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

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#41
Like I said, deliberate misreading of a treaty clearly between two nations and a constitution drawn up to form a more perfect Union.

One can close their eyes to the actual words in both documents, but they remain there for all to see, read, and fully understand, not to twist out of all factual recognition.

It is a deliberate attempt to take parts from each and make whole out of fragments of perception, not actual historical fact.
Not surprisingly, I read it far differently.
 

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#42
Whether secession was justified is off topic. It appears that they did rely on the Treaty of Paris.
It appears that they did not rely on the next 77 years of development of British thinking about slavery, or investing in making treaties with the United States.
A review of those subsequent 77 years would be the next step.
 

Rebforever

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#44
Whether secession was justified is off topic. It appears that they did rely on the Treaty of Paris.
It appears that they did not rely on the next 77 years of development of British thinking about slavery, or investing in making treaties with the United States.
A review of those subsequent 77 years would be the next step.
Read the OP.
 
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Hunter

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#45
The fallacy in the argument that this treaty had any efficacy in 1860 or 1861 is that it predates our federal constitution, which effected a radical change in the rights and powers of the states. Before the constitution, the states had almost complete sovereignty over their own affairs and could even take actions that were contrary to the interests of the other states. Not after. For various reasons, the states were weakened and the federal government was given supremacy over many matters that had previously been considered solely within the control of each individual state. This constitution, in sum, superseded everything that came before, including the treaty in question.
 
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#46
Obviously. Let me see if I can guess at it's content. The thirteen states are all sovereign and independent nations who just happen to allow some artificial entity handle specific responsibilities. But could these sovereign states negotiate with foreign powers? Nope, they delegated that. Could they negotiate and make treaties with their fellow sovereign states? Nope, delegated that. Could they choose their own form of government? Nope, their agent says what kind of government they may have. Can they have their own army or navy? Nope, their agent controls that. Can they make their own money? Nope. Can they set their own borders? Control their trade through tariffs? Nope and nope. Every single power that makes a sovereign nation a sovereign nation they delegated to their "agent". So other than a single reference in a single paragraph of the Treaty of Paris, and their own illusions, makes these states sovereign and independent?
If you look at the Articles of Confederation it's more like management contract or service agreement then a government framework document. The delegates are appointed by the state legislatures and the President is appointed by the delegates. I see no elected head of state or Congress members. They are bureaucrats which makes them agents of the states that appointed them not a sovereign government of a nation. They derive their powers not from the people but from the states that appointed them, again agents of the state governments.

The Articles of Confederation is really a treaty among sovereign states...
 
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#49
Because of the Articles of Confederation, the states farmed out management of their interaction with the world, kind of like the EU once did.

I want to point out states used to have tariffs at their state borders and some printed their own money... Are these not action of independent nations...?
 
#50
I very well may be reading it wrong but it seems to me Britain in its language is recognizing that the list of former colonies are free and independent from them, not each other.
Exactly right. The loser does not define the nature of the individual states of the United States. The treaty's Article I single use of the term "free, sovereign and independent" was to differentiate between those former colonies that were now independent of the Crown and those that were not. In other words, those North American former colonies that were now free of the Crown were New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, unlike Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, et al., that remained possessions of the Crown and were not subject to terms of the treaty.
 

unionblue

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#51
Not surprisingly, I read it far differently.
Andersonh1,

If you read it "far differently," then you are doing exactly what those folks did when they read it and included it in the secession document.

They closed their eyes whenever they came to a part of the treaty that did not suit their needs and they flat-out went blind when it came to the Constitution of the United States.

When looking for an excuse one seldom considers anything but the facts they choose.
 
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#52
The individual sovereignty of the states was confirmed by the process of ratification of the Constitution. Nine states seceded (illegally?) from the Articles and ratified the Constitution. Two states were outside of the Constitution for over a year.
ratification%20by%20state.jpg

What was the status of Rhode Island between July 1788 and May 1790? The only plausible answer is that it was effectively a separate country.

"The First Congress met for the first time in March of 1789, and that September the Governor of Rhode Island wrote to Congress, explaining why the people of his state still had “not separated themselves from the principles” of the old Confederation. He explained that they wanted “further checks and securities” limiting federal power, before “they could adopt it.”
By 1790, Congress was losing patience. The Governor had asked that the United States not treat Rhode Island as a foreign nation. Spurred on by petitions from Rhode Island merchants who became “zealous advocates” for the new Constitution, and feared the consequences of import taxes on their businesses, Congress granted an exemption until January.
In January, Rhode Island lobbyists persuaded Congress to postpone the deadline again, this time so the state could hold a ratifying convention in March.
When this convention adjourned without a vote, Congress took action. On May 18, 1790, the Senate passed a bill to prohibit commercial intercourse with Rhode Island.
In the House, Rhode Island’s lone defender was John Page of Virginia, who compared the bill to the Boston Port Act, an embargo enforced by the British prior to the American Revolution.
Threatened and divided, Rhode Island finally ratified the Constitution on May 29, 1790, by a vote of 34 to 32."

https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov...nd-the-last-state-to-ratify-the-constitution/

What is quite clear is that had RI not ratified it, it would have been severed in all respects from the 12 other states. How could this be if RI was part of "one nation" in 1776 or 1783?

Given that, the only remaining question is, in what provision of the Constitution does a state expressly and permanently surrender its sovereignty? Because if it's not in there, then per the Tenth Amendment the state retained it.




ialnd
oyion
 

unionblue

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#53
The individual sovereignty of the states was confirmed by the process of ratification of the Constitution. Nine states seceded (illegally?) from the Articles and ratified the Constitution. Two states were outside of the Constitution for over a year.
ratification%20by%20state.jpg

What was the status of Rhode Island between July 1788 and May 1790? The only plausible answer is that it was effectively a separate country.

"The First Congress met for the first time in March of 1789, and that September the Governor of Rhode Island wrote to Congress, explaining why the people of his state still had “not separated themselves from the principles” of the old Confederation. He explained that they wanted “further checks and securities” limiting federal power, before “they could adopt it.”
By 1790, Congress was losing patience. The Governor had asked that the United States not treat Rhode Island as a foreign nation. Spurred on by petitions from Rhode Island merchants who became “zealous advocates” for the new Constitution, and feared the consequences of import taxes on their businesses, Congress granted an exemption until January.
In January, Rhode Island lobbyists persuaded Congress to postpone the deadline again, this time so the state could hold a ratifying convention in March.
When this convention adjourned without a vote, Congress took action. On May 18, 1790, the Senate passed a bill to prohibit commercial intercourse with Rhode Island.
In the House, Rhode Island’s lone defender was John Page of Virginia, who compared the bill to the Boston Port Act, an embargo enforced by the British prior to the American Revolution.
Threatened and divided, Rhode Island finally ratified the Constitution on May 29, 1790, by a vote of 34 to 32."

https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov...nd-the-last-state-to-ratify-the-constitution/

What is quite clear is that had RI not ratified it, it would have been severed in all respects from the 12 other states. How could this be if RI was part of "one nation" in 1776 or 1783?

Given that, the only remaining question is, in what provision of the Constitution does a state expressly and permanently surrender its sovereignty? Because if it's not in there, then per the Tenth Amendment the state retained it.




ialnd
oyion
(Sigh.)

Does anyone actually READ the Constitution?
 

John S. Carter

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#54
I don't see why not. South Carolina cited both when building their case for secession.
When on mentions secession ,you must recall a man by the name of John C. Calhoun ,Senator from the Rebel state of S.Carolina and his political philosophy of Nullification. Then that brings to mind the Tariff of 1828-1832-1836 .Who can not consider how close that the nation came to war at that time.Fortunate for this ,is that the other Southern states did not follow Carolina's lead and that Clay and Calhoun arranged a deal/compromise at the critical hour.So as to Carolina using the treaty and Constitution ,they were willing to bring the nation to war even at this time.Question; Would Jackson had used his Force Bill.which Congress had passed giving him the authority to use, which he was prepared to do or was this a master broker player bluff,on who would show their cards? If he had called a "Show" ,would the sister states had followed S.Carolina and if not why,?iIt was not because of AJ. Its like they were looking down from a lofty cleft and waiting to the very end to see which side would act aggressively first.Twenty eight years built up animosity between the two sides ,the man ,the issue which lite the fuse ,and the call to protect the Rights of Nullification ,labeled with a different name and cause.I wonder if JC ,Clay ,and AJ were alive in 1861 if any agreement could have prevented this , or was the final act in this play already determined by the actions of both sides prior to AL and JD.Could it have been any other Southern state which could have accomplished this final act?
 

CW Buff

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#55
Given that, the only remaining question is, in what provision of the Constitution does a state expressly and permanently surrender its sovereignty? Because if it's not in there, then per the Tenth Amendment the state retained it.
It didn't need to be in the Constitution. For whatever reason, the Framers didn't believe it belonged in the Constitution. But that's not to say they did not address the issue:

"It is obviously impracticable in the federal 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." -- Official Letter of the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787
 

CW Buff

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#56
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.
Do you have a source on this Jim? My understanding is the British wanted to deal with the "colonies" separately. They also wanted to retain some measure of control over them. But the Americans (particularly Jay) required them to recognize the United States BEFORE entering into negotiations (SOURCE). Jay actually dictated to the British the recognition of the US in the British negotiator's official commission. The British complied, at which point any such delusions and pretensions were past history.

And the description in the Treaty is consistent with the AoCs, which also (preamble) listed the states (in the exact same order, BTW), and also declared (Article II) that the individual states retained their sovereignty and independence. But they were also united in a confederation, and the "Stile" of that confederation was "the United States of America" (Article 1). The Treaty is 100% consistent with the AoCs.
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?
I don't see why the states need to exercise a sovereign power (executing treaties) in order to hold sovereignty over that power, any more than the people of the US do. The people delegated powers to their government, while retaining sovereignty over those powers. And the states did much the same thing to create the Confederation. The only difference (and it's an important difference) is the states retained individual sovereignty, while the people hold a collective sovereignty (which is required to enact a universal law).
The treaty's Article I single use of the term "free, sovereign and independent" was to differentiate between those former colonies that were now independent of the Crown and those that were not. In other words, those North American former colonies that were now free of the Crown were New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, unlike Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, et al., that remained possessions of the Crown and were not subject to terms of the treaty.
I don't see why simply referring to the "United States of America" does not achieves this. Everyone knew what that meant, and what states/former colonies that included. They didn't have to refer to the US AND list the states for this reason.
Exactly right. The loser does not define the nature of the individual states of the United States.
And in any treaty among equals, one side does not decide how the other is referred to in the treaty. And if either side had an advantage in this case, it was the Americans, who got virtually all they sought. As far as I can see, the Brits did not decide how the US was described in the Treaty, the Americans did.
 

CW Buff

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#57
The retention of state sovereignty was also consistent with the standard, recognized definition of confederation at that time, last established just 19 years before the AoCs were drafted.

"§10. Of states forming a federal republic. Finally, several sovereign and independent states may unite themselves together by a perpetual confederacy, without ceasing to be, each individually, a perfect state. They will together constitute a federal republic: their joint deliberations will not impair the sovereignty of each member, though they may, in certain respects, put some restraint on the exercise of it, in virtue of voluntary engagements." Emer de Vattel, The Law of Nations, 1758

And we know how much the Founders relied upon Vattel. The Founders had no reason to mess with this in 1777. They didn't yet know that unimpaired state sovereignty was a recipe for failure. Even if in fact they were entirely dependent on each other, this is the way they chose to legally define themselves.

Before the Constitution, there were only two forms of government (as far as sovereignty goes): there were confederations (as defined by Vattel), and unitary states (in which one sovereignty controls the whole nation in every way). What made the constitutional system different was that it was a mixture of the two (i.e. it created a system of dual sovereignty). If the states were not completely sovereign before the Constitution, that would seem to mean that the sovereignty they lacked was held by the Union. This in turn would place Madison's 1788 statements, that they had created a mixed system, which was something entirely new, 10 years out of place.

"There are a number of opinions, but the principal question is whether it be a federal or a consolidated government.... I conceive myself that it is of a mixed nature; it is in a manner unprecedented; we cannot find one express example in the experience of the world." -- James Madison, Virginia ratifying convention, June 6, 1788

If we look at certain other statements that indicate a change of sovereignty 1787-1790, we see these statements also indicate, conversely, that the states possessed all sovereignty before the Constitution.

"...no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient. . . . a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary." -- Gouveneur Morris, Federal Convention of 1787,, May 30

A treaty of the states as individual sovereignties would not be sufficient, because that had been tried and failed. This was Morris saying the AoCs had to be replaced (with a "national, supreme, Gov't") rather than amended (for those who believe in unilateral secession, Morris's proposal was adopted by a vote of 6 to 1, with another state divided).

"It is obviously impracticable in the federal 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." -- .Official Letter of the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787

Again, a system that secured "all rights of independent sovereignty to each" state was what they had. It was "obviously impracticable" because they had tried it, and it had failed. So the individual states had to give up a share of their independent sovereignty.

"The American States, as well as the American people, have believed a close and firm Union to be essential to their liberty and to their happiness. They have been taught by experience that this Union cannot exist without a government for the whole, and they have been taught by the same experience that this government would be a mere shadow, that must disappoint all their hopes, unless invested with large portions of that sovereignty which belongs to independent States. Under the influence of this opinion, and thus instructed by experience, the American people, in the conventions of their respective States, adopted the present Constitution." -- SCOTUS, Cohens v. Virginia, 1821

They could not be taught by experience that the federal government would be worthless unless invested with sovereign powers unless they at first had a federal government that was not invested with sovereign powers, and it had proved to be a "mere shadow."

"To the formation of a league such as was the Confederation, the State sovereignties were certainly competent. But when, 'in order to form a more perfect union,' it was deemed necessary to change this alliance into an effective Government, possessing great and sovereign powers and acting directly on the people, the necessity of referring it to the people, and of deriving its powers directly from them, was felt and acknowledged by all." -- SCOTUS, McCullough v. Maryland, 1819

The Confederation was a league or alliance that did not possess sovereign powers. When this proved ineffective, they changed it to "an effective government, possessing great and sovereign powers."
 

Hunter

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#59
That is exactly my understanding as well. That is why the treaty text has them listed separately. It was the Americans, particularly Jay, who insisted on National recognition as a precondition.

Britain may or may not have wanted to deal with each of its former colonies on an individual basis, but after the federal constitution was adopted that was not possible. Britain had to deal with the federal government and did so. The Jay Treaty in the 1790s exemplified this.
 
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#60
Britain may or may not have wanted to deal with each of its former colonies on an individual basis, but after the federal constitution was adopted that was not possible. Britain had to deal with the federal government and did so. The Jay Treaty in the 1790s exemplified this.
What happened in the subsequent 77 years after the treaty of Paris? Hunter provided one example. But there was also the outbreak of impressment, then the War of 1812, then a long and successful negotiation about the undefended border between the US and the British possessions. Who did the British negotiate with?
 



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