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Related links to Secession and Politics

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by wilber6150, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. KevinLuna

    KevinLuna Private

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    Daniel Webster's "Constitution and Union" Speech (a.k.a. "Seventh of March"), March 7, 1850
    http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=476

    William H. Seward's "Higher Law" Speech, March 11, 1850
    http://eweb.furman.edu/~benson/docs/seward.htm

    Frederick Douglass' "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" Speech (a.k.a. "The Hypocrisy of American Slavery"), July 5, 1852
    http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/the_hypocrisy_of_american_slavery.htm

    Abraham Lincoln's "A House Divided" Speech, June 16, 1858
    http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/a_house_divided.htm
     

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  3. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Originally posted by DanF in relation to the thoughts of the legality of secession prior to the war...

    New
    bama46 said:
    Exactly! However, prior to the issuance of that opinion, it is not recognized by anyone as unconstitutional. I am discussing the time of the action, not the time of the opinion..​
    The claim to the right of secession was based on the claim that the States retained complete sovereignty. THAT issue was dealt with by the SCOTUS in Multiple rulings long before 1860.

    Fletcher v. Peck 1810

    "But Georgia cannot be veiwed as a single, unconnected, sovereign power, on whose legislature no other restrictions are imposed than may be found in its own constitution. She is a part of a large empire; she is a member of the American union; and that union has a constitution the supremacy of which all acknowledge, and which imposes limits to the legislatures of the several states, which none claim a right to pass." [10 U.S. 87, 136]

    McCullough v. Maryland 1819

    "In discusing this question, the counsel for the state of Maryland have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the constitution, to consider that instrument, not as emanating from the people, but as the act of sovereign and independent states. The powers of the general government, it has been said, are delegated by the states, who alone are truly sovereign; and must be exercised in subordination to the states, who alone possess supreme dominion. *It would be difficult to sustain this proposition.* The convention which framed the constitution was indeed elected by the state legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligations, or pretenses to it. It was reported to the then existing congress of the United States, with a request that it might 'be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each state by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.' this mode of proceeding was adopted; and by the convention, by congress, and by the state legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act savely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject, by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several states--and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the states, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their states. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the state governments.

    From these conventions, the constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people. . . . *The constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the state sovereignties

    the government of the Union, then, is, emphatically and truly, a government of the people. In form, and in substance, it emanates from them. Its powers are granted by them, and are to be exercised directly on them, and for their benefit.

    If any one proposition could command the universal assent of mankind, we might expect it would be this--that the government of the Union, though limited in its powers, is supreme within its sphere of action." [17 U.S. 316, 405] The makeup of the Union, without doubt, is within the sphere of action of the Federal Government. We can see this from the fact that Congress admits new states into the Union, and the Federal law admitting those new states is signed by the President.

    Gibbons v. Ogden 1824

    "When these allied sovereigns converted their league into a government, when they converted their Congress of Ambassadors, deputed to deliberate on their common concerns, the whole character in which the States appear, underwent a change." [22 U.S. 1, 187]

    Cohens v. Virginia 1821

    "That the United States form, for many, and for most important purposes, a single nation, has not yet been denied. In war, we are one people. In making peace, we are one people. In all commercial regulations, we are one and the same people. . .. America has chosen to be, in many respects, and to many purposes, a nation; and for all these purposes, her government is complete; to all these objects it is competent. The people have declared, that in the exercise of all the powers given for these objects, it is supreme. . . . The constitution and laws of a State, so far as they are repugnant to the constitution and laws of the United States, are absolutely void. These States are constituent parts of the United States. They are members of one great empire."

    "The people made the constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will. But this supreme and irresistible power to make or to unmake, resides only in the whole body of the people; not in any sub-division of them. The attempt of any of the parts to exercise it is usurpation, and ought to be repelled by those to whom the people have delegated their power of repelling it." [19 US 264, 389]​


    Read more: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-north-was-right.72224/page-4#ixzz1uyPxjkfj
     
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  4. Georgia Sixth

    Georgia Sixth Sergeant Major

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    Wow. I was curious how Davis would, as we say today, spin it. But this is amazing. I'm no shrink, but I'd say the man was seriously delusional.
     
  5. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Originally posted by Cash on why the states seceeded...

    I suggest you read what the secessionists themselves said.

    Out of the 7 cotton states who were the first to secede, the states that formed the confederacy:

    South Carolina published a Declaration of Causes that laid out why it seceded: to protect slavery.
    You can read it here.
    Mississippi published a Declaration of Causes that laid out why it seceded: to protect slavery.
    You can read it here.
    Georgia published a Declaration of Causes that laid out why it seceded: to protect slavery.
    You can read it here.
    Texas published a Declaration of Causes that laid out why it seceded: to protect slavery.
    You can read it here.
    Florida wrote a Declaration of Causes that laid out why it seceded: to protect slavery.
    You can read it here.
    In its ordnance of secession, Alabama told us why they were seceding: to protect slavery.
    You can read it here.
    The seceding states sent commissioners to the other slave states in order to convince them of the necessity for seceding. Louisiana’s official representative to Texas, George Williamson, gave Louisiana’s case for seceding to the Texas Secession Convention. You can read his speech here. Alabama’s commissioner to Louisiana reported back to his governor that Louisiana knew the necessity of seceding in order to protect slavery. You can read his report here.
    So there you have official statements from all seven of the original states of the confederacy that they had seceded in order to protect slavery. It’s their words, not mine and not some Yankee historian’s words. Seven out of seven. One hundred percent.

    Governor Isham Harris of Tennessee sent two messages to the Tennessee legislature asking for secession. His reason: to protect slavery.
    You can see the first message here, and the second message here.
    On January 1, 1861, both houses of the Virginia Legislature, your own state, unanimously passed a resolution telling the world that if the impasse couldn’t be resolved peacefully they would secede to be on the side of the slave states. You can read it here.

    Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the confederacy, said very clearly it was the disagreement over slavery that caused secession. You can read his speeches on this here and here.
    Jefferson Davis himself said slavery was the reason for secession and forming the confederacy. You can read him here.
     
  6. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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  7. wilber6150

    wilber6150 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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  8. irishjohn

    irishjohn Cadet

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    Found this while discussing why Arkansas seceded and thought folks might find it to be interesting.

    Journal of both sessions of the Convention of the state of Arkansas (1861)

    https://archive.org/details/journalofbothses00arka

    Slavery mentioned on pp. 50-55 in a resolution during 1st session.
     
  9. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    Great find! Welcome to the forum.
     
  10. Arwen

    Arwen Private

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    In trying to take the advice of long term members, I've been spending more time reading through older threads than participating in newer ones in the attempt to avoid rehashing topics that have already been discussed. And so I stumbled across this.

    The link no longer works, however, I managed to find another one.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/828843/posts

    Am I reading this right in that Lord Acton agreed with Lee on the right to unilateral secession?
     
  11. brass napoleon

    brass napoleon Colonel Retired Moderator Member of the Year

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    I don't know enough about Lord Acton to answer for him - from his letter he appears to be a typical 19th century European aristocrat with a deathly fear of Republicanism. But Lee himself was opposed to unilateral secession. In a private letter before the war, he said the Union "can only be dissolved by revolution or the consent of all the people in convention assembled." But he also shared the concerns of many Southerners (and some Northerners) that a Union victory in the war would upset the historic balance of power between the federal government and the states and lead to a "consolidation of the states into one vast republic". I think the letter provides some interesting insight into his mindset, and to the dilemma faced by many Southerners who found themselves in a situation of having to choose between their state and the Union.
     
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  12. KevinLuna

    KevinLuna Private

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    Resolutions passed by the General Assembly of South Carolina in Response to John Brown's Raid of Harper's Ferry, 1859

    http://www.teachingushistory.org/ttrove/johnbrown.htm

    "This legislature does not hesitate to declare that this union, at best of doubtful value to the South, would be scarcely an atom in the scale against the perpetual maintenance of our system of African slave labor; and to advise that, when the continuance of the said union endangers or seriously embarrasses that system, that the South should discard said union at once and forever."
     
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  13. KevinLuna

    KevinLuna Private

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    The pro-slavery argument, as maintained by the most distinguished writers of the southern states: containing the several essays on the subject, of Chancellor Harper, Governor Hammond, Dr. Simms, and Professor Dew (1853)

    https://archive.org/details/proslaveryargume00harp

    "But armies and navies, you say, are indispensable, and must be kept up at every sacrifice. I answer, that they are no more indispensable than slavery is to us"
     
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