So what if the war was about slavery?

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Andersonh1

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I have to point out you aren't disagreeing with him, but with Confederate founding fathers who made it clear in their secession documents of 1860-61 that they were seceding mostly over the issue of slavery.

They quote part of the 1852 secession ordinance in the 1860 secession declaration. That gives it weight and meaning in 1860. I do take these men at their word, which is exactly why I know there is more going on than just slavery at a motivation. What I do not fully understand is why you and others like Unionblue can't see the other reasons alongside slavery.
 

Horrido67

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They quote part of the 1852 secession ordinance in the 1860 secession declaration. That gives it weight and meaning in 1860. I do take these men at their word, which is exactly why I know there is more going on than just slavery at a motivation. What I do not fully understand is why you and others like Unionblue can't see the other reasons alongside slavery.

Again, secession did not happen in 1852 because slave states other than SC hardly cared enough to secede from the US over issues other than slavery and the situation over slavery had not reached a breaking point in 1852. No Bleeding Kansas, No caning of Sumner and no John Brown's raid. When the secession crisis happened in 1860-61, the first lot of seceding states repeatedly said without any reservation or shame that their "position" was "thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world." in 1860-61. I do take these men at their word, too and that is why I understand that slave states seceded from the US mostly over the issue of slavery in 1860-61. Again, you are not disagreeing with me or other members like Unionblue, but with Confederate founding fathers who knew exactly what they were doing - attempting to break away from the US and found an independent country that would help them to spread and preserve their "peculiar institution".
 

Duncan

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So what if the war was about slavery? Would the fact (if it were a fact) have any bearing on the question of which side had justice on its side in the war?
[/QUOTE]

No it would not, because even if one accepts the idea that the Confederate States seceded to protect a particular system of labor, that system was legal and constitutional. In fact, it could just as easily, and truthfully, be argued that the seceded states declared independence to protect their constitutional rights. The reason it is necessary to conflate secession and "slavery", which are two entirely separate issues, is to enable the false claim that the war was fought, on behalf of the United States, to advance the cause of "freedom". But again that claim is, quite obviously, false.
 

unionblue

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So what if the war was about slavery? Would the fact (if it were a fact) have any bearing on the question of which side had justice on its side in the war?

No it would not, because even if one accepts the idea that the Confederate States seceded to protect a particular system of labor, that system was legal and constitutional. In fact, it could just as easily, and truthfully, be argued that the seceded states declared independence to protect their constitutional rights. The reason it is necessary to conflate secession and "slavery", which are two entirely separate issues, is to enable the false claim that the war was fought, on behalf of the United States, to advance the cause of "freedom". But again that claim is, quite obviously, false.
[/QUOTE]

No slavery, no secession.

You cannot have one without the other. The written record is too plain and too long to ignore this fact.
 

Duncan

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No it would not, because even if one accepts the idea that the Confederate States seceded to protect a particular system of labor, that system was legal and constitutional. In fact, it could just as easily, and truthfully, be argued that the seceded states declared independence to protect their constitutional rights. The reason it is necessary to conflate secession and "slavery", which are two entirely separate issues, is to enable the false claim that the war was fought, on behalf of the United States, to advance the cause of "freedom". But again that claim is, quite obviously, false.

No slavery, no secession.

You cannot have one without the other. The written record is too plain and too long to ignore this fact.
[/QUOTE]


That is positively false. South Carolina threatened to secede over the tariff in 1828. And the Union is not Holy, and it was not ordained by a deity or some supernatural power. It is nothing more than a political agreement among men and between states. It can be, and was, rescinded.
 
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unionblue

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Unionblue said:

No slavery, no secession.

You cannot have one without the other. The written record is too plain and too long to ignore this fact.



@Duncan replied: That is positively false.

Unionblue: No, it's absolutely true. Slavery was THE issue that caused Southern secession.

South Carolina threatened to secede over the tariff in 1828.

And when you research the reason South Carolina took that step in 1828, you will find slavery was at the bottom of that so-called threat.

And the Union is not Holy, and it was not ordained by a deity or some supernatural power.

Yet millions of men who fought for it felt it was something special, something unique among nations.

It is nothing more than a political agreement among men and between states.

A political agreement among the men of the states, the people, in other words.

It can be, and was, rescinded.

Only when the people, all the people, decide to do such and unilateral secession rescinded nothing.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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Duncan

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Unionblue said:

No slavery, no secession.

You cannot have one without the other. The written record is too plain and too long to ignore this fact.



@Duncan replied: That is positively false.

Unionblue: No, it's absolutely true. Slavery was THE issue that caused Southern secession.

South Carolina threatened to secede over the tariff in 1828.

And when you research the reason South Carolina took that step in 1828, you will find slavery was at the bottom of that so-called threat.

And the Union is not Holy, and it was not ordained by a deity or some supernatural power.

Yet millions of men who fought for it felt it was something special, something unique among nations.

It is nothing more than a political agreement among men and between states.

A political agreement among the men of the states, the people, in other words.

It can be, and was, rescinded.

Only when the people, all the people, decide to do such and unilateral secession rescinded nothing.

Sincerely,
Unionblue

When you research the ratifying process, you will discover that it was the people of the respective states who ratified the Constitution, each state ratifying for itself and only for itself. It is therefore the unquestioned right of each state to abrogate its ratification, once again each state abrogating for itself and only for itself.
 
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trice

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When you research the ratifying process, you will discover that it was the people of the respective states who ratified the Constitution, each state ratifying for itself and only for itself. It is therefore the unquestioned right of each state to abrogate its ratification, once again each state abrogating for itself and only for itself.

Where is this written in the law?
 

unionblue

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When you research the ratifying process, you will discover that it was the people of the respective states who ratified the Constitution, each state ratifying for itself and only for itself. It is therefore the unquestioned right of each state to abrogate its ratification, once again
each state abrogating for itself and only for itself.

@Duncan ,

In answer to your argument above, I present the reasoning of the Supreme Court case of McCulloch v. Maryland.

"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 posses supreme domination.

"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 obligation, or pretensions to it. It was then 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 safely, 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 measures of the people themselves, or become the measure of state governments.

"From these conventions the constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is 'ordained and established' in the name of the people; and is declared to be ordained 'in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to them selves and to their posterity.' The assent of the states, in their sovereign capacity, is implied in calling a convention, and thus submitting that instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it; and their act was final. It required not the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the state governments. The constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the state sovereignties."

I would suggest the following for further information on the ratification of the constitution.

Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788, by Pauline Maier.

America's Constitution: A Biography, by Akhil Reed Amar.

The Constitution: An Introduction, by Michael Stokes Paulsen and Luke Paulsen.

The Debate on the Constitution; Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification Part One and Part Two.

Unionblue
 

Duncan

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But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it; and their act was final. It required not the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the state governments.
Can you please show me where the Constitution declares that the act of ratification was final? Or, in the alternative, can you please show me where any of the 13 separate and distinct state ratifications contains an oath or pledge of perpetuity? I mean, at least one of the thirteen ratifications contains such an oath or pledge, so it should be easy, right?

And to give you a more complete understanding of both the Constitution and the ratification process, I would suggest the following reading materials:

Article VII

Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788, by Pauline Maier.

William Rawle: A View of the Constitution: 1829

St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings [1803]

Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution: 1827
 
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trice

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When you research the ratifying process, you will discover that it was the people of the respective states who ratified the Constitution, each state ratifying for itself and only for itself. It is therefore the unquestioned right of each state to abrogate its ratification, once again each state abrogating for itself and only for itself.
Where is this written in the law?
Have you not read the ratifications?

Yes, I have. Where is it that you say this was written into the law?
 

unionblue

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@Duncan ,

I don't need to show you anything to show the constitution was ratified by the people of the United States.

It is recorded history. It has been used by the Supreme Court in many of it's rulings, so it is an established fact of law.

As for Rawle and Tucker, they are not considered constitutional experts nor is their impact on the proceedings of ratification of any historical note. They are merely giving an opinion and I rate them the same as I do those on this forum who do the same.

Wanting a thing does not make it a fact.

Wanting the States to be considered the ones who ratified the constitution is a mere construct in order to build a base for some justification of the South's unilateral secession and the protection of slavery.

It's a construct built on opinion and wistful thinking, not actual history.

It cheapens the people of the time that worked so hard to bring about a unique form of government where the people held their own future in their own hands.

That I will not do.

Unionblue
 

Duncan

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Yes, I have. Where is it that you say this was written into the law?

If you are asking if there was either a constitutional provision which negated the right to secede, or if there was a federal statute written to make secession illegal, you are quite correct. There is nothing in either the Constitution, or in any federal law, which makes secession illegal. Excellent question.
 
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thomas aagaard

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If you asking if there was either a constitutional provision which negated the right to secede, or if there was a federal statute written to make secession illegal, you are quite correct. There is nothing in either the Constitution, or in any federal law, which makes secession illegal. Excellent question.
Expect the fact that it is federal law that define what is and is not a state in the US
A statehouse simply don't have the authority to change the makeup of the union.

It is up to congress if you want to change something like this.


In the case of the original states, you can argue that they can simply rescind their rectification of the Constitution.
That is what South Carolinian did.

But that is not an option for any of the newer states.
And even if a "new" state could remove their status as a state, that would just change their legal status back to a US territory or what ever it was before the area became a state. The area would still be part of the US.
 

Duncan

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Expect the fact that it is federal law that define what is and is not a state in the US
A statehouse simply don't have the authority to change the makeup of the union.

It is up to congress if you want to change something like this.


In the case of the original states, you can argue that they can simply rescind their rectification of the Constitution.
That is what South Carolinian did.

But that is not an option for any of the newer states.
And even if a "new" state could remove their status as a state, that would just change their legal status back to a US territory or what ever it was before the area became a state. The area would still be part of the US.


There is no constitutional distinction between "new" states and "old" states. None whatsoever. All are equal under the Constitution. Also, there is nothing in the Constitution about seceded states reverting to the status of a territory upon secession (unless I somehow missed it, and if so, would you please point it out to me)?

So again, all that matters is that there in nothing, absolutely nothing, in the Constitution which prohibits a state from exercising the right of secession. And in like manner, there was absolutely no federal law which outlawed secession. None whatsoever. Accordingly, the decision whether or not to remain a member of the union is entirely up to the respective states.
 

thomas aagaard

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There is no constitutional distinction between "new" states and "old" states. None whatsoever. All are equal under the Constitution. Also, there is nothing in the Constitution about seceded states reverting to the status of a territory upon secession (unless I somehow missed it, and if so, would you please point it out to me)?

So again, all that matters is that there in nothing, absolutely nothing, in the Constitution which prohibits a state from exercising the right of secession. And in like manner, there was absolutely no federal law which outlawed secession. None whatsoever. Accordingly, the decision whether or not to remain a member of the union is entirely up to the respective states.
There is no "right of secession" in the american system.
(Unlike in some other federal republics)

There is a right of revolution, but that is explicitly a moral right and not a legal one.


It is congress that define what is and is not a state in the Union. (Not the president and not the states)
For an area to become a state Congress need to Pass bill saying so.

Without an explicit right to get out or change something it is congress and only congress that can do that.

So the only legal way for a state to get out would be for Congress to pass a new bill saying they are out.

If Congress did this, then the old bill that made the area a state is no longer in effect.
Unless the new bill explicitly say what the new status is the area would revert to what ever legal status it had before becoming a state.

In most cases the result would be that the land still belong to the US... just as a US Territory (that is Territory as a legal definition), or as unorganized US territory (as in the land is owned by the US).

This is really civics 101. If congress pass a bill about something. (And it is not vetoed, challenged in court and so on) then that is the law. And the only authority that can change that is congress.


And there is a difference between old and new states, in what they where before becoming a state in the union.
(S the difference is outside the Constitution)
South Carolina didn't claim to be using a right of secession. They repealed their rectification of the Constitution.

" We, the People of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the Ordinance adopted by us in Convention, on the twenty-third day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and eighty eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all Acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying amendment of the said Constitution, are here by repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of "The United States of America," is hereby dissolved "

Because of this they where (in their view) no longer part of the US.
 

trice

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When you research the ratifying process, you will discover that it was the people of the respective states who ratified the Constitution, each state ratifying for itself and only for itself. It is therefore the unquestioned right of each state to abrogate its ratification, once again each state abrogating for itself and only for itself.
Where is this written in the law?
Have you not read the ratifications?
Yes, I have. Where is it that you say this was written into the law?
If you are asking if there was either a constitutional provision which negated the right to secede, or if there was a federal statute written to make secession illegal, you are quite correct. There is nothing in either the Constitution, or in any federal law, which makes secession illegal. Excellent question.

So what you said in your first post listed above is not accurate? When you said that it was an "unquestioned right of each state to abrogate its ratification" you meant that no such legal right actually exists?
 

wausaubob

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The entire justification for Southern independence hinges on the principle that because they wanted to leave they should be allowed to leave, and having declared their intention to leave they were justified in doing whatever they wanted to achieve and preserve that independence, without regard for the US government they were leaving.

In other words: they made a selfish, unilateral political decision that included theft and an act of war - all to protect slavery against perceived threats.
Other than secession, all the other issues pale into insignificance.
In the Confederate version of the future, there would two contending nations in the center of North America. They would contend with each other for dominance. The weapons would improve in killing power and destructiveness, until one nation smashed the other.
The Republicans rejected this future. They explicitly campaigned on the proposition that slavery would be prohibited in the western territories, and that the paid labor economy would remain absolutely dominant in the middle of the continent. They proposed this in their platform. The fought for it in the Civil War. The policy succeeded in the war, and then it was strictly enforced after the war.
The Confederate ambition was for a nation that would protect and expand slavery.
Such an expansion was contrary to the policies of the United Kingdom, British North America, republican Mexico, and a successful and powerful coalition of northern states. In 1787 it seemed radical to abandon slavery and pay wages to all workers. By 1860 there was overwhelming evidence that it wasn't radical, it worked. And since the cost of voluntary immigration from Europe was falling, and Europeans liked the American system in which people could swear an oath of loyalty and become American, there was evidence that paid labor and democracy worked.
And in fact, once legal importation of slaves ended in 1807, and illegal importation of slaves failed after 1850, slavery itself was fading towards the south and the southwest.
So the fact that the Confederacy was advocating the territorial expansion of slavery was doomed to fail. The slave population, when illegal importation ended, grew at the rate of 23% per decade. But the population of the paid labor states was growing at the rate of 41% per decade.
So the Confederacy was supporting a system that was falling behind and could not fill up its own territory. As an example, by 1860 Iowa had a larger population than Texas.
 
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