State's Right to leave was Did the South have legal right to leave the Union?

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NedBaldwin

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"The Republican Congress even created three new states -- Kansas, West Virginia, and Nevada -- to help rig the 1864 election in favor of Lincoln, so concerned were they over pervasive antiwar sentiment and massive desertions from the federal army."
Just for our own education, Kansas was created before the civil war and Congress authorized West Virginia in 1862, when there was not yet the concern over the 1864 election.
 
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Hey, Mike. Welcome to the the best dang board on the Civil War ever.

As you can see, it has a Northern slant, but don't let that bother you much. We like to have you here. And that's a fact. It remains that we're glad you chimed in. We'll discuss most anything. Grab an oar and help move the boat.
You can say that again. lol
 
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ole

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I liked JGG's explanation mentioned a page or two back.

We all know war was instigated on April 12th with the bombardment, but until there was retaliation (blockade) there were not two parties involved; therefore, the war began on April 19th.
 

Freddy

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I liked JGG's explanation mentioned a page or two back.

We all know war was instigated on April 12th with the bombardment, but until there was retaliation (blockade) there were not two parties involved; therefore, the war began on April 19th.
When Lincoln issued his request for 75,000 troops on April 15th he expressly said they would be used against "said combinations" meaning rebellious citizens and to enforce the laws of the US. That was a declaration of hostilities just as the April 19th declaration of a Blockade was also.
 

ole

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When Lincoln issued his request for 75,000 troops on April 15th he expressly said they would be used against "said combinations" meaning rebellious citizens and to enforce the laws of the US. That was a declaration of hostilities just as the April 19th declaration of a Blockade was also.
Have to do some mental gymnastics over that one, Freddy. Apparently, SCOTUS didn't consider that an act of war.
 
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Arwen

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If you want to be taken seriously by any student of the war, you'll stop reading DiLorenzo and read actual Civil War historians.

R
Can anyone give recommendations as to who to read? I'm just beginning my journey into studying the Civil War and your opinions would be appreciated.
 

Malingerer

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Can anyone give recommendations as to who to read? I'm just beginning my journey into studying the Civil War and your opinions would be appreciated.
I'm a fan of Maury Klein's "Days of Defiance". It reads like a novel but glosses over nothing. I'm sure other folks on the forum have their favorites as well.
 

cash

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Can anyone give recommendations as to who to read? I'm just beginning my journey into studying the Civil War and your opinions would be appreciated.
I suggest starting with James M. McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Battle Cry of Freedom. It's the best single volume history of the war available.

As to discussions of secession itself, most historians don't get into whether or not such a right existed, because they are more interested in saying what happened and why it happened. You'll find more information from Constitutional Law scholars. In that instance I'd recommend America's Constitution: A Biography by Akhil Reed Amar, Professor of Law at Yale University. It's more than just secession. It's a full volume about the Constitution so it gets into a lot more issues than just secession. Focusing more on the issues of the Civil War, including secession, you might find Lincoln's Constitution by Daniel Farber to be useful. An older book but still good is James G. Randall's Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln.
 
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DanF

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Have to do some mental gymnastics over that one, Freddy. Apparently, SCOTUS didn't consider that an act of war.
That is because it wasn't an act of war, it was a "police action" to deal with rebel inssurgents.
 

John Winn

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Can anyone give recommendations as to who to read? I'm just beginning my journey into studying the Civil War and your opinions would be appreciated.
I'll put in another vote for McPherson's Battle Cry as your best bet for a single-volume work on the war. As to secession per se, Randall doesn't spend much time on that although I do think his work is excellent (it's mostly about what transpired legally after secession and under the Lincoln administration). I like David Potter's discussion regarding secession in The Impending Crisis (chapter 17; The Nature of Southern Separatism). See if you can get a copy of his work from your library. It's all about what led to the war which is, IMO, the best place to start (although McPherson also covers that).

A fellow seeker.
 
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brass napoleon

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Can anyone give recommendations as to who to read? I'm just beginning my journey into studying the Civil War and your opinions would be appreciated.
It kind of depends on what you're area of interest is. For general interest, I think the aforementioned Battle Cry of Freedom is about as good as it gets. If you're more interested in the politics leading up to the war, I highly recommend David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis. If you're more interested in the military and social aspects of the war itself, you might also want to check out Shelby Foote's trilogy: The Civil War: A Narrative (although be advised that it doesn't have footnotes, and is not generally accepted here as a reference, even though it is largely accurate).
 

Freddy

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That is because it wasn't an act of war, it was a "police action" to deal with rebel inssurgents.
I agree because he did not use the term. Police action is a good fit. That is why I used the word "hostilities" to describe the situation in April 1861. I wonder when the actual word "war" was used by either government for the first time to describe the situation.
 
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