Looking back on the whole bloody mess, I truly believe that it was completely pointless EXCEPT as a maneuver to obliterate southern independence.

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Except it is not self evident that the South was gtreated too harshly for their errors.

It has been pointed out by many posters on this board over the years, including myself, that the South was not treated nearly as harshly as was normally visited upon perpetrators of insurrection and rebellion throughout history up to their time.
Absolutely correct - and exactly this led me to my idea.
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Harpers ferry made it completely clear the sections must part ways if the south was to avoid a northern incited Santo Domingo event.
A “Santo Domingo” event, if you mean people rising up against their oppressors, was coming whether northern incited or not. It kept those secessionists quaking in their boots. If northern abolitionists could help in the endeavor to free a people from their oppressors, all the better.
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
And I'll highlight another part of that quote.

"Each of these being equal, neither can have more right to say that the compact has been violated and dissolved, than every other has to deny the fact, and to insist on the execution of the bargain"​

Every party to the compact has the right to evaluate whether the compact has truly been violated.
Yes, a part (state) doesn’t get to decide for the whole.
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
He does not state that the other states "had to grant permission." He states that the other states had the right to deny that a violation of the compact took place.

Here is Madison's quote stating that secession is legal under certain circumstances:

"A rightful secession requires the consent of the others, or an abuse of the compact, absolving the seceding party from the obligations imposed by it"
-Madison to Alexander Rives, January 1, 1833.

So clearly, in the case of "an abuse of the compact," a seceding state does not need the "permission" or "consent" of the others.

However, If Virginia, for example, declared that there was an abuse of the compact, then other states would have the same right to deny that an abuse took place. In other words, the other states could claim that Virginia had no lawful right to secede.

In this hypothetical situation, there would be no higher jurisdiction than the people of the states to decide the issue. Which is why Madison wrote in another letter:

"You see as quickly as I do, what is going on at Richmond. Among the [diversified] projects of the mediators, it is not certain [which] will prevail, and very possible that they may all sink together. It [would] seem that the doctrine of Secession is losing ground; but it has as yet more adherents than its twin heresy nullification, tho’ it ought to be buried in the same grave with it. Many seem to have lost sight of the great principle that compact is the basis and essence of free Govt. and that no right to disregard it belongs to a party till released from it by causes of which the other parties have an equal right to judge. In the event of an irreconcilable conflict, not of rights, but of opinions & claims of right, force becomes the arbiter."
-Madison to Alexander Rives, January 20, 1833.

In other words, if Virginia, in our example, and other states, could not agree that a violation of the compact took place, then force becomes the final arbiter.
Force did become the final arbiter, those involved in the slaveholders rebellion were forced to submit to the rule of law, the constitution, and the United States. Lovely ending to the worst mistake a people ever made.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Force did become the final arbiter, those involved in the slaveholders rebellion were forced to submit to the rule of law, the constitution, and the United States. Lovely ending to the worst mistake a people ever made.
The Constitution makes force the arbiter when it comes to an insurrection. The Founders weren't stupid and they didn't write a suicide pact.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
I also feel it necessary to remark that a secession-movement most probably cannot come alive only on the grounds of propaganda alone - even if people were highly influenceable by their social leaders.

North and South showed a clearly different evolution for decades before the war.
I learned from some threads in this forum that even a relevant part of the population migrated depending on their stance towards slavery. And the question of slavery itself was fueling conflicts all the more.

Both had also different economical systems developed
and the social dealings were to a certain extent restricted as Southerners generally seldom visited the North and vice versa.

Moreover a rather weak national government (with a eg. negligible role the national army played) left "only" the remembrance of the Revolutionary War (and a well-deserved pride about it) as a tangible base for common understanding between North and South.

I deem it rather proven that more than some clear differences had developed
- even allowing the feeling of belonging to a somehow different culture.

Reading contemporary texts shows how strange and distant the other side was perceived and depicted.

Could it be possible that people of that times (especially in the North) were much more aware about that all
- and hence refrained from a harsh condemnation of the other side?
- Maybe this could explain why former Confederates were rather soon accepted as constituents again
- and why (eg with all that veteran´s reunions) there was a movement that tried to define the Civil War as a common experience to Americans of both sides.

Maybe we are judging too hard - if we are judging on the base of our present understanding of the US?
If one is talking about letting by=
It takes a willful misreading of Madison's writings to make this statement.
Willfull misreading indeed, even though the poster quotes Madison, he does not question why Madison considered Secession and Nullification both, as twin Heresy's if the poster considers Madison as a defender of the Doctrine of secession?
 
You have a source for your statement?
Just FYI. Back in 2006, Daniel Turkewitz, a Hollywood screenwriter, wrote SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia, the most Conservative justice on the top bench at the time, a letter regarding the legality of secession.

The following is the reply from Scalia:

Scalia-Turkewitz-Letter-763174.jpg
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
They didn’t make a law against secession either. wonder why?
Perhaps because the founders thought the "solemn pledge" to join the union was enough to make it obvious that unilateral secession was never legal. And they thought that personal honor and standing behind your word was a given. As Madison said:

"But this dodges the blow by confounding the claim to secede at will, with the right of seceding from intolerable oppression. The former answers itself, being a violation without cause, of a faith solemnly pledged. The latter is another name only for revolution, about which there is no theoretic controversy."​
 
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Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Just FYI. Back in 2006, Daniel Turkewitz, a Hollywood screenwriter, wrote SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia, the most Conservative justice on the top bench at the time, a letter regarding the legality of secession.

The following is the reply from Scalia:

View attachment 403758
Perhaps the judge should have stood in the time frame of 1860.
There is still no law against secession.
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
Just FYI. Back in 2006, Daniel Turkewitz, a Hollywood screenwriter, wrote SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia, the most Conservative justice on the top bench at the time, a letter regarding the legality of secession.

The following is the reply from Scalia:
I would like to know the questions asked. Because Scalia write that is there is no right to secession.

But as I see it the civil war resolved the issue of of unilateral secession.
It is clearly not acceptable.

And as fare as I know, the texas v White ruling only cover what happened in 1861... unilateral secession.
It have some line about that Texas joining the USA, can only be undone true rebellion or with consent of the other states.

If anything I think that texas v White made it more clear that secession can be done with consent of the other states.


So are Scalia writing that secession with consent is also illegal?
Or is it simply obvious from the question he was asked that its unilateral secession he is replying about?
 

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