Did the Secessionists of 1860-61 use the Treaty of Paris to Justify their actions?

WJC

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#1
There has been much discussion of the 1783 Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States, recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation.
Some claim it gave national sovereignty not to the United States of America, but to the thirteen individual colonies. Further, they claim that relationship still exists under our Constitution.
This thread seeks to uncover evidence showing that the leaders of the 1860-61 secessionist movement used the Treaty to justify their unilateral actions.
Rather than argue about the wording or other implications of the Treaty, members are invited to provide evidence- speeches, letters, documents- that show the Treaty was part of their argument.
 

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WJC

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#3
South Carolina mentioned the Treaty of Paris in their Declaration of Causes as part of their justification for secession.
Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."
Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.​
Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp
 

Jimklag

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#4
Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."
Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.​
Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp
The problem with this is that it was the British who insisted on listing each of the colonies individually. It was their hope to divide and conquer. They figured if they planted the idea of thirteen independent states that there would eventually be friction and fractiousness. The U.S. negotiators at Paris (Jay, Adams, Franklin) insisted on recognition of national boundaries and national prerogatives as well as the United States being the only entity which was to be recognized as speaking for the thirteen states. The Confederation congress sent John Adams to London to be the minister from the United States to the Court of Saint James's. No individual state was permitted to do so.
 

jgoodguy

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#6
This is very important

The Treaty of Paris,


Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as free sovereign and independent states, remains in force.

Wiki
OTOH The Brits did not recognize the seceded States as free sovereign and independent states,
 

Eric Calistri

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#7
Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."
Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.​
Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp

This always seemed to me like an argument that defeats itself. If MA or SC or any other of the former colonies was sovereign in September 1783, who from each sovereign signed the Treaty?
 

John S. Carter

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#8
There has been much discussion of the 1783 Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States, recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation.
Some claim it gave national sovereignty not to the United States of America, but to the thirteen individual colonies. Further, they claim that relationship still exists under our Constitution.
This thread seeks to uncover evidence showing that the leaders of the 1860-61 secessionist movement used the Treaty to justify their unilateral actions.
Rather than argue about the wording or other implications of the Treaty, members are invited to provide evidence- speeches, letters, documents- that show the Treaty was part of their argument.
Simple,the states at this time was not under a central government but a loose confederation of sovereign states.The British never recognized the colonies as even states.Jay and the other representatives were eager to bring this to a end,they even left the French out of the final debates.Once the Constitution was established the states were no longer a country of sovereign states but were a nation of states,but with sovereign state governments ,with authority given willingly to the central/federal government .The states had ratified the Constitution and therefore had become a party to a eternal contract. Question; When the authors of the Constitution wrote that what they had done was not just for those of that time but for their forebears , did those who favored secession not realize that they were under this contract ? If it is a political contract then can it be stated that one of the reasons why Lincoln felt it is duty to enforce this contract upon the Rebellion.
 
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#11
Here is the South Carolina:

South Carolina supported this contention in its Declaration of Causes Justifying Secession by pointing out that in the 1783 Treaty of Paris the King of Great Britain recognized “the said United States, viz: [list of the thirteen states] to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats THEM [emphasis added] as such.”[7]

http://fl.lawstudentland.com/post/45684364518/secession-treason-or-state-right

Here is George Washington vision after the treaty: Heck forgets states it the people...

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/e/ellis-founding.html

On the farsighted side, the key insight, recognized by a few of the political leaders in the revolutionary generation, is that the geographic isolation of the North American continent and the bountiful natural resources contained within it provided the fledgling nation with massive advantages and almost limitless potential. In 1783, just after the military victory over Great Britain was confirmed in the Treaty of Paris, no less a figure than George Washington gave this continental vision its most eloquent formulation: "The Citizens of America," Washington wrote, "placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole Lords and Proprietors of a vast Tract of Continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the World, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, are now by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and Independence; They are, from this period, to be considered as Actors on a most conspicuous Theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designed by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity." If the infant American republic could survive its infancy, if it could manage to endure as a coherent national entity long enough to consolidate its natural advantages, it possessed the potential to become a dominant force in the world.

Here is this ...

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Doctrine_of_State_Rights

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Doctrine_of_State_Rights.djvu/2

Page:Doctrine of State Rights.djvu/2
This page has been validated.
206
THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.
can has raised his voice against the conclusion deduced? The permeating principle was that every people had the right to alter or abolish their government when it ceased to answer the ends for which it was instituted. Each State decided to exercise that right, and all of the thirteen united to sustain it. Great Britain denied the existence of the asserted right and a long war ensued. After a heavy sacrifice of life and treasure, the Treaty of Paris was negotiated in 1783, by which Great Britain recognized the independence of the States separately, not as one body politic, but severally, each one being named in the act of recognition.

In the year succeeding the Declaration of Independence—i. e., 1777—the thirteen States by which it had been made sent delegates to a general congress, and they agreed to "certain articles of confederation and perpetual union between the States" they represented, and that "the style of the confederacy shall be the United States of America." That no purpose existed to consolidate the States into one body politic is manifest from the terms of the second article, which was: "Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in congress assembled." The meaning of this article is quite plain, if it be borne in mind that under the confederation the congress was of States, each having one vote only, irrespective of population or the number of delegates in attendance, and the expressly-delegated powers were such as it was agreed that the congress of the States might use, all else being reserved to the States separately. Under these Articles of Confederation the war of the Revolution was conducted.


In the face of the Declaration of Independence, and of the Articles of Confederation, and of the Treaty of Paris, he who denies that in 1783 each State was a sovereign, free, and independent community must have much hardihood or little historical knowledge.

After the independence had been gained for which so much was risked and no little lost, when the condensing pressure of war was removed, the fact became apparent that it was impracticable to administer the general affairs of the Union without the possession of additional powers. In 1787 a convention met to amend the Articles of Confederation, and ended by proposing a new form of government which was to be submitted to the States,


The United States was an agent for the states so the states can fire thier agent:...

https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams/07/15/historical-ignorance

The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the war between the colonies and Great Britain. Its first article declared the 13 colonies "to be free, sovereign and independent states." These 13 sovereign nations came together in 1787 as principals and created the federal government as their agent. Principals have always held the right to fire agents. In other words, states held a right to withdraw from the pact — secede

 
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#12
This is very important

The Treaty of Paris,


Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as free sovereign and independent states, remains in force.

Wiki
Who was the representative from South Carolina who signed the Treaty of Paris? Because I'm assuming that if South Carolina didn't sign it then they can't really say it applies to them, what with they being a free, sovereign, and independent state and all.
 
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#15
Who was the representative from South Carolina who signed the Treaty of Paris? Because I'm assuming that if South Carolina didn't sign it then they can't really say it applies to them, what with they being a free, sovereign, and independent state and all.
You obviously missed reading my post about the sovereignty states using the United States as an agent...
 
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#16
Who was the representative from South Carolina who signed the Treaty of Paris? Because I'm assuming that if South Carolina didn't sign it then they can't really say it applies to them, what with they being a free, sovereign, and independent state and all.
Right. Since they were independent, they simply refuse to ratify the constitution, a few years later, set up their own army and navy and away we go.
 
#18
The January 14, 1784 ratification of the Paris Peace Treaty by the United States. No sovereignty of the individual states noted (my bold):

Treaty of Paris - Ratification January 14, 1784
RATIFICATION OF THE TREATY BY CONGRESS.
Know ye that we, the United States in Congress assembled, having seen and considered the definitive articles aforesaid, have approved, ratified, and confirmed, and by these presents do approve, ratify, and confirm, the said articles, and every part and clause thereof, engaging and promising that we will sincerely and faithfully perform and observe the same, and never suffer them to be violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far as lies in our power.

In testimony whereof we have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.. Witness his excellency Thomas Mifflin, President, this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, and in the eighth year of the sovereignty and independence of the United States of America.


April 9, 1784 ratification of the Paris Peace Treaty by Great Britain. No sovereignty of the individual states noted (my bold):

RATIFICATION OF THE DEFINITIVE TREATY BY GREAT BRITAIN.
George the Third, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch Treasurer, and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c., to all whom these presents shall come, greeting:

Whereas a definitive treaty of peace and friendship between us and our good friends the United States of America, viz, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, was concluded and signed at Paris the 3d day of September last, by the plenipotentiaries of us and our said good friends, duly and respectively authorized for that purpose, which definitive treaty is in the form and words following:

We, having seen and considered the definitive treaty aforesaid, have approved, ratified, and confirmed it, in all and every one of its articles and clauses, as we do by these presents, for ourself, our heirs, and successors, approve, ratify, accept, and confirm the same, engaging and promising, upon our royal word, that we will sincerely and faithfully perform and observe all and singular the things which are contained in the aforesaid treaty, and that we will never suffer it to be violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far as it lies in our power. For the greater testimony and validity of all which we have caused our great seal of Great Britain to be affxed to these presents, which we have signed with our royal hand.

Given at the court of St. James, the ninth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, in the twenty-fourth year of our reign.
GEORGE R.
 

CW Buff

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#19
I could give two figs about the Treaty of Paris, or the AoCs for that matter, as far as US sovereignty in 1860-1861 goes. The former is predicated on the latter, which was superseded by the Constitution.

But in the interest of (what I believe is) accurate history, my question would be, if the states did not individually hold all sovereignty under the AoCs/Confederation, where was the sovereignty they lacked?
 
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#20
Who was the representative from South Carolina who signed the Treaty of Paris? Because I'm assuming that if South Carolina didn't sign it then they can't really say it applies to them, what with they being a free, sovereign, and independent state and all.
The Constitution says all states will be treated equally.
 



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