Are you suggesting that the Militia Act of 1791 was a cause of secession and an example of such legislation as we are investigating?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.