovereignty, or half-sovereignty, was attributed to those monarchs who were, in various points of internal or foreign affairs of State, more or less dependent upon other monarchs. By this distinction the divisibility of sovereignty was recognized.
The short of it is that under International law, States who join a Confederation lose full sovereignty. Is the Power of secession lost or not is unknown, and it cannot be assumed. Without some textual evidence in the Articles of Confederation allowing for secession, then no such power exists under the AOC. Maybe it existed as an unenumerated power, in which case, there must be evidence somewhere in a State Constitution, law or court. Does independence suggest the right of secession? Yes, but in the AOC the matter is not addressed. Without being address there is no evidence of its existance.

There is a question of if the States seceded from the AOC to form the Constitutional Federal US. However no such notice or claim of power to secede was served nor does it seem that the Anti-Federalist brought it up. In fact the assumption is that "secession from the compact itself was consistent with the terms of their original pledges."
Legitimacy of closing down
Political scientist David C. Hendrickson writes that two prominent political leaders in the Confederation, John Jay of New York and Thomas Burke of North Carolina believed that "the authority of the congress rested on the prior acts of the several states, to which the states gave their voluntary consent, and until those obligations were fulfilled, neither nullification of the authority of congress, exercising its due powers, nor secession from the compact itself was consistent with the terms of their original pledges."[43]

According to Article XIII of the Confederation, any alteration had to be approved unanimously:

[T]he Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.

On the other hand, Article VII of the proposed Constitution stated that it would become effective after ratification by a mere nine states, without unanimity:

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The apparent tension between these two provisions was addressed at the time, and remains a topic of scholarly discussion. In 1788, James Madison remarked (in Federalist No. 40) that the issue had become moot: "As this objection...has been in a manner waived by those who have criticised the powers of the convention, I dismiss it without further observation." Nevertheless, it is an interesting historical and legal question whether opponents of the Constitution could have plausibly attacked the Constitution on that ground. At the time, there were state legislators who argued that the Constitution was not an alteration of the Articles of Confederation, but rather would be a complete replacement so the unanimity rule did not apply.[44] Moreover, the Confederation had proven woefully inadequate and therefore was supposedly no longer binding.[44]

Modern scholars such as Francisco Forrest Martin agree that the Articles of Confederation had lost its binding force because many states had violated it, and thus "other states-parties did not have to comply with the Articles' unanimous consent rule".[45] In contrast, law professor Akhil Amar suggests that there may not have really been any conflict between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution on this point; Article VI of the Confederation specifically allowed side deals among states, and the Constitution could be viewed as a side deal until all states ratified it.[46]
Without proof of the power of secession under the AOC then there is nothing to give up under the Constitution. States outside of the original 13 and Texas were never independent as assuming the power of secession was granted to them is assuming a power without evidence can be transferred without evidence. There appears to be an opinion by members of the AOC that secession was not allowed.
 

MattL

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Empowering with limited power, enumerated power not absolute power.

All written Constitutions limit power.

No offense but this statement is the crux of all that is wrong in the interpretations of how our Government is to work, IMHO. This is why this discussion will never end or be settled. Regardless of whether they used the 10th or not the Constitution itself is silent on Secession. So in that regard we can say, as so many have, that the CW settled the issue but only until a next time, if it occurs. War of consensus can settle it, Courts, not really or truly since all they have is Opinion.
To clarify, I never said absolute power. All I said is the US Constitution was all about empowering the Federal government. The context that we can never forget is the Articles of Confederation and the Federalists (meaning pro-US Constitution not the later Federalist party) arguments that they needed a much more powerful Federal government to be effective, that a weak Federal government had been proven ineffective via the early years of the US.

Now my statement was only a single sentence, if I were to expand on the clearly the 10th amendment was where they capped things to some extent. Obviously they didn't want an absolutely powerful government (either Federal or State for that matter actually, the whole Bill of Rights for example), that doesn't change the fact that they were coming from a weak Federal government and the Federalists were about massively increasing Federal power since it simply didn't work well before.

War of consensus can settle it, Courts, not really or truly since all they have is Opinion.
Well to be fair legislation is just opinion too. Look at the massive debates that occurred in the forming of the US Constitution and every amendment added to it basically.

I'm not sure why you would de-emphasize the courts.
 
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MattL

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And yet, most of the states demanded something like the 10th amendment before they would agree to ratify, which indicates to me an intention to protect their own sovereignty, and to hold on to any power that the Constitution did not explicitly restrict.
I'd definitely agree the the 10th amendment was the counter-balance to all the expanded power of the Federal Government. That doesn't change the historical fact that coming from the Articles of Confederation the Federalists in support of the US Constitution had a primary goal of empowering the Federal government.

Obviously with limits of course, they didn't want government at any level to be absolute in power.

As far as a protecting their own sovereignty, I'm not so sure. I mean the US Constitution is pretty sweeping in giving up sovereignty. I certainly can agree on the last part though, that they obviously wanted the States to hold onto what wasn't covered (which was quite a bit). I mean Article 1 Section 10 is pretty limiting on it's own

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
The bolded part is of interest of course since it prevents the States from banding together against the Federal government even. I mean look at that list of things... I think it's hard to suggest that a good portion of a States sovereignty isn't bound up in that list and there is much more conceded throughout the rest of the Constitution.

Obviously States didn't concede everything, but certainly they were pretty clear they were ready to concede a lot to fix the ineffective weak Federal Government under the Articles of Confederation.
 

MattL

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I believe that what you see in the early decades of the United States is a consolidation of power and national authority, first by the Federalists and then by the courts, that went beyond what was intended by the people of the several states at the time of ratification. I still think the insistence on something like the 10th amendment as a condition of ratification clearly points to an unwillingness to surrender finally and forever all state sovereignty that was won during the revolution. I think this also counters Unionblue's comment that the people of the states saw the Federal government as something that would protect that sovereignty. I think it's more complicated than that, and the concerns that the states expressed during ratification tell us a lot about the kind of government they were concerned they were getting.
All good points, though to continue that same argument they still enacted that "kind of government" despite concerns, actions speak louder than words, what they did vs what they were concerned about is far more impactful in my opinion (without removing each other).

I'd also point out that one of the key pro-Constitution Federalists, James Madison, was a Southerner. Jefferson supported it from a distance too in France. I'd also suggest Jefferson as an example of being anti-Federalist (the party not the pro-Constitution group) over power of the Federal government exerted by John Adams, though he himself justified an overreach of Federal power with the Louisiana Purchase among other things (such as his direction towards the Native Americans).

Are we to take Jefferson's words earlier or his actions later to be more true? In Jefferson vs. Jefferson which Jefferson do we side with.

What about Madison? He vetoed the second nation bank in 1814 (both him and Jefferson argued it was too much federal power) but then supported in in 1816 (when he needed the money). In Madison vs Madison do we trust his earlier words and actions or his later much more impactful actions.

What about Andrew Jackson and his crusade against the national bank again later, but his massive overreach of power with his actions towards the Native Americans. Do we side with the limited Federal Government Andrew Jackson or the expansive and powerful Federal Government Andrew Jackson.

If we can learn anything from the disputes of those who disputed each other in forming the limits and power of our government is that their arguments and views shifted, especially when they were in a position to leverage such power. It's not as simple as your first sentence suggests.

For one those who debated about the definition of power did it on limited grounds. They had the weak Articles of Confederation as an example but they really were only guessing at what the new US Constitution would lead to. Theory is fine and all but iteration often is far more effective. Also some of those federal overreaches, like the Louisiana purchase, benefited our nation more than nearly any other action, of course if we critique the ones that happened to result in something bad but give a pass on the ones that happened to work out that would make us hypocrites.

In short, it's complex.. it's not as simple as things expanded beyond the original intentions, since some of those people who argued the intentions expanded it beyond their own arguments.
 
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I agree that it's complex. People had one opinion when the Constitution was a theory, and would sometimes form another opinion when it went into operation. Sometimes they'd hold contradictory views of power, as your Jackson example demonstrates. Even supporters like Jefferson and Madison could draft articles like the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions when faced with problems, which Washington wasn't happy about because he thought it was a recipe for disunion. Building and running a country is obviously a difficult and complex endeavor, and people did indeed change their views over time. But I think the general direction was towards consolidation of power at the expense of the states, and I'm not sure that's what the people thought they were getting when they ratified. They wanted something stronger than the AOC, clearly. They could see the need for that. But I think they got more than they bargained for. Maybe not, but it looks that way to me, at least to some extent.
 

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Now that was one of the most interesting and intriguing posts I have seen to date on this issue. Thank you. I dont have enough knowledge to agree or fully disagre but it will be reread and looked at more closely. Thanks. No offense meant to others with great posts but this one seems different.

Question. If accepting these posts at face value. Were the Confederate Reps. Liars, Misapplying, misunderstanding, or just plan lost on there understanding of these issues. I wonder how much of this process really made it to the public and was understood. I like to think I'm reasonably intelegent and i get lost in all these quotes and books and readings.

Thanks cw buff

Sorry 48th, I've been traveling all over the place lately, with little access to the www.

IMHO, I believe some of them lied, especially in the beginning of the unilateral secession via state compact theories. Calhoun is highly suspect, especially since he expressed a willingness to adopt disunion as early as c1812 (this was posted by someone else in a prior thread, maybe DanF, who I haven’t seen around lately). After Madison shot down the use of the VA & KY Resolutions for unilateral nullification and secession, Calhoun & Co simply ignored him and carried on (though of course things died down between 1833 and the mid 1840s). I have often maintained that there were experts in constitutional law in both the North and South. Such political gimmickry is nothing new, nor old. There have been more than one unjustified war, all provoked by powerful people who wanted a war for whatever selfish purposes.

I also believe Jefferson and Madison knew better (yes, lied) when they first promoted state compact theory, though I can identify with their motives (they were fighting genuinely unconstitutional, tyrannical government action, most notably, the Alien and Sedition Acts). But also, they would not attempt to implement their ideas. They presented them, saw them shot down by a majority of the other states, both Federalist and Democratic-Republican controlled (ten of the states condemned the Resolutions (as did George Washington), the other four offered no opinion, VA & KY stood alone on state compact theory 1788-1789). As fate would have it, simply pointing out the corrupt nature of the Acts got the Federalists booted out of their dominant position over the Fed, and got Jefferson and Madison in the White House (where Jefferson then violated his states’ rights principles, but that’s the diff between being outside and inside power).

Now, where did the liars end and the dupes begin (I have no problem calling those who truly believed what they were told "dupes", because I have been one myself in more recent history)? Impossible to tell. Even many Confederate leaders had little or no legal background. Ditto for the vast majority of the rank and file, the average Joe’s. It would have been pretty much the same in the North, except the leaders there were telling the truth about the nature of the Union. The whole purpose of weaving lies to generate a war for personal gain is to fool enough people who don’t know better to join you and make your goal a reality. Unfortunately, that seems to be human nature.
 

jgoodguy

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I agree that it's complex. People had one opinion when the Constitution was a theory, and would sometimes form another opinion when it went into operation. Sometimes they'd hold contradictory views of power, as your Jackson example demonstrates. Even supporters like Jefferson and Madison could draft articles like the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions when faced with problems, which Washington wasn't happy about because he thought it was a recipe for disunion. Building and running a country is obviously a difficult and complex endeavor, and people did indeed change their views over time. But I think the general direction was towards consolidation of power at the expense of the states, and I'm not sure that's what the people thought they were getting when they ratified. They wanted something stronger than the AOC, clearly. They could see the need for that. But I think they got more than they bargained for. Maybe not, but it looks that way to me, at least to some extent.
IMHO the reason for the consolidation was not some theoretical affinity for consolidation, but the States fumbled and were incompetent at national governance and that left consolation.
 

48th Miss.

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To clarify, I never said absolute power. All I said is the US Constitution was all about empowering the Federal government. The context that we can never forget is the Articles of Confederation and the Federalists (meaning pro-US Constitution not the later Federalist party) arguments that they needed a much more powerful Federal government to be effective, that a weak Federal government had been proven ineffective via the early years of the US.

Now my statement was only a single sentence, if I were to expand on the clearly the 10th amendment was where they capped things to some extent. Obviously they didn't want an absolutely powerful government (either Federal or State for that matter actually, the whole Bill of Rights for example), that doesn't change the fact that they were coming from a weak Federal government and the Federalists were about massively increasing Federal power since it simply didn't work well before.



Well to be fair legislation is just opinion too. Look at the massive debates that occurred in the forming of the US Constitution and every amendment added to it basically.

I'm not sure why you would de-emphasize the courts.
So many split hairs here i cant keep up with what everyone actually means so I will agree with stronger that the Articles of confederation .

The courts dont necessarily need to be de-emphasied but they are just one branch of three co eqaul branches. Their opinions are not written in stone nor are they always correct and being unelected they are the furthest from we the People so in that sense they, to me should be slightly weeker. Just my opinion.
 

48th Miss.

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Sorry 48th, I've been traveling all over the place lately, with little access to the www.

IMHO, I believe some of them lied, especially in the beginning of the unilateral secession via state compact theories. Calhoun is highly suspect, especially since he expressed a willingness to adopt disunion as early as c1812 (this was posted by someone else in a prior thread, maybe DanF, who I haven’t seen around lately). After Madison shot down the use of the VA & KY Resolutions for unilateral nullification and secession, Calhoun & Co simply ignored him and carried on (though of course things died down between 1833 and the mid 1840s). I have often maintained that there were experts in constitutional law in both the North and South. Such political gimmickry is nothing new, nor old. There have been more than one unjustified war, all provoked by powerful people who wanted a war for whatever selfish purposes.

I also believe Jefferson and Madison knew better (yes, lied) when they first promoted state compact theory, though I can identify with their motives (they were fighting genuinely unconstitutional, tyrannical government action, most notably, the Alien and Sedition Acts). But also, they would not attempt to implement their ideas. They presented them, saw them shot down by a majority of the other states, both Federalist and Democratic-Republican controlled (ten of the states condemned the Resolutions (as did George Washington), the other four offered no opinion, VA & KY stood alone on state compact theory 1788-1789). As fate would have it, simply pointing out the corrupt nature of the Acts got the Federalists booted out of their dominant position over the Fed, and got Jefferson and Madison in the White House (where Jefferson then violated his states’ rights principles, but that’s the diff between being outside and inside power).

Now, where did the liars end and the dupes begin (I have no problem calling those who truly believed what they were told "dupes", because I have been one myself in more recent history)? Impossible to tell. Even many Confederate leaders had little or no legal background. Ditto for the vast majority of the rank and file, the average Joe’s. It would have been pretty much the same in the North, except the leaders there were telling the truth about the nature of the Union. The whole purpose of weaving lies to generate a war for personal gain is to fool enough people who don’t know better to join you and make your goal a reality. Unfortunately, that seems to be human nature.
Thank you
 

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So many split hairs here i cant keep up with what everyone actually means so I will agree with stronger that the Articles of confederation .
Well you were responding pretty strongly off of one sentence by me so I wanted to clarify things much more. One sentence certainly does not convey my entire view on the matter.

As you seem to agree the Articles of Confederation certainly had a weaker federal government so the primary goal of the US Constitution was to empower the Federal government. Again I certainly agree the 10th amendment was placed in their to limit that power. They didn't want any government to have absolute power.

The courts don't necessarily need to be de-emphasied but they are just one branch of three co eqaul branches. Their opinions are not written in stone nor are they always correct and being unelected they are the furthest from we the People so in that sense they, to me should be slightly weeker. Just my opinion.
Legislation isn't written in stone either. We didn't have women's vote or black vote until we passed amendments for that. A good example is the 21st amendment that repealed the 18th amendment (prohibition). So even legislation isn't written in stone, that was how the US constitution was setup so it could be amended.

I do agree that the US court is just one branch. Remember it has no enforcement capabilities as well. It relies on both the Federal and State government to enforce it's rulings. Certainly not all of its rulings have been perfect, much like our legislation has been flawed (fugitive slave act).

A lot of our actual views on this certainly come down to opinions. Anderson raises good points as well... we probably disagree on certain parts of it, whether they got more than they bargained for or not. As our thread was going through people like Jefferson and Madison both fought for expanding the Federal government in their arguments for the Constitution, then limiting it against Washington and Adams (Federalists) and then in both Jefferson's and Madison's presidencies they exerted massive federal power (Louisiana purchase under Jefferson and second national bank under Madison).

So if you follow the individuals you fine the even change positions over time. Then you get to use here now looking back with many more years of history and our own opinions :smile:

It's still fascinating to look at the history though, the progress from AoC to the Constitution, etc. There arguments and actions, etc.
 

jgoodguy

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Well you were responding pretty strongly off of one sentence by me so I wanted to clarify things much more. One sentence certainly does not convey my entire view on the matter.

As you seem to agree the Articles of Confederation certainly had a weaker federal government so the primary goal of the US Constitution was to empower the Federal government. Again I certainly agree the 10th amendment was placed in their to limit that power. They didn't want any government to have absolute power.



Legislation isn't written in stone either. We didn't have women's vote or black vote until we passed amendments for that. A good example is the 21st amendment that repealed the 18th amendment (prohibition). So even legislation isn't written in stone, that was how the US constitution was setup so it could be amended.

I do agree that the US court is just one branch. Remember it has no enforcement capabilities as well. It relies on both the Federal and State government to enforce it's rulings. Certainly not all of its rulings have been perfect, much like our legislation has been flawed (fugitive slave act).

A lot of our actual views on this certainly come down to opinions. Anderson raises good points as well... we probably disagree on certain parts of it, whether they got more than they bargained for or not. As our thread was going through people like Jefferson and Madison both fought for expanding the Federal government in their arguments for the Constitution, then limiting it against Washington and Adams (Federalists) and then in both Jefferson's and Madison's presidencies they exerted massive federal power (Louisiana purchase under Jefferson and second national bank under Madison).

So if you follow the individuals you fine the even change positions over time. Then you get to use here now looking back with many more years of history and our own opinions :smile:

It's still fascinating to look at the history though, the progress from AoC to the Constitution, etc. There arguments and actions, etc.
Perhaps the only constant is the use of ideology to political advantage depending on circumstance.
 

jgoodguy

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For me. after 5 years of asking:

Regarding the 10th.

No one has provided a written tangible law, court decision or constitutional provision at any government level granting a power of secession to be one of the unenumerated powers covered by the tenth.

Every opinion has an opposite opinion.

Every argument of an implied power has a opposite counter argument.

At the end of the day, there is no evidence of a power of secession under the Constitution.
 

jgoodguy

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IMHO the evidence supports the idea that the Secessionists used Compact theory rather than the tenth to justify secession. It is apparent they had a version of the Constitution in mind that not only differed from the one Unionists had in mind, but also distinct from what had evolved from legislation and jurisprudence over 80 years. The secessionists and Unionists held their views were more like the intentions of the founders. The secessionists had an over simplistic opinion of how to implement their ideology. For those interested in secession ideology and the development of the CSA Constitution see
Continuity in Secession: The Case of the Confederate Constitution.
 
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South Carolina
IMHO the evidence supports the idea that the Secessionists used Compact theory rather than the tenth to justify secession. It is apparent they had a version of the Constitution in mind that not only differed from the one Unionists had in mind, but also distinct from what had evolved from legislation and jurisprudence over 80 years. The secessionists and Unionists held their views were more like the intentions of the founders. The secessionists had an over simplistic opinion of how to implement their ideology. For those interested in secession ideology and the development of the CSA Constitution see
Continuity in Secession: The Case of the Confederate Constitution.
In support of this line of thought, I think there are a number of occasions where Jefferson Davis and also Robert E. Lee and probably many others indicated that they felt the government had departed from the original intention of the Founders, and Davis certainly saw the Confederates as being more faithful than the Union to the Constitution.

"I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it." - Jefferson Davis

All that the South has ever desired was that the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth.” - Robert E. Lee


Having said that, I'm going to disagree that the Confederates did not rely on the 10th amendment. They absolutely relied on Article 7 as Constitutionally proving that the states were the agents of the compact, and on the 10th amendment as the Constitutional mechanism that preserved all rights gained prior to ratification that were not listed in the Constitution as delegated to the federal government.
 
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