Confederates advocating secession via the US Constitution

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
Maybe because the Southern secessionists weren't willing to wait, hence all those thefts and war-like actions BEFORE Lincoln even took the oath of office.

If your house is on fire, do you sit in the living room waiting for the Fire Department to confirm the fact the house IS on fire?

South Carolina had already waited 8 years longer than they intended. They were ready to go in 1852.

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.​
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
South Carolina had already waited 8 years longer than they intended. They were ready to go in 1852.

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.​
That appears to be an assertion of a natural right, rather than a constitutional process. It also suggests the reason they had to employ the fastest method to start the rebellion. Time was on the side on the incoming administration, which was only getting stronger.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
South Carolina had already waited 8 years longer than they intended. They were ready to go in 1852.

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.​

Yep.

They waited 8 years to ensure they thought they had the POWER, the MIGHT, to secede from the Union.

It took the issue of slavery to make that move and to gain support from other slaveholding states. Only when they felt they had enough force to get away with it, and only when they thought the Union weak enough, did they make their try at rebellion.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
South Carolina had already waited 8 years longer than they intended. They were ready to go in 1852.

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
Here's one of those opinions:

"The people of Mississippi in Convention assembled, as expressive of their deliberate judgment on the great questions involved in the sectional controversy between the slave holding and non-slave holding States of the American Union, adopt the following resolutions:

. . .

4th. Resolved, further, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the asserted right of secession from the Union on the part of a State or States is utterly unsanctioned by the Federal Constitution, which was framed to "establish" and not to destroy the Union of the States, and that no secession, can, in fact, take place without a subversion of the Union established, and which will not virtually amount in its effects and consequences to a civil revolution.
" -- Convention of the State of Mississippi, November 17, 1851
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Here's one of those opinions:

"The people of Mississippi in Convention assembled, as expressive of their deliberate judgment on the great questions involved in the sectional controversy between the slave holding and non-slave holding States of the American Union, adopt the following resolutions:

. . .

4th. Resolved, further, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the asserted right of secession from the Union on the part of a State or States is utterly unsanctioned by the Federal Constitution, which was framed to "establish" and not to destroy the Union of the States, and that no secession, can, in fact, take place without a subversion of the Union established, and which will not virtually amount in its effects and consequences to a civil revolution.
" -- Convention of the State of Mississippi, November 17, 1851
When it came time to do the act, secession in Virginia and Tennessee was such a contested question, that the secessionists had to hurry. Virginia eventually split, and Tennessee gradually returned to US allegiance as the US navy and army advanced. The secessionists could not afford to wait even 6 months. In that six months the US fleet would be recalled. Norfolk and Harper's Ferry would be evacuated and the US and Britain would have a more sophisticated understanding.
There were many things advocated by secessionists that had support in the middle of the country, MO, IL, IN, OH, KY and TN, but secession but a blight on all those causes.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
"What can be more preposterous than to say that the States as united, are in no respect or degree, a Nation." -- Madison to Rives, 1833.

"It is obviously impracticable in the foederal [sic] government of these States; to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all-- Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained." --George Washington, Sept. 17, 1787, in a message to the President of Congress.

"When any one State in the American Union refuses obedience to the Confederation by which they have bound themselves, the rest have a natural right to compel obedience." -- Thomas Jefferson, Writings, Vol. XVII.

"Congress can no more abolish the state governments, than they can dissolve the Union." -- Alexander Hamilton, June 25, 1788, Elliot's Debates, Vol. 2, p. 258.

"The people of America, Sir, are one people. I love the people of the North, not because they have adopted the Constitution; but, because I fought with them as my countrymen and because I consider them as such.-- Doesn't it follow from hence, that I have forgotten my attachment to my native state? In all local matters, I shall be a Virginian; In those of a general nature, I shall not forget that I am an American." --Henry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, during the Virginia Ratification Convention, June 9, 1788.

Unionblue
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
After the colonies separated from the British Empire, the right of secession as a natural and political right was firmly established and fully recognized by all the states. And when the states then seceded from the political union established by the Articles of Confederation, the states clearly and palpably reinforced the right. Indeed, the utter and complete absence of any enumerated prohibition against secession in the Constitution tells us everything we need to know. The secessionists of 1860-61 were acting in perfect accordance with the celebrated secessionists of 1776 and 1788, and they knew it. Beyond any doubt, they knew it.
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
After the colonies separated from the British Empire, the right of secession as a natural and political right was firmly established and fully recognized by all the states. And when the states then seceded from the political union established by the Articles of Confederation, the states clearly and palpably reinforced the right. Indeed, the utter and complete absence of any enumerated prohibition against secession in the Constitution tells us everything we need to know. The secessionists of 1860-61 were acting in perfect accordance with the celebrated secessionists of 1776 and 1788, and they knew it. Beyond any doubt, they knew it.
Simply not correct.
The right to revolution is a natural right. Not a legal or political one.

The men who rebelled against the crown knew very well that what they did was illegal.

As Andersonh1 points out. The argument made by South Carolina and others where not that they had a right to revolt. But that they could "repeal" their ratification of the constitution, and as such revert to being a independent and sovereign state.

South carolina: "have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved,"

Virginia "that the ordinance(...) are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, ...

Georgia. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity. The counter argument is that It is congress that have the right to change the makeup of the union. Not the individual states. (or the president) If a state want out, it need congress to agree to it.

None are arguing a right to revolution.
All are arguing that they can dissolve, repeal the "union between the state and the USSA and resume the powers the had delegated.

It is a political and legal argument. Not a moral one.


The counter argument is that it is congress that have the constitutional authority to change the makeup of the union.
 
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Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Simply not correct.
The right to revolution is a natural right. Not a legal or political one.

The men who rebelled against the crown knew very well that what they did was illegal.

As Andersonh1 points out. The argument made by South Carolina and others where not that they had a right to revolt. But that they could "repeal" their ratification of the constitution, and as such revert to being a independent and sovereign state.

South carolina: "have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved,"

Virginia "that the ordinance(...) are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, ...

Georgia. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity. The counter argument is that It is congress that have the right to change the makeup of the union. Not the individual states. (or the president) If a state want out, it need congress to agree to it.

None are arguing a right to revolution.
All are arguing that they can dissolve, repeal the "union between the state and the USSA and resume the powers the had delegated.

It is a political and legal argument. Not a moral one.


The counter argument is that it is congress that have the constitutional authority to change the makeup of the union.


You seem to have missed the point, but I'll let Jefferson Davis clear it up:

"Secession belongs to a different class of remedies. It is to be justified upon the basis that the States are sovereign".
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
You seem to have missed the point, but I'll let Jefferson Davis clear it up:

"Secession belongs to a different class of remedies. It is to be justified upon the basis that the States are sovereign".

Yeah, Jefferson Davis is the leading legal and political light for the right of unilateral secession. :bounce:

And which Supreme Court ruling noting him as an example of such is available for reading and study?
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Yeah, Jefferson Davis is the leading legal and political light for the right of unilateral secession. :bounce:

And which Supreme Court ruling noting him as an example of such is available for reading and study?


Yeah, the same Supreme Court which declared that black men had no rights a white man was bound to respect:bounce:
 

zatelier

Cadet
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Continuing with slavery. Tedious topic. Charles Dickens “The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal it's desire for economic control of the Southern states.” I.e., the issue is not the objective. You presume a woman whose husband is dead, her 19 year old is at home recovering from wounds, will not grab her 13 year old by both ankles to prevent him serving in the trenches at Petersburg, and in the end allow him to go for the reason to fight to preserve slavery . Ha. Keep it up PC People.
The slave states did not have to fight to preserve slavery. It was handed to them twice. March 2, 1861, the "missing" 13th Amendent is passed by Congress wherein Congress agrees to make no law prohibiting slavery. Both Buchanan and Lincoln endorse this amendment. Three states ratify this amendment before April 12, 1861 (Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois). Then, the Emancipation Proclamation specifically excludes Confederate geography controlled by the Federal Army. Why this ? Because, if a Confederate State stop fighting and rejoined the union, all contraband would have been returned to its owners. Yep, slavery preserved.

Has anyone commented on secession by way of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions ? My understanding of the Virginia Resolution is that a single state (legislature or supreme court thereof) may nullify an act of Congress and if Congress does not rescind the subject act, then, the state that has nullified the legislation may secede. Kentucky similarly, but, for more than one state.

Did Congress by its passing the 1833 Force Act, allowing President Jackson the use of force for a period of one year to collect Federal revenues, obviate the right of a state to secede where previously sentiment toward secession might have been more favorable as presented in William Rawle's book, A View of the Constitution, Secession As Taught At West Point ?
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Continuing with slavery. Tedious topic. Charles Dickens “The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal it's desire for economic control of the Southern states.” I.e., the issue is not the objective. You presume a woman whose husband is dead, her 19 year old is at home recovering from wounds, will not grab her 13 year old by both ankles to prevent him serving in the trenches at Petersburg, and in the end allow him to go for the reason to fight to preserve slavery . Ha. Keep it up PC People.
The slave states did not have to fight to preserve slavery. It was handed to them twice. March 2, 1861, the "missing" 13th Amendent is passed by Congress wherein Congress agrees to make no law prohibiting slavery. Both Buchanan and Lincoln endorse this amendment. Three states ratify this amendment before April 12, 1861 (Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois). Then, the Emancipation Proclamation specifically excludes Confederate geography controlled by the Federal Army. Why this ? Because, if a Confederate State stop fighting and rejoined the union, all contraband would have been returned to its owners. Yep, slavery preserved.

Has anyone commented on secession by way of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions ? My understanding of the Virginia Resolution is that a single state (legislature or supreme court thereof) may nullify an act of Congress and if Congress does not rescind the subject act, then, the state that has nullified the legislation may secede. Kentucky similarly, but, for more than one state.

Did Congress by its passing the 1833 Force Act, allowing President Jackson the use of force for a period of one year to collect Federal revenues, obviate the right of a state to secede where previously sentiment toward secession might have been more favorable as presented in William Rawle's book, A View of the Constitution, Secession As Taught At West Point ?
There is a thread on Rawle’s book that is 14 years old. Book was used in 1826, for 1 year. I’ve been looking for that. Thanks for posting it.

Most of your other noteworthy topics more recently.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Continuing with slavery. Tedious topic. Charles Dickens “The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal it's desire for economic control of the Southern states.” I.e., the issue is not the objective. You presume a woman whose husband is dead, her 19 year old is at home recovering from wounds, will not grab her 13 year old by both ankles to prevent him serving in the trenches at Petersburg, and in the end allow him to go for the reason to fight to preserve slavery . Ha. Keep it up PC People.
The slave states did not have to fight to preserve slavery. It was handed to them twice. March 2, 1861, the "missing" 13th Amendent is passed by Congress wherein Congress agrees to make no law prohibiting slavery. Both Buchanan and Lincoln endorse this amendment. Three states ratify this amendment before April 12, 1861 (Ohio, Maryland, and Illinois). Then, the Emancipation Proclamation specifically excludes Confederate geography controlled by the Federal Army. Why this ? Because, if a Confederate State stop fighting and rejoined the union, all contraband would have been returned to its owners. Yep, slavery preserved.

Has anyone commented on secession by way of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions ? My understanding of the Virginia Resolution is that a single state (legislature or supreme court thereof) may nullify an act of Congress and if Congress does not rescind the subject act, then, the state that has nullified the legislation may secede. Kentucky similarly, but, for more than one state.

Did Congress by its passing the 1833 Force Act, allowing President Jackson the use of force for a period of one year to collect Federal revenues, obviate the right of a state to secede where previously sentiment toward secession might have been more favorable as presented in William Rawle's book, A View of the Constitution, Secession As Taught At West Point ?
There is a thread on Rawle’s book that is 14 years old. Book was used in 1826, for 1 year. I’ve been looking for that. Thanks for posting it.

Most of your other noteworthy topics more recently.
@zatelier ,

I hate to say this, but most of your above theories have already been brought up, discussed and refuted on numerous other threads on this forum. I suggest you take some time and use the search function of this site and go over them to save time and effort.

As for the idea that Rawle's book was ever taught at West Point, there is a thread here concerning that topic that shows it may have not even been broached while it was in use for one year and then replaced by Kent's Commentaries.

In other words, it wasn't so and you and @uaskme , might want to seek out that thread and get the source documentation vice just sayin' or guessing at what was actually taught at West Point on secession before the Civil War.

Or you both could check out the following article:

Was Secession Taught at West Point?

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer...78/1/Was_Secession_Taught_at_West_Point*.html
Until that time,
Unionblue
 
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