For those who read the written words for intent-what the Articles of Secession tell us

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Mar 1, 2019
Dedham, MA
The authors of the articles of secession for four of the first five states to leave the Union are happy to tell us why they acted. I have edited their full documents to concentrate on their reasoning and these edited versions are below. If you prefer to read any or all of the full documents, they are readily located on-line (but I didn't find other reasons stated).

South Carolina

“……But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slave holding states to the institution of slavery has led to a disregard to their obligations, and the laws and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution…”


Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of the commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.


The declaration cites no cause, they just leave.


“………..And as it is the desire and purpose of the people of Alabama to meet the slaveholding States of the South, who may approve such purpose, in order to frame a provisional as well as permanent Government upon the principles of the Constitution of the United States, . ..”


……. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.