Restricted Debate Is Texas v. White ironclad proof of secession's illegality?

WJC

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And one of those "countries" was a confederation, which is why the treaty, though between Britain and the US, also names each state:

His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz. [namely], 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 & Successors, relinquishes all claims to the Government, Propriety, and Territorial Rights of the same and every Part thereof.
How many times is this misinterpretation going to persist? Read the language which you have quoted from the Treaty: understanding the situation, it is clear what is meant, and it is not an attempt by the Crown to define the form of government for the United States.
The Crown was simply listing its colonies in North America for which it was going to release all claims. That done, the Treaty is clearly between the United States of America (one entity) and the Crown. You even admit this fact, that the treaty was "between Britain and the US"!
 

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BigTex

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How many times is this misinterpretation going to persist? Read the language which you have quoted from the Treaty: understanding the situation, it is clear what is meant, and it is not an attempt by the Crown to define the form of government for the United States.
The Crown was simply listing its colonies in North America for which it was going to release all claims. That done, the Treaty is clearly between the United States of America (one entity) and the Crown. You even admit this fact, that the treaty was "between Britain and the US"!
"...He treats with them ..." not "it".
Lame. Words mean things, and to them, word was everything.
 

BigTex

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I don’t see where Taylor’s argument is anything like mine, or where it answers my question. Like all secessionists, it appears Taylor simply assumes the Constitution works differently than the state constitutions. He provides no explanation for why it should be so.

As far as his “many proofs,” the only proofs I see are against his own implied assertions. For instance, your highlighted statement:


contains two red herrings. First, who ever said the people of the US were one nation BEFORE the Constitution? Chase, in TX v. White? Not that I can see. Of course Taylor wasn’t responding to Chase, but ‘the people of the US were not one nation before the Constitution’ and ‘the Union is older than the states’ are two simple, completely compatible facts. As I said, the act of establishing a constitution IS the sovereign act. Sovereignty, constitution, and nation are all created simultaneously. All real constitutions (fundamental laws) work this way. It doesn’t matter if the people come from Locke’s state of nature, or from a colony that has declared its independence, or from 13 preexisting nations. It works the same for the US in this regard as it did for the individual states. But to secessionists, including as far as I can see Taylor (at least from the quoted material), voila, the Constitution is magically a whole different animal.

The Constitution is different from the original state constitutions in only one way, the sovereignty it imparts is limited (because the powers the Constitution delegates are limited). This brings us to the second red herring. Even AFTER it was enacted, the Constitution did not create a consolidated nation. A nation yes, but not a “consolidated” nation. I know of no federalist/nationalist, 1787-1861, or since for that matter, who said the Constitution created a “consolidated” nation (meaning a unitary state, at least as far as that term was dealt with by Madison vs. Henry in the VA ratifying convention). When sovereignty is split between the Union and the member states, that’s a federation. Neither sovereign party, the collective states/Union nor the individual states, has the whole sovereignty. Only together can they make a sovereign nation.

However, because each party has partial sovereignty, and they together constitute a fully sovereign nation, the Constitution does create a consolidated Union. And we know this is so, because that is exactly how the Framers described it:

In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence.” – Federal Convention of 1787 to the Confederation Congress, September 17, 1787

But a consolidated union (federation) is not a consolidated (unitary) state.
Since the AOC and Perpetual Union was a constitution established by Sovereign States, and as such, was a Confederation; deemed ineffectual and weak, remedies were needed. The union of 13 States was discarded in favor of a union of any nine States. Still a confederation.
The consolidation of this union makes the federal government stronger than the previous federal government by certain delegated powers being assigned to it, exclusively. This does not change it from a union of sovereign States into a union of corporations. Nothing in the constitution changes a State into less than a sovereignty., except thru construing words and phrases used into meaning national and not federal. I believe Taylor proves his views are correct. So we will have to agree to disagree. What it (the union) is now is not what is was in 1789. Construction of the consolidating school has seen to that.
 

WJC

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"...He treats with them ..." not "it".
Lame. Words mean things, and to them, word was everything.
Thanks for your response.
Yes, words do indeed have meanings, meanings we ought not ignore.
Words like "between the two countries".
The Treaty does three things:
It ends hostilities between "the two countries";​
It recognizes the one, central government of the now-former colonies;​
It relinquishes all claims of the Crown to its now-former colonies, listing them by name.​
One country, not 13.
<The Paris Peace Treaty of September 30, 1783. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/paris.asp>
 

trice

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Here's the problem with that argument: in order to become sovereign and independent, the revolting colonies bound themselves into a Union that gave up many parts of State sovereignty to the United States of America in 1776-78. They needed to win the war first to establish that independence and sovereignty. It is unlikely they would have attained independence if they had not united to fight the war. (Note, for example, that when Maryland asked the French for help against the British independently, the French told them to agree to the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union before asking again.)
None of that matters. The colonies declared, fought for, and won sovereignty. They could place it wherever they wanted. At the time, they had two choices; there were two types of political systems, as far as sovereignty goes: a confederation (a union of separately sovereign states) or a consolidated state (one sovereignty). And of course, they chose a confederation, and they did not alter that until 1788-1790. You (and CCP) seem to be conflating the legal status which they chose for themselves (separately sovereign) for the reality of their situation (they could not have won that sovereignty, or maintained it, except via the Union). But they were under no obligation to choose a poltical system that reflected the reality of their situation. In fact, there was no established system that fit their reality. One of the two previously established systems would have to be tried and fail before they would invent an entirely new one that did reflect that reality.
"None of that matters"?????? In your opinion, the colonies are not obligated to keep the agreements they make?????

The 13 colonies made a bargain. They willingly gave up aspects of sovereignty in order to get the security and strength they needed to attain victory and independence. That was the consideration of the bargain. These are all basic concepts stretching back into English common law. The Founding Fathers were educated men of their times and they were well aware of what they were doing when they debated and ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

So please explain why you declare "None of that matters", why the 13 colonies are not required to honor the bargain they made.
 

CW Buff

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How many times is this misinterpretation going to persist? Read the language which you have quoted from the Treaty: understanding the situation, it is clear what is meant, and it is not an attempt by the Crown to define the form of government for the United States.
The Crown was simply listing its colonies in North America for which it was going to release all claims. That done, the Treaty is clearly between the United States of America (one entity) and the Crown. You even admit this fact, that the treaty was "between Britain and the US"!
I’m afraid the misinterpretation is yours my friend. The Brits did not write the document. It’s a treaty, not a British declaration. If you think the American envoys let the country they had just won independence from frame the reference to the US, you’re way off base. The reference was of course framed by the Americans, not the Brits. The states are listed out just as they are in the AoCs (which was itself a treaty among sovereign states, as treaties tend to be). So there goes that “Crown listing its colonies” theory. The Americans also described themselves as independent states (plural), just like they had in the DoI.

Of corse the treaty was between two countries. Key word “countries.” But it was not between two nations, because confederations are not really nations (sovereign states), they are unions of (often small) sovereign states that pool their international efforts for greater clout/bargaining power. A confederation just isn’t as centralized as so many here seem to think. Some seem to be so concerned with countering secessionist claims, they feel a need to deny that the states were separately sovereign 1776 - 1788. But the fact is that is how they chose to define themselves. And that’s exactly what made the Confederation a less perfect Union.

If anyone thinks it was otherwise, please ID the type of system you think it was; where, exactly, was sovereignty in the Confederation? I think you’ll find such details untenable.

Edited to remove "The Crow." Not sure how that got into my post.
 
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BigTex

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Thanks for your response.
Yes, words do indeed have meanings, meanings we ought not ignore.
Words like "between the two countries".
The Treaty does three things:
It ends hostilities between "the two countries";​
It recognizes the one, central government of the now-former colonies;​
It relinquishes all claims of the Crown to its now-former colonies, listing them by name.​
One country, not 13.
<The Paris Peace Treaty of September 30, 1783. https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/paris.asp>
The Confederation established a federal government body to represent the sovereign, independent states. That body did not amalgamate the sovereignty of any of the United States. The Crown was forced to recognize that reality. The entity he was forced to sue for peace with was that Confederation. Calling it a country was proper.
 

WJC

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The Confederation established a federal government body to represent the sovereign, independent states. That body did not amalgamate the sovereignty of any of the United States. The Crown was forced to recognize that reality. The entity he was forced to sue for peace with was that Confederation. Calling it a country was proper.
Thanks for your response and, finally, agreement.
 

WJC

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Central government sounds so nationalistic here, a better term is "general government"
Except there is no natural, intrinsic meaning to the term "general government". It is ambiguous. And, after all, we are talking about nationhood.
 

WJC

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The Brits did not write the document. It’s a treaty, not a British declaration.
Thanks for your response.
Then who wrote it? It contains agreements made by envoys of the Crown and the United States of America. It incorporates terms and agreements both countries agreed upon. The specific references to the thirteen former colonies were indeed originated by the Crown as it was relinquishing all claims to them.
 

Greywolf

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Except there is no natural, intrinsic meaning to the term "general government". It is ambiguous. And, after all, we are talking about nationhood.
Good enough for Madison, good enough for me
“[T]he general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” – James Madison, Federalist 14, 1787
 

WJC

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If you think the American envoys let the country they had just won independence from frame the reference to the US, you’re way off base.
Thanks for your response.
Exactly my point, as I have previously stated. Once the Crown renounced all claims to the thirteen former colonies and recognized the new nation, it could have cared less what form of government that new nation had.
 

Greywolf

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A little on John Taylor from wiki. I will also add he was educated at William and Mary, he also served as a patriot.
John Taylor (December 19, 1753 – August 21, 1824), usually called John Taylor of Caroline, was a politician and writer. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates (1779–81, 1783–85, 1796–1800) and in the United States Senate (1792–94, 1803, 1822–24). He wrote several books on politics and agriculture. He was a Jeffersonian Republican and his works provided inspiration to the later states' rightsand libertarian movements. Sheldon and Hill (2008) locate Taylor at the intersection of republicanism and classical liberalism. They see his position as a "combination of a concern with Lockean natural rights, freedom, and limited government along with a classical interest in strong citizen participation in rule to prevent concentrated power and wealth, political corruption, and financial manipulation" (p. 224).
 

WJC

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The states are listed out just as they are in the AoCs.... So there goes that “Crown listing its colonies” theory.
Thanks for your response.
The significance is that the former colonies are listed geographically, from north to south (mistakenly omitting Delaware). No matter how they are listed, it doesn't change the fact that the Crown was officially relinquishing all claims to them.
 

WJC

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Good enough for Madison, good enough for me
“[T]he general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.” – James Madison, Federalist 14, 1787
Thanks for your response.
Granted, "central government" was a little-used term until after1820 and did not generally replace "general government" until after the turn of the Twentieth Century. It was, therefore, far more familiar to our Founders.
For purposes of our discussion, "central government" is by far more easily understood. And, after all, isn't that- understanding-our objective?
 

CW Buff

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Since the AOC and Perpetual Union was a constitution
There's a reason why I often specify "fundamental law" when referring to the Constitution as a constitution. The AoCs can only be called a constitution in the most general sense, as a simple plan of government. The Constitution is much, much more than just a plan of government, it is a fundamental law, and refers to itself as such. The AoCs were only a treaty of confederation.
I think some sources are needed here😉
Here here!

"...a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation. . . . 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. . . . Mr. Govr. MORRIS explained the distinction between a federal and national, supreme, Govt.; the former being a mere compact resting on the good faith of the parties; the latter having a compleat and compulsive operation. He contended that in all Communities there must be one supreme power, and one only."

Sorry BigTex, but upon hearing "Mr. Govr. MORRIS['s]" explanation, the Convention adopted his proposal for a "national, supreme, Govt.," because the only way a political society can really work is if there is "one supreme power, and one only." National governments, unlike governments that are “merely” federal (those of confederations), are established via fundamental laws (the Constitution works the same for the more perfect Union as the state constitutions did for the states). As the document itself proclaims, it is a fundamental law ("the supreme Law of the Land") established by people ("We the People of the United States of America”), not a treaty between sovereign states ("Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of …").
The union of 13 States was discarded in favor of a union of any nine States. Still a confederation.
As proposed and explained by Morris, and adopted by the Convention, they were NOT going to create another confederation (“a Union of the States merely federal” founded upon a “treaty . . . among the . . . States, as individual Sovereignties”). The Convention would reiterate this in their letter: “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.” You would apparently like us to believe they delivered a plan that was exactly what they said was “impracticable” in the very letter they sent with that plan.
The consolidation of this union makes
the Union consolidated.
by certain delegated powers being assigned to it, exclusively.
By placing the sovereignty associated with all of its delegated powers, old and new, in the hands of the people of the US, rather the hands of the people of the respective states. The Constitution works for the Union the same way the state constitutions did for the states: the people who enact it thereby become sovereign over it. They alone control it, and the Union and Fed it in turn establishes.
This does not change it from a union of sovereign States into a union of corporations.
I have no idea what you mean by corporations, but it clearly changed it from a union of fully sovereign states into a semi-sovereign Union of semi-sovereign states, which together compose one sovereign nation, a federation, a union of states in which sovereignty is split between the union (the collective states) and the respective states.
Nothing in the constitution changes a State into less than a sovereignty.,
The very fact that the Constitution is a fundamental law does exactly that. And the Supremacy Clause confirms that the states are no longer fully sovereign:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

And the Framers indicated that the states had to give up a portion of their independent (full) sovereignty in order to form the more perfect Union:

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.

Madison also described the reduced, residual sovereignty of the states under the new system:

The idea of a national government involves in it, not only an authority over the individual citizens, but an indefinite supremacy over all persons and things, so far as they are objects of lawful government. Among a people consolidated into one nation, this supremacy is completely vested in the national legislature. Among communities united for particular purposes, it is vested partly in the general and partly in the municipal legislatures. In the former case, all local authorities are subordinate to the supreme; and may be controlled, directed, or abolished by it at pleasure. In the latter, the local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere. In this relation, then, the proposed government cannot be deemed a NATIONAL one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.

The statement “the local or municipal authorities . . . [are] no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere” is a reciprocal statement. It means neither authority can cancel the other out, which means the states cannot unilaterally secede from the more perfect Union.
except thru construing words and phrases used into meaning national and not federal.
As Madison explained throughout the Federalist No. 39, the new system is BOTH national AND federal, not one or the other. As such, it is no surprise that they continued to use both terms to describe the new system, which was something entirely new, a mixture of the then only two types of sovereign systems, federal (confederation) and national (unitary state), what we now call a federation.

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. It stands by itself. In some respects it is a government of a federal nature; in others, it is of a consolidated nature. Even if we attend to the manner in which the Constitution is investigated, ratified, and made the act of the people of America, I can say, notwithstanding what the honorable gentleman has alleged, that this government is not completely consolidated, nor is it entirely federal.” – Madison replying to Henry in the VA ratifying convention

Also not, the Constitution is "made the act of the people of America." Not the respective states.
I believe Taylor proves his views are correct. So we will have to agree to disagree.
Too true. We agree, at least, on that. :D
What it (the union) is now is not what is was in 1789.
I would certainly hope not. No nation is today what it was 230 years ago. The Union has gove from 13 states to 50 states. Our population has grown from 4 million to 327 million. Our nominal GDP has gone from $189,000,000 to $19,000,000,000,000. You expect the Fed to be as small and simple as it was in 1789? What a disaster that would be. I think they call those failed states.

BUT, the Union today is no more than the fulfillment of the potential provided by the original Constitution.
Construction of the consolidating school has seen to that.
You can try to ignore the evidence all you want, and I’ll just keep posting it. You have Taylor, I have the Framers. The Constitution consolidated the Union in 1788:

In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union...”
 

CW Buff

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"None of that matters"?????? In your opinion, the colonies are not obligated to keep the agreements they make?????

The 13 colonies made a bargain. They willingly gave up aspects of sovereignty in order to get the security and strength they needed to attain victory and independence. That was the consideration of the bargain. These are all basic concepts stretching back into English common law. The Founding Fathers were educated men of their times and they were well aware of what they were doing when they debated and ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

So please explain why you declare "None of that matters", why the 13 colonies are not required to honor the bargain they made.
Why is it always the same with you. You ignore my questions, and then ask me to answer your own questions. I see no reason why I should do you the honor of answering your question until you do me the honor of answering mine:
please define the system they had before the Constitution; where exactly was sovereignty in that system? Let's have an alternative to discuss, rather than a mere denial that they separately sovereign.
If you chose not to, this conversation ends here, but let's be clear, it will end because you refuse to provide details, not me.
 

CW Buff

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Thanks for your response.
Then who wrote it? It contains agreements made by envoys of the Crown and the United States of America. It incorporates terms and agreements both countries agreed upon. The specific references to the thirteen former colonies were indeed originated by the Crown as it was relinquishing all claims to them.
YES. My point exactly. Both countries wrote it. It was a negotiated document. But I don't know why you think the Americans would sit idely by and allow the Brits to chose how to refer to them. Do you have a source that indicates the reference "originated" with the Crown. If not, then its assumption, isn't it? As, I admit, is my own assertion that each party decided how they would be referred to. But, is there any line of reasoning, beyond mere assuption, that leads you to believe it originated with the Brits? As I indicated, the listing of the individual states is consistent with the AoCs. In addition, that description (the "United States, viz...") is immediately followed by "to be free sovereign and Independent States," plural, a phrase that is consistent with the DoI.


I'm also not even sure if you disagree with me on my primary point, that the states were individually sovereign until 1788-1790. If you do disagree with that then, as I asked, where exactly was sovereignty in the Confederation? There were, to my knowledge, two choices at the time: a confederation (in which, by definition, the member states remain separately sovereign); or a unitary/consolidated state (clearly not the case, even now). Why would the Founders consider a confederation to be any different than what Vattel established via The Law of Nations in 1758 (just 19 years prior)?

"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. A person does not cease to be free and independent, when he is obliged to fulfil engagements which he has voluntarily contracted."

It can't have been a federation (split sovereignty), because the Framers invented that in 1787 ("it is in a manner unprecedented; we cannot find one express example in the experience of the world. It stands by itself." – Madison, VA ratifying convention). If the confederation had also been a split sovereignty system, there would have been nothing radically new and unprecedented (nor more perfect) about the new system.
 


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