"Right of Independence" or "Right of Revolution?"

Mike Griffith

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Jun 22, 2014
No, Mike, it's YOU who keep saying this over and over and OVER AND OVER again. And you have been asked over and over and OVER AND OVER again to back up this statement. And over and over AND OVER AND OVER again you have failed to. You are literally making a mockery of yourself on this forum, on one thread after another AFTER ANOTHER AFTER ANOTHER.

I can't believe you are still getting on a public forum and in all apparent seriousness disputing the fact that the Patriots believed the colonies should be able to peacefully separate from England and that they resented the British attempt to force the colonies to submit to British authority.

I've already provided a couple quotes wherein the Patriots expressed anger over being labeled "traitors" and "rebels." I've quoted Patriots talking about the colonies' natural right to separate, that the colonies were "of right" free and independent states, and that the colonies' argument that they were exempt from Parliament's rule was sanctioned by natural law and the principles of the British constitution (Hamilton said this in 1774, for example).

Naturally, if you have the right to be independent, you should not have to fight to be independent. To say otherwise is to engage in anti-democratic logic. Imagine if we were to apply that Tory logic to the Bill of Rights: "You have the right to worship as you please, provided that you are strong enough to defeat those who don't want you to worship." That's no "right" at all. That's Orwellian, anti-democratic sophistry.

Anyway, I will be glad to supply more Patriot quotes. I am gathering some from the many that could be cited to use in a thread I'm going to post soon on the parallels between the Patriot and Confederate positions and the British and Union positions.

Finally, a word about Texas v. White. This is an absolute joke of a decision to cite on secession. It's worse than the lame one that Taney supported during the war. Texas v. White was, of course, crafted by Salmon P. Chase, who had served in Lincoln's cabinet. So it's no surprise that he would declare that secession was unconstitutional.

Incredibly, as Cory Genelin notes in his American Thinker article on the decision, "Chase makes no statement as to the validity of secession undertaken by a majority vote of a state legislature and enacted by its executive." Genelin notes that Chase's historical arguments were often wrong, that he provided little citation of precedents (because he couldn't), that Chase even mischaracterized how Texas became a state, and that Chase's attempt to use the Articles of Confederation was "confusing." Genelin concludes,

In summary, Texas v. White, even if given the utmost respect, and considered binding precedent, does not stand for the proposition that no state may ever break its bonds with the Federal Government of the United States. At the same time, if it is considered the final word on the Federal Government's right to prohibit a state from seceding, then that right is far from established.
Chase couldn't cite a single statement from the Constitution that the federal union was supposed to be perpetual because the Constitution contained no such statement.

Chase couldn't cite a single constitutional statement that a state could not revoke its ratification because no such statement could be found in the Constitution.

The Supremacy Clause is an erroneous argument to use against secession. The clause, needless to say, only applies to states that have ratified the Constitution. But if a state revokes its ratification, then obviously it is no longer bound by the Supremacy Clause. When Madison was asked by Hamilton on behalf of New York if ratification could be revoked, he did not invoke the Supremacy Clause. He merely said, on his own authority alone, that ratification was irrevocable. The New York ratification convention rejected Madison's unsupported opinion and even included a statement in their ratification ordination that indicated that ratification could be revoked. Madison did not protest. And it's worth asking: Why did Hamilton even have to ask Madison this question? One obvious answer is that he saw nothing in the Constitution that addressed it.
 

Elennsar

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Location
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Hamilton's quote in context:

"Before I proceed to confirm this assertion by the most obvious arguments, I will premise a few brief remarks. The only distinction between freedom and slavery consists in this: In the former state a man is governed by the laws to which he has given his [6] consent, either in person or by his representative; in the latter, he is governed by the will of another. In the one case, his life and property are his own; in the other, they depend upon the pleasure of his master. It is easy to discern which of these two states is preferable. No man in his senses can hesitate in choosing to be free, rather than a slave.

That Americans are entitled to freedom is incontestable on every rational principle. All men have one common original: they participate in one common nature, and consequently have one common right. No reason can be assigned why one man should exercise any power or pre-eminence over his fellow-creatures more than another; unless they have voluntarily vested him with it. Since, then, Americans have not, by any act of theirs, empowered the British Parliament to make laws for them, it follows they can have no just authority to do it.⚓

Besides the clear voice of natural justice in this respect, the fundamental principles of the English constitution are in our favor. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the idea of legislation or taxation, when the subject is not represented, is inconsistent with that. Nor is this all; our charters, the express conditions on which our progenitors relinquished their native countries, and came to settle in this, preclude every claim of ruling and taxing us without our assent."

Not "independence".

Hamilton is not even addressing the issue of any right to be independent or to rebel in that passage, only the issue of the right to be "governed by the laws to which (the American people) has given his consent" as opposed to being "governed by the will of another".

In fact, on the subject of independence:

"You say: “The grand Congress, the piddling committees, through the continent, have all disclaimed their subjection to the sovereign authority of the empire. They deny the authority of Parliament to make any laws to bind them at all. They claim an absolute independency. Great Britain has no choice but to declare the colonies independent states, or to try the force of arms in order to bring them to a sense of their duty.”

It is the common trick of ministerial writers, to represent the Congress as having made some new demands, which were unknown to former times; whereas, in truth, they have, in substance, acknowledged the only dependence on Parliament which was ever intended by their predecessors. Nor is it true, that they have claimed an absolute independency. It is insulting common-sense to say so, when it is notorious that they have acknowledged the right of Parliament to regulate the trade of the colonies. Any further dependence on it is unnecessary and dangerous. They have professed allegiance to the British King, and have bound themselves, on any emergency, to contribute their proportion of men and money, to the defence and protection of the whole empire. Can this be called absolute independency? Is it better for Great Britain to hazard the total loss of these colonies, than to hold them upon these conditions? Is it preferable to make enemies of the people of America, instead of being connected with them by the equal tie of fellow-subjects? [172] Is it not madness to run the risk of losing the trade of these colonies, from which the mother country drew1. quot;more clear profit than Spain has drawn from all her mines,” because they insist only upon all the essential rights of freemen? You may call it effrontery, consummate assurance, or what you please, to say so; but every man, capable of taking a full prospect of all the probable mischiefs which may result from an open rupture between Great Britain and the colonies, will coincide with me when I affirm that nothing but the most frantic extravagance can influence the administration to attempt the reduction of America by force of arms. It is sufficiently evident, from the respective charters, that the rights we now claim are coeval with the original settlement of these colonies. These rights have been, at different times, strenuously asserted, though they have been suffered to be violated in several instances, through inattention, or, perhaps, an unwillingness to quarrel with the mother country. I shall decline producing any other proofs of the sense of the other provinces than those already mentioned, and shall confine myself to a few extracts from the resolves of some assemblies of this province."

For those, as this post has already grown long, I provide the source of this extensive quote: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1378

But in his own words, Hamilton is not speaking of the right to revolution or independence, but "all the essential rights of freemen" within the state of being subjects of "the British King". Not the right to renounce such service, as some might wish to present his words.

I invite my fellow members to examine this as exhaustively as they desire in hopes of uncovering anything I have missed.

But I do not see one scrap of evidence that Hamilton or those of like mind with him claimed the right to be independent of British rule at that point in that writing, only of the British Parliament specifically as a body with no just jurisdction over them - much as a man from New York might protest the House of Burgess claiming to make laws for New York.

So Mr. Griffith, perhaps you could contemplate Hamilton's vigorous objection to the claim that the Congress seeks "absolute independence" before claiming that he was speaking of their right to any such thing in 1774.
 
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jgoodguy

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I can't believe you are still getting on a public forum and in all apparent seriousness disputing the fact that the Patriots believed the colonies should be able to peacefully separate from England and that they resented the British attempt to force the colonies to submit to British authority.

I've already provided a couple quotes wherein the Patriots expressed anger over being labeled "traitors" and "rebels." I've quoted Patriots talking about the colonies' natural right to separate, that the colonies were "of right" free and independent states, and that the colonies' argument that they were exempt from Parliament's rule was sanctioned by natural law and the principles of the British constitution (Hamilton said this in 1774, for example).

Naturally, if you have the right to be independent, you should not have to fight to be independent. To say otherwise is to engage in anti-democratic logic. Imagine if we were to apply that Tory logic to the Bill of Rights: "You have the right to worship as you please, provided that you are strong enough to defeat those who don't want you to worship." That's no "right" at all. That's Orwellian, anti-democratic sophistry.

Anyway, I will be glad to supply more Patriot quotes. I am gathering some from the many that could be cited to use in a thread I'm going to post soon on the parallels between the Patriot and Confederate positions and the British and Union positions.

Finally, a word about Texas v. White. This is an absolute joke of a decision to cite on secession. It's worse than the lame one that Taney supported during the war. Texas v. White was, of course, crafted by Salmon P. Chase, who had served in Lincoln's cabinet. So it's no surprise that he would declare that secession was unconstitutional.

Incredibly, as Cory Genelin notes in his American Thinker article on the decision, "Chase makes no statement as to the validity of secession undertaken by a majority vote of a state legislature and enacted by its executive." Genelin notes that Chase's historical arguments were often wrong, that he provided little citation of precedents (because he couldn't), that Chase even mischaracterized how Texas became a state, and that Chase's attempt to use the Articles of Confederation was "confusing." Genelin concludes,

In summary, Texas v. White, even if given the utmost respect, and considered binding precedent, does not stand for the proposition that no state may ever break its bonds with the Federal Government of the United States. At the same time, if it is considered the final word on the Federal Government's right to prohibit a state from seceding, then that right is far from established.
Chase couldn't cite a single statement from the Constitution that the federal union was supposed to be perpetual because the Constitution contained no such statement.

Chase couldn't cite a single constitutional statement that a state could not revoke its ratification because no such statement could be found in the Constitution.

The Supremacy Clause is an erroneous argument to use against secession. The clause, needless to say, only applies to states that have ratified the Constitution. But if a state revokes its ratification, then obviously it is no longer bound by the Supremacy Clause. When Madison was asked by Hamilton on behalf of New York if ratification could be revoked, he did not invoke the Supremacy Clause. He merely said, on his own authority alone, that ratification was irrevocable. The New York ratification convention rejected Madison's unsupported opinion and even included a statement in their ratification ordination that indicated that ratification could be revoked. Madison did not protest. And it's worth asking: Why did Hamilton even have to ask Madison this question? One obvious answer is that he saw nothing in the Constitution that addressed it.

Re
Finally, a word about Texas v. White. This is an absolute joke of a decision to cite on secession. It's worse than the lame one that Taney supported during the war. Texas v. White was, of course, crafted by Salmon P. Chase, who had served in Lincoln's cabinet. So it's no surprise that he would declare that secession was unconstitutional.

It appears that the Alaska Supreme Court disagrees with you.

Kohlhaas v. STATE, OFF. OF LIEUTENANT GOV., 147 P. 3d 714 - Alaska: Supreme Court 2006

Kohlhaas maintains that Texas v. White contains "highly suspect" reasoning because it fails to discuss the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. He argues that because the Constitution is otherwise silent on secession, secession is one of the rights reserved by those amendments. The decision quotes the Tenth Amendment almost exactly and discusses at great length the rights of the states and the people within the Union:

Under the Constitution, though the powers of the States were much restricted, still, all powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. . . . [T]he people of each State compose a State, having its own government, and endowed with all the functions essential to separate and independent existence[;] . . . 719*719 without the States in union, there could be no such political body as the United States. Not only, therefore, can there be no loss of separate and independent autonomy to the States, through their union under the Constitution, but it may be not unreasonably said that the preservation of the States, and the maintenance of their governments, are as much within the design and care of the Constitution as the preservation of the Union and the maintenance of the National government. The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States. When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States.[[22]]
Furthermore, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Tenth Amendment in a manner contrary to the interpretation Kohlhaas urges. In considering whether states could impose term limits on their federal legislators, the Court held that the Amendment "could only `reserve' that which existed before."[23] Thus "`The states can exercise no powers whatsoever, which exclusively spring out of the existence of the national government. . . . No state can say, that it has reserved, what it never possessed.'"[24] Like representation in Congress, secession from the Union springs from joinder to the Union. No state possessed a right to secede before admission, and so no state would retain such a right under the Tenth Amendment.

Kohlhaas also suggests that Texas v. White should not be taken as black letter law since the decision is tainted by the "context, emotions, and political situation" immediately following the Civil War, and has not been cited except as dicta by modern cases. This argument not only trivializes the impact of the Civil War on the Nation but also ignores a plenitude of Supreme Court cases holding as completely null the purported acts of secession by other Confederate states.[25] Unsurprisingly, the Supreme Court has had little occasion since Reconstruction to address the legality of secession. In 2004 the Supreme Court observed that inclusion of the word "indivisible" in the Pledge of Allegiance was significant because "the question whether a State could secede from the Union had been intensely debated and was unresolved prior to the Civil War."[26]

Even though secession is not explicitly addressed in the United States or Alaska Constitutions, it is clearly unconstitutional since opinions of the Supreme Court interpreting the federal constitution — including Texas v. White — constitute controlling authority.[27] Kohlhaas's attempt to discount the force of Texas v. White is wholly misplaced. In 1960 Justice Frankfurter characterized that decision thus:

The readjustment of the relationship between the States that had remained in the Union and those that had seceded presented major issues not only for the political branches of the Government, the President and the Congress, but also for this Court. Insofar as the perplexing and recalcitrant problems of Reconstruction involved legal solutions, the evolution of constitutional doctrine was an indispensable element in the process of healing the wounds of the sanguinary conflict. It was in aid of that process that this Court formulated the doctrine expressed in the famous sentence in State of Texas v. White: "The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States."[[28]]
When the forty-nine-star flag was first raised at Juneau, we Alaskans committed ourselves to that indestructible Union, for good or ill, in perpetuity. To suggest otherwise would "disparage the republican character of the National Government."[29]

C. Because the Initiative Has Not Been Circulated, We Decline To Consider Whether the Unconstitutional Portions May Be Severed.​
 

ForeverFree

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Finally, a word about Texas v. White. This is an absolute joke of a decision to cite on secession. It's worse than the lame one that Taney supported during the war. Texas v. White was, of course, crafted by Salmon P. Chase, who had served in Lincoln's cabinet. So it's no surprise that he would declare that secession was unconstitutional.

(1) As we talk about Texas v White, it's useful to review what the Court said. It did not say that secession was unconstitutional, per se. It said that unilateral secession was unconstitutional. This opinion might have been informed by the words of James Madison, who is sometimes called the Father of the Constitution. During the 1830's Nullification Crisis, in which SC not only threatened to nullify federal law, but to secede as well if its demands weren't met, Madison said this in a communication to Nicholas Trist:

TO N. P. TRIST. December 23, 1832.

DEAR Sir,—I have received yours of the 19th, enclosing some of the South Carolina papers. There are in one of them some interesting views of the doctrine of secession—one that had occurred to me, and which for the first time I have seen in print-— namely, that if one State can, at will, withdraw from the others, the others can, at will, withdraw from her, and turn her, nolentem, volentem, out of the Union. Until of late, there is not a State that would have abhorred such a doctrine more than South Carolina, or more dreaded an application of it to herself. The same may he said of the doctrine of nullification, which she now preaches as the only faith by which the Union can be saved.

I partake of the wonder, that the men you name should view secession in the light mentioned. The essential difference between a free government and governments not free, is, that the former is founded in compact, the parties to which are mutually and equally bound by it. Neither of them, therefore, can have a greater right to break off from the bargain, than the other or others have to hold them to it. And certainly there is nothing in the Virginia resolutions of 1798 adverse to this principle, which is that of common sense and common justice. The fallacy which draws a different conclusion lies in confounding a single party with the parties to the constitutional compact of the United States. The latter having made the compact, may do what they will with it. The former, as one only of the parties, owes fidelity to it till released by consent, or absolved by an intolerable abuse of the power created.

In the Virginia resolutions and report the plural number, States, is in every instance used where reference is made to the authority which presided over the Government. As I am now known to have drawn those documents, I may say, as I do with a distinct recollection, that the distinction was intentional. It was, in fact, required by the course of reasoning employed on the occasion. The Kentucky resolutions, being less guarded, have been more easily perverted.

The pretext for the liberty taken with those of Virginia is the word respective, prefixed to the “rights,” &c to be secured within the States. Could the abuse of the expression have been foreseen or suspected, the form of it would doubtless have been varied. But what can be more consistent with common sense, than that all having the same rights, &c, should unite in contending for the security of them to each?

It is remarkable how closely the nullifiers, who make the name of Mr. Jefferson the pedestal for their colossal heresy, shut their eyes and lips whenever his authority is ever so clearly and emphatically against them. You have noticed what he says in his letters to Monroe and Carrington, pages 43 and 203, vol. ii, with respect to the powers of the old Congress to coerce delinquent States, and his reasons for preferring for the purpose a naval to a military force; and, moreover, that it was not necessary to find a right to coerce in the federal articles, that being inherent in the nature of a compact. It is high time that the claim to secede at will should be put down by the public opinion; and I shall be glad to see the task commenced by one who understands the subject.

Here is something of interest:

From Madison above: The former (single state), as one only of the parties (the States), owes fidelity to it (the Constitution) till released by consent, or absolved by an intolerable abuse of the power created.

From Texas v White: The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

Texas v White may have drawn from Madison's language to craft its ruling. Madison says that consent is required for a state to leave the US. Or it can be absolved by an abuse of power; and revolutions are the method to deal with such abuses.

(2) In his book Texas Versus White: A Study in Legal History, by William Whatley Pierson, the author discusses Madison's thoughts on secession:

From the premise that the Union is a compact to which the States are parties, Madison drew certain conclusions as to the responsibility of the United States and the States in the performance and observance of their mutual constitutional obligations. There were occasions when it became the duty of the States to interfere in order to check the encroachment of the general government upon the limitations prescribed by the Constitution. Thus the rights and powers of the States and the liberties of their people would be preserved. On the other hand, the States had engaged themselves in this compact, and must govern themselves accordingly. They could not release themselves from the compact at their own pleasure.

From Madison's Works, Hunt (editor), IX, 355-356: "It is the nature and essence of a compact that it is equally obligatory upon the parties to it, and that no one of them can be liberated therefrom without the consent of the others, or such a violation of it, or abuse of it by the others, as will amount to a dissolution of the compact. . . . Applying a like view of the subject to the United States it results that the compact being among individuals as embodied into States, no State at pleasure can release itself therefrom, and set up for itself. The compact can only be dissolved by consent of the other parties, or by the usurpation of power justly having that effect. It would hardly be contended that there is anything in the compact authorizing a party to dissolve it at pleasure."
(3) My own view is that, the Constitution is silent on the issue of secession/dissolution. Rather than infer something that was not in the text, the Court basically went back to the basic building block of the Union and the Constitution, namely a convention of the states, or, some other process by which the consent of the states could be granted.

- Alan
 

thomas aagaard

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Naturally, if you have the right to be independent, you should not have to fight to be independent.
But sense you (almost) always have to fight for your independence, clearly there is no such right... not one that was accepted by any state.

And even if you can ague that we today do listen somewhat to "the people" they didn't back then.
Most states was the personal property of the Royal dynasties... And states like Austria and Russia hated the idea that the people should have any say in to what state they belong. By 1863 only France was solidly supporting the idea. All other European great powers was still thinking in Royal dynasties and their rights... even if it was against the wises of the people. (only when forced by their own population, and risk a rebellion did Bismark decide to support the "germans" in Sleswig and Holstein in their wish to leave the Kingdom of Denmark and join the German federation... resulting in the danish "German" 1864 war)

Nationalism gave the idea that each nation should belong to its own state. In some areas it resulted in wars for independence. In others, like "Italy" and "Germany" wars of unification.

As I written a number of times. Stats don't like it when they lose territory so the almost always fight to protect itself. So the wish for independence or unification will almost always lead to war if attempted.
 

NedBaldwin

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I can't believe you are still getting on a public forum and in all apparent seriousness disputing the fact that the Patriots believed the colonies should be able to peacefully separate from England and that they resented the British attempt to force the colonies to submit to British authority.

The Patriots took up arms against British authority first (1775 declaration) and declared their separation second (1776 declaration). Separating peacefully was never part of the equation since the decision to separate only came after war.


The Supremacy Clause is an erroneous argument to use against secession. The clause, needless to say, only applies to states that have ratified the Constitution. But if a state revokes its ratification, then obviously it is no longer bound by the Supremacy Clause.

You are using a logical fallacy. Does a state have the power to revoke its ratification and would that revocation have legal effect? You are assuming the answer is yes (a fallacy called 'begging the question'). But I dont see any reason for your conclusion.
 

brass napoleon

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I can't believe you are still getting on a public forum and in all apparent seriousness disputing the fact that the Patriots believed the colonies should be able to peacefully separate from England and that they resented the British attempt to force the colonies to submit to British authority.

I've already provided a couple quotes wherein the Patriots expressed anger over being labeled "traitors" and "rebels." I've quoted Patriots talking about the colonies' natural right to separate, that the colonies were "of right" free and independent states, and that the colonies' argument that they were exempt from Parliament's rule was sanctioned by natural law and the principles of the British constitution (Hamilton said this in 1774, for example).

Naturally, if you have the right to be independent, you should not have to fight to be independent. To say otherwise is to engage in anti-democratic logic. Imagine if we were to apply that Tory logic to the Bill of Rights: "You have the right to worship as you please, provided that you are strong enough to defeat those who don't want you to worship." That's no "right" at all. That's Orwellian, anti-democratic sophistry.

Anyway, I will be glad to supply more Patriot quotes. I am gathering some from the many that could be cited to use in a thread I'm going to post soon on the parallels between the Patriot and Confederate positions and the British and Union positions.

Finally, a word about Texas v. White. This is an absolute joke of a decision to cite on secession. It's worse than the lame one that Taney supported during the war. Texas v. White was, of course, crafted by Salmon P. Chase, who had served in Lincoln's cabinet. So it's no surprise that he would declare that secession was unconstitutional.

Incredibly, as Cory Genelin notes in his American Thinker article on the decision, "Chase makes no statement as to the validity of secession undertaken by a majority vote of a state legislature and enacted by its executive." Genelin notes that Chase's historical arguments were often wrong, that he provided little citation of precedents (because he couldn't), that Chase even mischaracterized how Texas became a state, and that Chase's attempt to use the Articles of Confederation was "confusing." Genelin concludes,

In summary, Texas v. White, even if given the utmost respect, and considered binding precedent, does not stand for the proposition that no state may ever break its bonds with the Federal Government of the United States. At the same time, if it is considered the final word on the Federal Government's right to prohibit a state from seceding, then that right is far from established.
Chase couldn't cite a single statement from the Constitution that the federal union was supposed to be perpetual because the Constitution contained no such statement.

Chase couldn't cite a single constitutional statement that a state could not revoke its ratification because no such statement could be found in the Constitution.

The Supremacy Clause is an erroneous argument to use against secession. The clause, needless to say, only applies to states that have ratified the Constitution. But if a state revokes its ratification, then obviously it is no longer bound by the Supremacy Clause. When Madison was asked by Hamilton on behalf of New York if ratification could be revoked, he did not invoke the Supremacy Clause. He merely said, on his own authority alone, that ratification was irrevocable. The New York ratification convention rejected Madison's unsupported opinion and even included a statement in their ratification ordination that indicated that ratification could be revoked. Madison did not protest. And it's worth asking: Why did Hamilton even have to ask Madison this question? One obvious answer is that he saw nothing in the Constitution that addressed it.

And let it be noted that once again, for the UMPTEENTH TIME, you have been unable to provide ONE, SINGLE quote of a patriot expressing "moral outrage that the British would not allow the colonies to leave in peace." Yet you STILL continue to assert the claim, which anyone with any knowledge of the American Revolution knows is patent bull****, and now you somehow change the topic to Texas v. White, which has absolutely nothing to do with our conversation. This is downright pathetic.
 
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NedBaldwin

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Incredibly, as Cory Genelin notes in his American Thinker article on the decision, ...

Do you find this Genelin person a reputable writer or scholar? I dont.

Here is a quote from the article: "When Texas putatively seceded, its governor, G. W. Paschal, remained loyal to the Union and was replaced by a governor loyal to the Confederacy." Texas has never had a governor named Paschal.

I also find the reasoning is this article to be weak. So I don't think your attempt at an appeal to authority worked in your favor.
 

JerseyBart

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Colonists: taxed w/0 representation, silenced, housing troops if England said so, no part in any decision making process in England, under the watchful eyes of British governors and police with overall leadership an ocean away.

Southern States: were states, with plenty of representation, part of the decision making process, had to abide the same laws people in northern states had to, leadership in D.C. Which they held a majority a good bit of time prior to Lincoln.

Southern states piggy-backing a "right" to independence or revolution like the colonists of 1775 was/is an excuse. They weren't getting their way, they felt the institution of slavery to be threatened and they wanted out: legally, illegally and with force as soon as possible. It didn't matter. They would say and do almost anything to get out. It's okay to admit it. It's what happened. They said it themselves. Why make excuses that need not be made or make comparisons that don't compare? They wanted out. They tried their darnedest. It failed.
 

brass napoleon

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...Why make excuses that need not be made or make comparisons that don't compare?...

Because Mike's modern-day, DiLorenzo-driven agenda is to blame everything on Lincoln. And thus it becomes necessary to distort even the most fundamental, rudimentary concepts of history.
 

jgoodguy

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(1) As we talk about Texas v White, it's useful to review what the Court said. It did not say that secession was unconstitutional, per se. It said that unilateral secession was unconstitutional. This opinion might have been informed by the words of James Madison, who is sometimes called the Father of the Constitution. During the 1830's Nullification Crisis, in which SC not only threatened to nullify federal law, but to secede as well if its demands weren't met, Madison said this in a communication to Nicholas Trist:

TO N. P. TRIST. December 23, 1832.

DEAR Sir,—I have received yours of the 19th, enclosing some of the South Carolina papers. There are in one of them some interesting views of the doctrine of secession—one that had occurred to me, and which for the first time I have seen in print-— namely, that if one State can, at will, withdraw from the others, the others can, at will, withdraw from her, and turn her, nolentem, volentem, out of the Union. Until of late, there is not a State that would have abhorred such a doctrine more than South Carolina, or more dreaded an application of it to herself. The same may he said of the doctrine of nullification, which she now preaches as the only faith by which the Union can be saved.

I partake of the wonder, that the men you name should view secession in the light mentioned. The essential difference between a free government and governments not free, is, that the former is founded in compact, the parties to which are mutually and equally bound by it. Neither of them, therefore, can have a greater right to break off from the bargain, than the other or others have to hold them to it. And certainly there is nothing in the Virginia resolutions of 1798 adverse to this principle, which is that of common sense and common justice. The fallacy which draws a different conclusion lies in confounding a single party with the parties to the constitutional compact of the United States. The latter having made the compact, may do what they will with it. The former, as one only of the parties, owes fidelity to it till released by consent, or absolved by an intolerable abuse of the power created.

In the Virginia resolutions and report the plural number, States, is in every instance used where reference is made to the authority which presided over the Government. As I am now known to have drawn those documents, I may say, as I do with a distinct recollection, that the distinction was intentional. It was, in fact, required by the course of reasoning employed on the occasion. The Kentucky resolutions, being less guarded, have been more easily perverted.

The pretext for the liberty taken with those of Virginia is the word respective, prefixed to the “rights,” &c to be secured within the States. Could the abuse of the expression have been foreseen or suspected, the form of it would doubtless have been varied. But what can be more consistent with common sense, than that all having the same rights, &c, should unite in contending for the security of them to each?

It is remarkable how closely the nullifiers, who make the name of Mr. Jefferson the pedestal for their colossal heresy, shut their eyes and lips whenever his authority is ever so clearly and emphatically against them. You have noticed what he says in his letters to Monroe and Carrington, pages 43 and 203, vol. ii, with respect to the powers of the old Congress to coerce delinquent States, and his reasons for preferring for the purpose a naval to a military force; and, moreover, that it was not necessary to find a right to coerce in the federal articles, that being inherent in the nature of a compact. It is high time that the claim to secede at will should be put down by the public opinion; and I shall be glad to see the task commenced by one who understands the subject.

Here is something of interest:

From Madison above: The former (single state), as one only of the parties (the States), owes fidelity to it (the Constitution) till released by consent, or absolved by an intolerable abuse of the power created.

From Texas v White: The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

Texas v White may have drawn from Madison's language to craft its ruling. Madison says that consent is required for a state to leave the US. Or it can be absolved by an abuse of power; and revolutions are the method to deal with such abuses.

(2) In his book Texas Versus White: A Study in Legal History, by William Whatley Pierson, the author discusses Madison's thoughts on secession:

From the premise that the Union is a compact to which the States are parties, Madison drew certain conclusions as to the responsibility of the United States and the States in the performance and observance of their mutual constitutional obligations. There were occasions when it became the duty of the States to interfere in order to check the encroachment of the general government upon the limitations prescribed by the Constitution. Thus the rights and powers of the States and the liberties of their people would be preserved. On the other hand, the States had engaged themselves in this compact, and must govern themselves accordingly. They could not release themselves from the compact at their own pleasure.

From Madison's Works, Hunt (editor), IX, 355-356: "It is the nature and essence of a compact that it is equally obligatory upon the parties to it, and that no one of them can be liberated therefrom without the consent of the others, or such a violation of it, or abuse of it by the others, as will amount to a dissolution of the compact. . . . Applying a like view of the subject to the United States it results that the compact being among individuals as embodied into States, no State at pleasure can release itself therefrom, and set up for itself. The compact can only be dissolved by consent of the other parties, or by the usurpation of power justly having that effect. It would hardly be contended that there is anything in the compact authorizing a party to dissolve it at pleasure."
(3) My own view is that, the Constitution is silent on the issue of secession/dissolution. Rather than infer something that was not in the text, the Court basically went back to the basic building block of the Union and the Constitution, namely a convention of the states, or, some other process by which the consent of the states could be granted.

- Alan

As an addendum here is what Texas v White actually says about secession.

6. When Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
 

NedBaldwin

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It was. However the other 12 States that ratified the Constitution gave RI an ultimatum to ratify the Constitution or be a foreign State.

I dispute that claim. As far as I am aware, the action Congress considered was cutting off trade putting punishing tarrifs on goods from RI.
 
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Elennsar

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I dispute that claim. As far as I am aware, the action Congress considered was cutting off trade putting punishing tarrifs on goods from RI.
Do you or anyone else have their exact words? I don't have any document handy to quote, which is why I ask - I'm sure someone has poured over the period sources.
 

jgoodguy

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is a terrible thing...
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Expulsion from the US? "Accept the new club rules or we're kicking you out of the club." style.

Since it was not done exactly how is not known.

I dispute that claim. As far as I am aware, the action Congress considered was cutting off trade putting punishing tarrifs on goods from RI.

That would seem to me to be treating RI as a foreign government as that could not be done to a State.

The Ratification of the Constitution - National Archives
Faced with threatened treatment as a foreign government,

Rhode Island History: Chapter 3 - State
Fortunately, a number of equally influential factors turned the tide in favor of ratification. These included the desire of the holders of national securities and continental loan office certificates to be paid by a strong, fiscally sound central government. Coastal towns desiring federal reparation for wartime losses had a similar desire. The local press -- Peter Edes's Newport Herald, John Carter's Providence Gasette, and Bennett Wheeler's U.S. Chronicle (Providence) -- all urged ratification. Such a plea was aided by the prestige and integrity of the new national leaders, especially Washington, and by congressional passage of a Bill of Rights to safeguard individual liberties from federal invasion. The proposed federal assumption of state debts was a carrot, and the economic coercion exerted upon alien Rhode Island by the new central government (a tariff and a demand for debt payment) was a stick. Most bizarre was Providence's threatened secession from the state on the eve of the May convention if that body rejected or deferred ratification once more. In the end, a nearly immovable object yielded to an irresistible force; Rhode Island joined the union, which had left it behind and embarked upon a new era of economic and political development.
 

ole

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Independence is not one of the inalienable rights. Rebellion is. But rebellion has a price.

Ever since humans climbed out of the trees, they've formed clans and tribes and societies with mutual aims. If a hunter/gatherer society co-existed with an agrarian society, they made a compact to live together in peace. If two such societies came into conflict, both would rally and there would be a mini-war. One would prevail and the other would have to recognize that they were not independent, but were part of a larger society. Of such were countries born.

All were, in their sphere, independent ... until a war or a rebellion came along to interfere with their mutual tolerance of each other (Constitution?).

And then came royalty ... a natural development in the progression.

Bye and bye came the desire to shed royalty for some kind of independence which required the inalienable right of rebellion. Some rebellions were successful and were then designated revolutions. Some were not and a lot of people died as rebels.

The long and short of it is that the Confederacy rebelled to gain independence. It lost so the Civil War cannot be called a revolution. It had every natural right to rebel, but its right to Independence was dependent on a successful rebellion. That didn't happen.

The short part is that there is no natural right of independence. One has to fight for that. God didn't grant it.
 

ForeverFree

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Colonists: taxed w/0 representation, silenced, housing troops if England said so, no part in any decision making process in England, under the watchful eyes of British governors and police with overall leadership an ocean away.

Southern States: were states, with plenty of representation, part of the decision making process, had to abide the same laws people in northern states had to, leadership in D.C. Which they held a majority a good bit of time prior to Lincoln.

Southern states piggy-backing a "right" to independence or revolution like the colonists of 1775 was/is an excuse. They weren't getting their way, they felt the institution of slavery to be threatened and they wanted out: legally, illegally and with force as soon as possible. It didn't matter. They would say and do almost anything to get out. It's okay to admit it. It's what happened. They said it themselves. Why make excuses that need not be made or make comparisons that don't compare? They wanted out. They tried their darnedest. It failed.

I agree with what you say. The way I put it is like this: the secessionists had the right to revolt, and at least some invoked that right during the Confederate rebellion. But all rebellions are not alike. The conditions that were extant during the Patriot's rebellion were not extant during the Confederate rebellion. When people say the Confederate revolution "was like" the Patriot rebellion, some might interpret that to mean the conditions that led to those two rebellions were the same. But that interpretation is just plain wrong.

-Alan
 
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