Legislation passed during Civil War and other issues than slavery causing war

jgoodguy

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Even before the Virginia Secession Convention met, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an anti-coercion resolution in early Jan. 1861. This resolution expressed their opposition to any type of coercion against the states for this would be a federal abuse of power. The resolution is shown below.

“Resolved by the general assembly of Virginia, that the Union being formed by the assent of the sovereign states respectively, and being consistent only with freedom and the republican institutions guaranteed to each, cannot and ought not to be maintained by force.

Resolved, that the government of the Union has no power to declare or make war against any of the states which have been its constituent members.

Resolved, that when any one or more of the states has determined or shall determine, under existing circumstances, to withdraw from the Union, we are unalterably opposed to any attempt on the part of the federal government to coerce the same into reunion or submission, and that we will resist the same by all the means in our power."

The Virginia Secession Convention had originally voted against secession by a sizeable majority in early April 1861. However, after Lincoln's Proclamation calling for troops, the Convention reconvened later that same month and voted to secede by a clear majority. This was in direct response to Lincoln's call for troops which they considered to be a violation of Constitution and not a result of slavery.
Are you suggesting that the Militia Act of 1791 was a cause of secession and an example of such legislation as we are investigating?
 

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Potomac Pride

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As always I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. I will quibble and note the document mentions slavery, but your quote of it does not. Your quote says that stealing stuff by the Slave States is ok because asking for its return is an "inhuman doctrine of coercion". I started a thread on the Arkansas secession https://civilwartalk.com/threads/why-did-arkansas-secede.156132
The issue of slavery was an important topic discussed at the Arkansas Convention and resolutions regarding it were introduced as discussed in your thread. However, the delegates voted by a majority against secession in March 1861 despite those resolutions. Unfortunately, after Lincoln's call for troops, the sentiments of the delegates changed dramatically. The Secession Convention reconvened and voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union in May 1861 as a result of Lincoln's call for troops to coerce the states. The Ordinance of Secession specifically mentions their opposition to federal coercion which the state of Arkansas would resist vehemently. The issue which caused Arkansas to changed their mind and withdraw from the Union was the proposed federal coercion.
 

jgoodguy

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Even before the Virginia Secession Convention met, the General Assembly of Virginia passed an anti-coercion resolution in early Jan. 1861. This resolution expressed their opposition to any type of coercion against the states for this would be a federal abuse of power. The resolution is shown below.

“Resolved by the general assembly of Virginia, that the Union being formed by the assent of the sovereign states respectively, and being consistent only with freedom and the republican institutions guaranteed to each, cannot and ought not to be maintained by force.

Resolved, that the government of the Union has no power to declare or make war against any of the states which have been its constituent members.

Resolved, that when any one or more of the states has determined or shall determine, under existing circumstances, to withdraw from the Union, we are unalterably opposed to any attempt on the part of the federal government to coerce the same into reunion or submission, and that we will resist the same by all the means in our power."

The Virginia Secession Convention had originally voted against secession by a sizeable majority in early April 1861. However, after Lincoln's Proclamation calling for troops, the Convention reconvened later that same month and voted to secede by a clear majority. This was in direct response to Lincoln's call for troops which they considered to be a violation of Constitution and not a result of slavery.
Let's look at those slavery-free resolutions in the Legislative Journal.

1553529135797.png

Oh my No 2. Says VA is going to stand with her slaveholding sister States in the South.
 

jgoodguy

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The issue of slavery was an important topic discussed at the Arkansas Convention and resolutions regarding it were introduced as discussed in your thread. However, the delegates voted by a majority against secession in March 1861 despite those resolutions. Unfortunately, after Lincoln's call for troops, the sentiments of the delegates changed dramatically. The Secession Convention reconvened and voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union in May 1861 as a result of Lincoln's call for troops to coerce the states. The Ordinance of Secession specifically mentions their opposition to federal coercion which the state of Arkansas would resist vehemently. The issue which caused Arkansas to changed their mind and withdraw from the Union was the proposed federal coercion.
Are we in agreement that Arkansas objected to the recovery of Federal property unconstitutionally taken by the Slave States and that the inhuman coercion mentioned? To me, that is entangled with slavery.
 

Potomac Pride

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Let's look at those slavery-free resolutions in the Legislative Journal.

View attachment 298939
Oh my No 2. Says VA is going to stand with her slaveholding sister States in the South.
I am glad that you posted that. However, Virginia had originally voted against secession in early April 1861 when slavery was an important topic that was discussed at their Secession Convention. However, only two days after Lincoln's call for troops, the Convention delegates changed their mind and voted by a sizeable majority to secede in reaction to Lincoln's Proclamation. Therefore, slavery was not the only factor that resulted in the secession of Virginia as I stated previously.
 

jgoodguy

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I am glad that your posted that. However, Virginia had originally voted against secession in early April 1861 when slavery was an important topic that was discussed at their Secession Convention. However, only two days after Lincoln's call for troops, the Convention delegates changed their mind and voted by a sizeable majority to secede in reaction to Lincoln's Proclamation. Therefore, slavery was not the only factor that resulted in the secession of Virginia as I stated previously.
But everything was entangled with slavery. Even the previous vote was about who was best able to protect slavery, it was the Union until Sumter, then it was the CSA.
 

Potomac Pride

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But everything was entangled with slavery. Even the previous vote was about who was best able to protect slavery, it was the Union until Sumter, then it was the CSA.
Well actually, it wasn't all about the protection of slavery. If you look at the anti-coercion resolution, Virginia declares that the Union should not be maintained by force. In addition, any coercion by the federal government against the states would be considered unconstitutional and resisted by any means necessary.
The Ordinance of Secession of Virginia adopted in April 1861 referred to their original ratification document of the Constitution which allowed for secession if the federal government became oppressive. In 1861, Virginia considered the use of military force by the federal government against the southern states to be oppressive which resulted in their decision to secede.
 

jgoodguy

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Well actually, it wasn't all about the protection of slavery. If you look at the anti-coercion resolution, Virginia declares that the Union should not be maintained by force. In addition, any coercion by the federal government against the states would be considered unconstitutional and resisted by any means necessary.
The Ordinance of Secession of Virginia adopted in April 1861 referred to their original ratification document of the Constitution which allowed for secession if the federal government became oppressive. In 1861, Virginia considered the use of military force by the federal government against the southern states to be oppressive which resulted in their decision to secede.
OK, how much was it about the purity of State Sovereignty, which I remind the audience VA had no problem with trampling over Northern State Sovereignty over slavery and how much was about protection of slavery.
 

jgoodguy

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It would be difficult to estimate that. However, almost 80% of the voters in Virginia approved the secession ordinance in the public referendum that was held in late May 1861.
In the election held on October 24, 1861, 18,408 votes were cast for the new state(of West Virginia) and only 781 against. That is better than 80%
 

WJC

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Well actually, it wasn't all about the protection of slavery. If you look at the anti-coercion resolution, Virginia declares that the Union should not be maintained by force. In addition, any coercion by the federal government against the states would be considered unconstitutional and resisted by any means necessary.
The Ordinance of Secession of Virginia adopted in April 1861 referred to their original ratification document of the Constitution which allowed for secession if the federal government became oppressive. In 1861, Virginia considered the use of military force by the federal government against the southern states to be oppressive which resulted in their decision to secede.
Whenever the discussion turns to the cause of secession, someone brings up Virginia to 'prove' that it couldn't have been about slavery. The other ten states are conveniently forgotten.
With the 'heavy lifting' done elsewhere, Virginia's secessionists could conveniently 'tiptoe' around the 'elephant in the room' and claim higher, more noble reasons for their actions.
But make no mistake: when it came to 'picking sides' Virginia picked the slaveholding team.
 

jgoodguy

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Whenever the discussion turns to the cause of secession, someone brings up Virginia to 'prove' that it couldn't have been about slavery. The other ten states are conveniently forgotten.
With the 'heavy lifting' done elsewhere, Virginia's secessionists could conveniently 'tiptoe' around the 'elephant in the room' and claim higher, more noble reasons for their actions.
But make no mistake: when it came to 'picking sides' Virginia picked the slaveholding team.
Agree. Without the slaveholding states seceding over slavery, there is no coercion. The price of Union for VA was always coercing the Northern States over slavery. I am not impressed by the claim of some pure State Sovereignty not entangled with slavery.
 

WJC

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only two days after Lincoln's call for troops, the Convention delegates changed their mind and voted by a sizeable majority to secede in reaction to Lincoln's Proclamation.
And five days after rebels fired on Fort Sumter.
The point is that by April 17, 1861, conditions had radically changed: there was now a shooting war and Virginia chose to side with its sister slaveholding states.
 

WJC

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VA is going to stand with her slaveholding sister States in the South.
A very telling choice of words,
At that point, they could easily have said "Virginia shall unite her destiny with the seceding states of the south" or even mentioned those states by name instead of saying "Virginia shall unite her destiny with the slaveholding states of the south". They intentionally chose to introduce slaveholding as their common identifying characteristic.
 
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Whenever the discussion turns to the cause of secession, someone brings up Virginia to 'prove' that it couldn't have been about slavery. The other ten states are conveniently forgotten.
With the 'heavy lifting' done elsewhere, Virginia's secessionists could conveniently 'tiptoe' around the 'elephant in the room' and claim higher, more noble reasons for their actions.
But make no mistake: when it came to 'picking sides' Virginia picked the slaveholding team.
You make it sound underhanded. It is entirely just as possible that Virginia, NC, Tenn., would have stayed in the Union without Lincolns call for troops and war rhetoric. Prove to me that those states would have seceded without that, show me beyond the shadow of doubt, that if Lincoln wasn't playing hardball they would have left the union in Spring 61.
 

Potomac Pride

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Whenever the discussion turns to the cause of secession, someone brings up Virginia to 'prove' that it couldn't have been about slavery. The other ten states are conveniently forgotten.
With the 'heavy lifting' done elsewhere, Virginia's secessionists could conveniently 'tiptoe' around the 'elephant in the room' and claim higher, more noble reasons for their actions.
But make no mistake: when it came to 'picking sides' Virginia picked the slaveholding team.
Agree. Without the slaveholding states seceding over slavery, there is no coercion. The price of Union for VA was always coercing the Northern States over slavery. I am not impressed by the claim of some pure State Sovereignty not entangled with slavery.
Thank you for your comments. However, I never stated that slavery wasn't an issue in the secession of Virginia but only that it wasn't the sole issue involved. It appears that I have been criticized for discussing this matter unfairly. Therefore, I don't believe that I want to participate in this discussion any further. Hope that you have a good evening.
 
Whenever the discussion turns to the cause of secession, someone brings up Virginia to 'prove' that it couldn't have been about slavery. The other ten states are conveniently forgotten.
With the 'heavy lifting' done elsewhere, Virginia's secessionists could conveniently 'tiptoe' around the 'elephant in the room' and claim higher, more noble reasons for their actions.
But make no mistake: when it came to 'picking sides' Virginia picked the slaveholding team.
Yes, even though Virginia state troops were already en-route to attack Harper's Ferry before the Convention behind closed doors, by threats and at the point of a gun, voted for secession. The same state that was against coercion of other states also attacked with their state troops, neighboring Maryland within a month after secession in an attempt to sway them into the Confederacy.
 

jgoodguy

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And five days after rebels fired on Fort Sumter.
The point is that by April 17, 1861, conditions had radically changed: there was now a shooting war and Virginia chose to side with its sister slaveholding states.
We have some threads on VA secession.
Yes Virginia There Is A Secession.
Unionists in Virginia: Politics, Secession and Their Plan to Prevent Civil War
Other interesting articles
THE CHANGE OF SECESSION SENTIMENT IN VIRGINIA IN 1861
Southern Unionists in the Civil War
 



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