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

CW Buff

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As a result of having ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, none of the individual States had the sovereign power or ability to "enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King, Prince or State". This would apply to all the States except three the first three listed here; the rest had not yet ratified; the last, Maryland, did not actually sign off on the Articles until 1781, but usually acted as if she had.
They did have that sovereign power. The AoCs said they did:

"Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence,..."

They had merely agreed, via a treaty, not to exercise a number of their sovereign powers on their own:

"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. A person does not cease to be free and independent, when he is obliged to fulfil engagements which he has voluntarily contracted." ─ Vattel, The Law of Nations

Keep in mind, sovereignty is a legal concept/designation. Having sovereignty (control over sovereign powers) doesn't need to have anything to do with actually exercising those powers. Under the Constitution, the people of the US delegated sovereign powers to the Fed, but retained the sovereignty (control) over those powers. Under the AoCs, the individual states delegated sovereign powers to the Confederation Congress, but retained the sovereignty (control) over those powers.

In addition, treaties do not have the force of law upon sovereign nations (otherwise, they would not be sovereign). This is 1) why the states could disregard the AoCs without any real consequence, and 2) why no treaty among the states (confederation) would work (as per G. Morris in the Const'l Convention), and why the AoCs (a treaty) had to replaced by a fundamental law (the Constitution). Sovereignty (control) over the sovereign powers exercised by the central government had to be removed from the respective states (the people of the individual states) and placed with the people of all the states. Both plans, AoCs and Constitution, prohibited the states from exercising certain sovereign powers. One worked and the other didn't, because the Constitution is a law (backed by sovereignty), and the AoCs were merely a treaty (voluntary agreement) among sovereign states. This difference is what makes the US under the Constitution a "more perfect Union." In addition, the Union was perpetual in both cases. But in the first case, its perpetuity was guaranteed by a treaty, which is no real guarantee at all, and in the second it was backed by the force of law (which only sovereignty can provide). The Framers and the people did not expend all that effort to draft and implement a completely new, unprecedented in world history system because it worked the same way as the AoCs/Confederation. These facts are also why secessionists expounded state compact theory. They were trying to turn the Constitution into just another treaty of confederation, which it clearly is not.
 

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WJC

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They had merely agreed, via a treaty,
The Articles of Confederation were not a treaty. They were, as Congress made clear in the resolution calling for the Philadelphia Convention, a "federal Constitution" (emphasis added):
Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union.​
<United States in Congress Assembled Journals Manuscript (USCA), February 21, 1787. United States National Archives.>
 

Greywolf

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The Articles of Confederation were not a treaty. They were, as Congress made clear in the resolution calling for the Philadelphia Convention, a "federal Constitution" (emphasis added):
Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union.​
<United States in Congress Assembled Journals Manuscript (USCA), February 21, 1787. United States National Archives.>
Looks like you are referring to the revisions to the AoC, which ended up with the Constitution, which was not a treaty. However, I agree with CW Buff, the AoC were not a constitution in the same sense. Looks like your bolded is referring to the result of those revisions to me.
 

WJC

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Looks like you are referring to the revisions to the AoC, which ended up with the Constitution, which was not a treaty. However, I agree with CW Buff, the AoC were not a constitution in the same sense. Looks like your bolded is referring to the result of those revisions to me.
Thanks for your response.
No, I simply provided one example among many of the usages of the term during the period. Here are more (emphasis added):
That these United States be considered in all such treaties, and in every case arising under them, as one nation, upon the principles of the federal constitution.
<USCA Journals, March 26, 1784.>
The federal constitution authorizes the United States to obtain money by three means; 1st. by requisition; 2d., by loan; and 3d., by emitting bills of credit.​
<USCA Journals , February 3, 1786.>
A requisition of Congress on the States for money is as much a law to them as their revenue Acts when passed are laws to their respective Citizens. If, for want of the faculty or means of enforcing a requisition, the law of Congress proves inefficient, does it not follow that in order to fulfill the views of the federal constitution, such a change sd. be made as will render it efficient? Without such efficiency the end of this Constitution, which is to preserve order and justice among the members of the Union, must fail; as without a like efficiency would the end of State Constitutions, which is to preserve like order & justice among its members.​
<USCA Journals, June 21, 1783.>
Clearly, at the time, the Articles of Confederation were viewed as a constitution, not a treaty. The characterization that they were a treaty has been a very recent interpretation.
 

OpnCoronet

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The Constitution is not sovereign. It's a frame of government that was devised and ratified by the sovereigns, i.e. the people of each state. This is the big point "pro-Unionist" don't understand: they don't understand what "sovereign" means, or they don't understand what "state" means.
Do you have a source for the rest of your argument? It sounds all made up.



You are correct, more or less,. In the American theory of government, ALL legitiment power to govern, is drived from those of the people who freely elect to be governed by it, i.e., All the power of state gov'ts are drived from the peoples it governs, just as the Federal Gov't derives its powers from all the peoples of all the states that it governs.

All the states have an equal interest in the Union and its governing, and, No State can of its own volition decide when or where they can override or ignore the interest of the other states in the Union, without consultation and consent, with the those other States

To me a conviincing case can be made that since there is no historical record of any such power or authority of subdivisions of any country to withdraw from country or gov't, excepty by Revolution(Forcd,ie., not peacefully), it can logically be argued that secession(other than revolution) was one of the inalienable rights of Man. However, even if it could be proven to exist, it would still be true, that its exercise must conform to the exclusive powers and authority granted to the Federal Government and, not in spite of it.
 

OpnCoronet

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The OP seems to have assumed (or substituted) a different meaning to the word 'Revolution' and assumes that since the logic of the Supreme Court's decision does not conform to the OP's assumed meaning, the OP assumes the Court contradicts itself in reacing its decision.

In the context of Tx v. White, i think it is obvious that Chase's use of the word revolution was used in relation to an attempt at Revolution, Not, as a descriptive of revolution, as an accomplished fact. Clearly, No Contradiction annd, on that count, at least the Decision stands cleared of any charge of contradiiction.
 

trice

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They did have that sovereign power. The AoCs said they did:

"Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence,..."

They had merely agreed, via a treaty, not to exercise a number of their sovereign powers on their own:

"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. A person does not cease to be free and independent, when he is obliged to fulfil engagements which he has voluntarily contracted." ─ Vattel, The Law of Nations

Keep in mind, sovereignty is a legal concept/designation. Having sovereignty (control over sovereign powers) doesn't need to have anything to do with actually exercising those powers. Under the Constitution, the people of the US delegated sovereign powers to the Fed, but retained the sovereignty (control) over those powers. Under the AoCs, the individual states delegated sovereign powers to the Confederation Congress, but retained the sovereignty (control) over those powers.

In addition, treaties do not have the force of law upon sovereign nations (otherwise, they would not be sovereign). This is 1) why the states could disregard the AoCs without any real consequence, and 2) why no treaty among the states (confederation) would work (as per G. Morris in the Const'l Convention), and why the AoCs (a treaty) had to replaced by a fundamental law (the Constitution). Sovereignty (control) over the sovereign powers exercised by the central government had to be removed from the respective states (the people of the individual states) and placed with the people of all the states. Both plans, AoCs and Constitution, prohibited the states from exercising certain sovereign powers. One worked and the other didn't, because the Constitution is a law (backed by sovereignty), and the AoCs were merely a treaty (voluntary agreement) among sovereign states. This difference is what makes the US under the Constitution a "more perfect Union." In addition, the Union was perpetual in both cases. But in the first case, its perpetuity was guaranteed by a treaty, which is no real guarantee at all, and in the second it was backed by the force of law (which only sovereignty can provide). The Framers and the people did not expend all that effort to draft and implement a completely new, unprecedented in world history system because it worked the same way as the AoCs/Confederation. These facts are also why secessionists expounded state compact theory. They were trying to turn the Constitution into just another treaty of confederation, which it clearly is not.
And they yielded part of that power up, specifically and directly, in the very agreement you are referring to, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. This is the bargain they made in order to obtain their claimed "sovereignty, freedom, and independence". Only victory in the Revolutionary War could do that -- and only by uniting could they gain the strength to obtain that victory. Without the Union, they would never have won the victory. Without the Union, they would never have gained their claimed "sovereignty, freedom, and independence".
 
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BigTex

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If just saying/writing something made it so, you, Taylor, and the other secessionists woud be all set. Fortunately, the guys who established our country and constitution left plenty of cold, hard evidence to refute secessionist doctrine.
As Mr. Taylor shows us, some of those founders had monarchist and nationalist designs which were defeated. Secrecy being necessary for deceit, which the journal records as well as Yates notes, should cause us to pause and think. I've been thinking alot. I wish others would too.
But they (Madison, Hamilton et. al ),the consolidation party, got the wool out and pulled it over the eyes, and here we are. IMO Mr. Taylor's work is a national treasure.
We will just have to disagree with each others point of view.
That you lump Mr.Taylor in with "other secessionists " demonstrates that you haven't read his work. He was an officer in the Continental Army, and died in office as a US senator in 1824. He wrote his book in 1823. He understood more of the situation of government, it's beginnings, and it's improvements than anyone today can claim. We should give his work our respect
 
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WJC

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The "United States of America... did not come into existence in 1776."
Thanks for your response.
The Declaration of Independence documents the "Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America". However, just days later, on July 12th, 1776, the first draft Articles of Confederation of the United States of America were presented for to Congress establishing the name: "The United States of America."
Further, the United States Supreme Court, in Inglis v. Trustees of Sailor’s Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. 99 (1830) ruled that for legal purposes the United States of America came into existence on July 4, 1776. The Court has since reaffirmed that benchmark multiple times.
 

trice

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Thanks for your response.
The Declaration of Independence documents the "Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America". However, just days later, on July 12th, 1776, the first draft Articles of Confederation of the United States of America were presented for to Congress establishing the name: "The United States of America."
In July, 1776 the Continental Congress was acting under the name "United Colonies of America". On July 2nd the Congress passed an act on independence; on July 4th the resulting Declaration of Independence was signed.

IIRR, the Continental Congress passed an act changing the name from "United Colonies of America" to "United States of America" on September 9th, 1776.

ADDED LATER:
Ah, here it is!​
“Monday September 9, 1776. Resolved, that in all Continental Commissions, and other Instruments where heretofore the Words, ‘United Colonies,’ have been used, the Stile be altered for the future to the United States.”
 
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Greywolf

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From Abel Upshurs book:
The Congress of 1775, by which independence was declared, was appointed, as has been before shown, by the colonies in their separate and distinct capacity, each acting for itself, and not conjointly with any other. They were the representatives each of his own colony, and not of any other; each had authority to act in the name of his own colony, and not in that of any other; each colony gave its own vote by its own representatives, and not by those of any other colony. Of course, it was as separate and distinct colonies that they deliberated on the Declaration of Independence. When, therefore, they declare, in the adoption of that measure, that they act as "the representatives of the United States of America," and "in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies," they must of course be understood as speaking in the character in which they had all along acted; that is, as the representatives of separate and distinct colonies, and not as the joint representatives of any one people. A decisive proof of this is found in the fact that the colonies voted on the adoption of that measure in their separate character, each giving one vote by all its own representatives, who acted in strict obedience to specific instructions from their respective colonies, and the members signed the Declaration in that way. So, also, when they declared that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States," they meant only that their respective communities, which until then had been dependent colonies, should thereafter be independent States, and that the same union, which existed between them as colonies, should be continued between them as States. The measure under consideration looked only to their relation to the mother country, and not to their relation to one another; and the sole question before them was, whether they should continue in a state of dependence on the British Crown or not. Having determined that they would not, they from that moment ceased to be colonies, and became States; united, precisely as before, for the common purpose of achieving their common liberty. The idea of forming a closer union, by the mere act of declaring themselves independent, could scarcely have occurred to any one of them. The necessity of such a measure must be apparent to all, and it had long before engaged their attention in a different form. Men, of their wisdom and forecast, meditating a measure so necessary to their common safety, would not have left it as a mere matter of inference from another measure in point of fact, it was already before them, in the form of a distinct proposition, and had been so ever since their first meeting in May, 1775,10 it is impossible to suppose, therefore, in common justice to the sagacity of Congress, that they meant anything more by the Declaration of Independence, than simply to sever the tie which had theretofore bound them to England, and to assert the rights of the separate and distinct colonies, as separate and independent States particularly as the language which they use is fairly susceptible of this construction. The instrument itself is entitled, "The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America"; of States, separate and distinct bodies politic, and not of "one people" or nation, composed of all of them together; "united," as independent States may be, by compact or agreement, and not amalgamated, as they would be, if they formed one nation or body politic.
 

CW Buff

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The Articles of Confederation were not a treaty. They were, as Congress made clear in the resolution calling for the Philadelphia Convention, a "federal Constitution" (emphasis added):
Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union.<United States in Congress Assembled Journals Manuscript (USCA), February 21, 1787. United States National Archives.>
Before the Constitution, “federal” was synonymous with confederation, and “national” was synonymous with a consolidated state (what we now call a unitary state). Because the more perfect Union was something completely new and different (which we now call a federation), and it was also a blend of these two prior systems, the terms federal and national were carried forward into that new system. As such, I think you’re giving the word “federal”, and by extension the term “federal constitution,” much more weight then they deserve, considering the quote predates the Const’l Convention. All federal constitution means is the constitution of a confederation, and that says nothing about whether it's a treaty or a fundamental law. As I said previously:
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.
Furthermore, after the Constitution, and even during the Const’l Convention, people started calling a confederation “merely” federal to distinguish it from the new system. Federation = federal + national, confederation = merely federal (and a unitary state could be called merely national). Considering all the evidence I’ve presented of people calling the AoCs a treaty, and indicating the states remained fully sovereign under the AoCs, I think we can assume federal constitution (pre-Constitution) and treaty of confederation are synonymous (and "merely" federal). What, OTOH, suggests the AoCs were a fundamental law? Do they declare themselves a law, like the Constitution? Do they delegate sovereign powers (legislative, executive, judicial) like the Constitution (those four terms, sovereignty, legislative, executive, and judicial, only appear in the AoCs in reference to the states)? Do they grant the Confederation Congress the authority to make laws (“law” appears twice, in reference to lawful agents of the states)? I see no law there, fundamental or otherwise. I see articles between 13 states that remain sovereign, and which establish nothing more than a firm league of friendship between those states. What in that says fundamental law or sovereign union to you? Treaty, confederation, alliance, league; these terms are all closely related:

No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance...” – AoCs

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation.” – US Constitution

Legally, the words ‘confederacy’, ‘confederation’, and ‘league’ all connoted the same thing. The 'United States' would be an alliance, a multilateral treaty of sovereign nation-states.” – Akhil Reed Amar, America's Constitution, A Biography, p. 25

And here’s another Founding Father/Framer who referred to the AoCs as a treaty, and in fact, justified their dissolution by less than all of the states (unanimity) upon that fact:

A compact between independent sovereigns, founded on ordinary acts of legislative authority, can pretend to no higher validity than a league or treaty between the parties. It is an established doctrine on the subject of treaties, that all the articles are mutually conditions of each other; that a breach of any one article is a breach of the whole treaty; and that a breach, committed by either of the parties, absolves the others, and authorizes them, if they please, to pronounce the compact violated and void. Should it unhappily be necessary to appeal to these delicate truths for a justification for dispensing with the consent of particular States to a dissolution of the federal pact, will not the complaining parties find it a difficult task to answer the MULTIPLIED and IMPORTANT infractions with which they may be confronted?” – James Madison, The Federalist No. 43

Which raises another point. The states are republics, meaning the people are sovereign, and their government cannot touch their sovereignty. In most states the AoCs were ratified by the state governments. How can the government of a republic diminish the sovereignty of its people, which would be the case if the AoCs reduced state sovereignty? Did the state governments have the authorty to provide the consent of their people to a new government (consent of the govered)? Madison also said (can’t find it right now) that the Constitution had to be ratified by the people of each state, and not their governments, because such would make inroads upon the state constitutions. In other words, ratification of the Constitution would entail a revision of the state constitutions, which were thereby rendered subordinate to the Constitution. So, similarly, how could the government of a republic amend its constitution? The power to alter/abolish is a sovereign power that belongs solely to the people of a republic? In making his assertion, I believe Madison such a concept would be dangerous. Makes sense, a government which can legally alter sovereignty and constitutions is a government that can legally control itself, and thereby legally alter itself (make itself whatever it wants, like an absolute ruler).
 

CW Buff

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And they yielded part of that power up, specifically and directly, in the very agreement you are referring to, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. This is the bargain they made in order to obtain their claimed "sovereignty, freedom, and independence".
They yielded their sovereignty, “specifically and directly, in the very agreement you are referring to, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union,” which specifically and directly say “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence...”???

Only victory in the Revolutionary War could do that -- and only by uniting could they gain the strength to obtain that victory. Without the Union, they would never have won the victory. Without the Union, they would never have gained their claimed "sovereignty, freedom, and independence".
As I myself have said (so I’m not sure what repeating it is supposed to prove). And as I’ve said, that has nothing to do with sovereignty, a legal concept/designation. Sovereignty originally (1776-1788) resided where the people who established that Union and fought and won that Revolution decided and said it resided, in the individual states, unified "merely" in a firm league of friendship, established by a treaty, which clearly states they individually retained their sovereignty. I’ve provided Vattel, Madison, Morris, the Constitutional Convention, and Amar. These people “specifically and directly” said the states were fully sovereign and the AoCs were a treaty. OTOH, you’ve now gone to the extreme of saying the AoCs “specifically and directly” do what they “specifically and directly” say they do not do.
 

CW Buff

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A requisition of Congress on the States for money is as much a law to them as their revenue Acts when passed are laws to their respective Citizens.
Do you not see how convoluted this language is? If the acts of the Confederation Congress were actual positive laws, would it be necessary to say they should be treated as laws?

If, for want of the faculty or means of enforcing a requisition, the law of Congress proves inefficient, does it not follow that in order to fulfill the views of the federal constitution, such a change sd. be made as will render it efficient? Without such efficiency the end of this Constitution, which is to preserve order and justice among the members of the Union, must fail; as without a like efficiency would the end of State Constitutions, which is to preserve like order & justice among its members.
And what change eventually rendered that constitution efficient? None! The Framers decided the inefficiency was in the nature of confederations (unions "merely" federal), founded upon treaties ("mere" compacts which rely on the good faith of the parties), and in which the states remain individually sovereign. And it was Morris who had them pause and specifcally consider these issues:

“...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. . . . 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.”

Of course, what came out of that was the US Constitution, a fundamental law, on which all (republican) national governments are founded.
 

trice

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From Abel Upshurs book:
The Congress of 1775, by which independence was declared, was appointed, as has been before shown, by the colonies in their separate and distinct capacity, each acting for itself, and not conjointly with any other. They were the representatives each of his own colony, and not of any other; each had authority to act in the name of his own colony, and not in that of any other; each colony gave its own vote by its own representatives, and not by those of any other colony. Of course, it was as separate and distinct colonies that they deliberated on the Declaration of Independence. When, therefore, they declare, in the adoption of that measure, that they act as "the representatives of the United States of America," and "in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies," they must of course be understood as speaking in the character in which they had all along acted; that is, as the representatives of separate and distinct colonies, and not as the joint representatives of any one people. A decisive proof of this is found in the fact that the colonies voted on the adoption of that measure in their separate character, each giving one vote by all its own representatives, who acted in strict obedience to specific instructions from their respective colonies, and the members signed the Declaration in that way. So, also, when they declared that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States," they meant only that their respective communities, which until then had been dependent colonies, should thereafter be independent States, and that the same union, which existed between them as colonies, should be continued between them as States. The measure under consideration looked only to their relation to the mother country, and not to their relation to one another; and the sole question before them was, whether they should continue in a state of dependence on the British Crown or not. Having determined that they would not, they from that moment ceased to be colonies, and became States; united, precisely as before, for the common purpose of achieving their common liberty. The idea of forming a closer union, by the mere act of declaring themselves independent, could scarcely have occurred to any one of them. The necessity of such a measure must be apparent to all, and it had long before engaged their attention in a different form. Men, of their wisdom and forecast, meditating a measure so necessary to their common safety, would not have left it as a mere matter of inference from another measure in point of fact, it was already before them, in the form of a distinct proposition, and had been so ever since their first meeting in May, 1775,10 it is impossible to suppose, therefore, in common justice to the sagacity of Congress, that they meant anything more by the Declaration of Independence, than simply to sever the tie which had theretofore bound them to England, and to assert the rights of the separate and distinct colonies, as separate and independent States particularly as the language which they use is fairly susceptible of this construction. The instrument itself is entitled, "The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America"; of States, separate and distinct bodies politic, and not of "one people" or nation, composed of all of them together; "united," as independent States may be, by compact or agreement, and not amalgamated, as they would be, if they formed one nation or body politic.
For anyone who wonders, Abel P. Upshur (1790-1844) was:
  • a Virginia politician (House of Delegates, Commonwealth Attorney, failed run for Congress, on the General Court, delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1829-30)
  • a defender of the South Carolina Nullification and of "states' rights"
  • his 1840 treatise was an attempt to counter the work of Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court
  • Secretary of the Navy under President Tyler (October 1841 to July 1843)
  • Secretary of State under President Tyler (July 1843 to February 1844 -- his death)
  • pushed strongly for the annexation of Texas and the Oregon boundary dispute while Secretary of State
  • Upshur and five others were killed while examining the new USS Princeton. One of the guns exploded during a firing demonstration.
As to the passage above, the Continental Congress began considering a draft of what became the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union a few days after the Declaration of Independence was signed. The individual States agreed to the bargain of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union in this order:
  1. Virginia December 16, 1777
  2. South Carolina February 5, 1778
  3. New York February 6, 1778
  4. Rhode Island February 9, 1778
  5. Connecticut February 12, 1778
  6. Georgia February 26, 1778
  7. New Hampshire March 4, 1778
  8. Pennsylvania March 5, 1778
  9. Massachusetts March 10, 1778
  10. North Carolina April 5, 1778
  11. New Jersey November 19, 1778
  12. Delaware February 1, 1779
  13. Maryland February 2, 1781
While the colonies had been acting as a united group against Britain both before and after July 4, 1776, they formalized that into a Union, voluntarily limiting their own sovereignty, when they ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. They did that as a bargain among themselves, gaining strength they needed to win their independence. They have bound themselves to one another in exchange for that strength.
 

BigTex

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257
From Abel Upshurs book:
The Congress of 1775, by which independence was declared, was appointed, as has been before shown, by the colonies in their separate and distinct capacity, each acting for itself, and not conjointly with any other. They were the representatives each of his own colony, and not of any other; each had authority to act in the name of his own colony, and not in that of any other; each colony gave its own vote by its own representatives, and not by those of any other colony. Of course, it was as separate and distinct colonies that they deliberated on the Declaration of Independence. When, therefore, they declare, in the adoption of that measure, that they act as "the representatives of the United States of America," and "in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies," they must of course be understood as speaking in the character in which they had all along acted; that is, as the representatives of separate and distinct colonies, and not as the joint representatives of any one people. A decisive proof of this is found in the fact that the colonies voted on the adoption of that measure in their separate character, each giving one vote by all its own representatives, who acted in strict obedience to specific instructions from their respective colonies, and the members signed the Declaration in that way. So, also, when they declared that "these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States," they meant only that their respective communities, which until then had been dependent colonies, should thereafter be independent States, and that the same union, which existed between them as colonies, should be continued between them as States. The measure under consideration looked only to their relation to the mother country, and not to their relation to one another; and the sole question before them was, whether they should continue in a state of dependence on the British Crown or not. Having determined that they would not, they from that moment ceased to be colonies, and became States; united, precisely as before, for the common purpose of achieving their common liberty. The idea of forming a closer union, by the mere act of declaring themselves independent, could scarcely have occurred to any one of them. The necessity of such a measure must be apparent to all, and it had long before engaged their attention in a different form. Men, of their wisdom and forecast, meditating a measure so necessary to their common safety, would not have left it as a mere matter of inference from another measure in point of fact, it was already before them, in the form of a distinct proposition, and had been so ever since their first meeting in May, 1775,10 it is impossible to suppose, therefore, in common justice to the sagacity of Congress, that they meant anything more by the Declaration of Independence, than simply to sever the tie which had theretofore bound them to England, and to assert the rights of the separate and distinct colonies, as separate and independent States particularly as the language which they use is fairly susceptible of this construction. The instrument itself is entitled, "The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America"; of States, separate and distinct bodies politic, and not of "one people" or nation, composed of all of them together; "united," as independent States may be, by compact or agreement, and not amalgamated, as they would be, if they formed one nation or body politic.
The "consolidation school" must always show that the union the States formed means that the States preferred a national government with supremacy over the States. If you disagree, you are a secessionist.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
11,632
They yielded their sovereignty, “specifically and directly, in the very agreement you are referring to, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union,” which specifically and directly say “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence...”???

As I myself have said (so I’m not sure what repeating it is supposed to prove). And as I’ve said, that has nothing to do with sovereignty, a legal concept/designation. Sovereignty originally (1776-1788) resided where the people who established that Union and fought and won that Revolution decided and said it resided, in the individual states, unified "merely" in a firm league of friendship, established by a treaty, which clearly states they individually retained their sovereignty. I’ve provided Vattel, Madison, Morris, the Constitutional Convention, and Amar. These people “specifically and directly” said the states were fully sovereign and the AoCs were a treaty. OTOH, you’ve now gone to the extreme of saying the AoCs “specifically and directly” do what they “specifically and directly” say they do not do.
Yet they did deliberately limit their claimed independence and sovereignty. Read the document past Article I and you will see that they did.

They did this precisely because they understood that they did not yet have the independence and sovereignty they claimed. The 13 colonies/States made a bargain with each other in order to fight the Revolution, obtain French aid, and win the victory they desperately needed. That is the bargain they made, which would make the agreement an enforceable contract under common law of the time.

Since you agree that they would never have become sovereign and independent without the Union, then you clearly see the value of the bargain they made. Just as clearly, you understand that makes Article I of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union at best a hopeful wish or goal rather than a statement of fact when the 13 rebellious colonies ratified it. Only victory can make that Article a true statement.

Vattel, of course, died in 1767 -- 9 years before the Declaration of Independence -- and never said anything at all about the 13 rebellious colonies being sovereign and independent.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
10,424
Yet they did deliberately limit their claimed independence and sovereignty. Read the document past Article I and you will see that they did.

They did this precisely because they understood that they did not yet have the independence and sovereignty they claimed. The 13 colonies/States made a bargain with each other in order to fight the Revolution, obtain French aid, and win the victory they desperately needed. That is the bargain they made, which would make the agreement an enforceable contract under common law of the time.
Since you agree that they would never have become sovereign and independent without the Union, then you clearly see the value of the bargain they made. Just as clearly, you understand that makes Article I of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union at best a hopeful wish or goal rather than a statement of fact when the 13 rebellious colonies ratified it. Only victory can make that Article a true statement.
Vattel, of course, died in 1767 -- 9 years before the Declaration of Independence -- and never said anything at all about the 13 rebellious colonies being sovereign and independent.





So, assuming all this is true, then was/is Tx. v. White Iron Clad proof of the Illeality of Secession?
 

BigTex

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
257
Pretty much. :smile:
The historical records of the Convention journal, Yates notes and the Constitution itself disclose otherwise. This explains why the seceding States knew they were right.
And the other States knew it too. But they had to support their supremacy construction even if it meant killing their fellow citizens. Power corrupts.
 


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