Restricted Debate The creation of West Virginia


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Eric Wittenberg

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Actually, it was the 14th Amendment, Article I, that overruled the Dred Scott decision. Sorry to be a nit-picker!

Eric, this is all very interesting, and will make for a good book, but some of those opinions are awfully long-winded! Couldn't they all have been more like Stanton's? :D
That's why the full texts of them will be in an appendix. :smile:
 

Eric Wittenberg

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What was the result of this meeting?
The decision was made to convert what started out to be a law review article into a book largely because there is no satisfactory book length treatment of the creation of the State of West Virginia, and Ted Savas has indicated that he's interested in publishing such a book.
 

jgoodguy

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The decision was made to convert what started out to be a law review article into a book largely because there is no satisfactory book length treatment of the creation of the State of West Virginia, and Ted Savas has indicated that he's interested in publishing such a book.
Sounds interesting.
 

jgoodguy

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Actually, it was the 14th Amendment, Article I, that overruled the Dred Scott decision. Sorry to be a nit-picker!

Eric, this is all very interesting, and will make for a good book, but some of those opinions are awfully long-winded! Couldn't they all have been more like Stanton's? :D
Both 13th and 14th amendments were needed. But by 1865 Dred Scott was mooted by events.
 

jgoodguy

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One of the things that makes no sense to me is how the state line between VA and WV was determined. Pretty much everybody in Mercer County, WV says their county (on the state line) did not vote to separate from Virginia, but was forced out anyway.
A book hopefully will cover all those kinds of details.
 

Cavalry Charger

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But a measure made expedient by a war is no precedent in times of peace. It is said that the admission of West Virginia is secession, and tolerated only because it is our secession. Well, if we call it that by name, there is still difference enough between secession against the Constitution and secession in favor of the Constitution
The matter of expediency is an interesting one. Something being expedient doesn't always make for the best solution in the long run. Now, I'm not arguing for or against, just bringing up a more philosophical point. Lincoln considered there was enough difference the two notions of secession to support it. I guess when he weighed up the options, expediency was the better option in the circumstances. But he clearly made the point it was also no precedent in times of peace.
 

Stone in the wall

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One of the things that makes no sense to me is how the state line between VA and WV was determined. Pretty much everybody in Mercer County, WV says their county (on the state line) did not vote to separate from Virginia, but was forced out anyway.
Most likely they were not given the chance to vote. Why wasn't Berkeley included with the first 48 counties (they didn't vote to secede in the first place)??? Jefferson is also added later. Frederick county (Winchester) was almost taken? Looks pretty shady and unorganized and poorly thought out to me,
 
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RochesterBill

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One of the things that makes no sense to me is how the state line between VA and WV was determined. Pretty much everybody in Mercer County, WV says their county (on the state line) did not vote to separate from Virginia, but was forced out anyway.
At the Battle of Lewisburg, in Greenbrier County (one county over from Mercer) the Confederate commander, none other than Henry Heth, announced to the townsfolk that he was getting ready to beat the heck out of the Union forces that were entering the area.

Apparently not one single County resident voted in favor of leaving Virginia and very much wanted back in.

Reportedly the town was so excited by this news that they organized a big celebration, started cooking up a feast and decorating the place in anticipation of the rivers of Union blood which would soon run in the hills surrounding.

Unfortunately, Heth's dispositions and artillery placements were so badly flawed that the Federal force took almost no time at all in routing the rebels, sending them running back across the line into Old Virginia.

The townsfolk were reportedly despondent, since this action (minor though it was - under 100 Confederate dead) demonstrated conclusively that their dreams of being rescued from having to be part of West Virginia were pretty much gone.

I can't wait for this book. For some reason I've seen more discussion of this topic in various places in the last six months than I've seen in 20 years.
 

jgoodguy

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At the Battle of Lewisburg, in Greenbrier County (one county over from Mercer) the Confederate commander, none other than Henry Heth, announced to the townsfolk that he was getting ready to beat the heck out of the Union forces that were entering the area.

Apparently not one single County resident voted in favor of leaving Virginia and very much wanted back in.

Reportedly the town was so excited by this news that they organized a big celebration, started cooking up a feast and decorating the place in anticipation of the rivers of Union blood which would soon run in the hills surrounding.

Unfortunately, Heth's dispositions and artillery placements were so badly flawed that the Federal force took almost no time at all in routing the rebels, sending them running back across the line into Old Virginia.

The townsfolk were reportedly despondent, since this action (minor though it was - under 100 Confederate dead) demonstrated conclusively that their dreams of being rescued from having to be part of West Virginia were pretty much gone.

I can't wait for this book. For some reason I've seen more discussion of this topic in various places in the last six months than I've seen in 20 years.
We have discussed it here off and on for years, someone comes it with it was not constitutional and it gets discussed, but it was constitutional-as constitutional as Vermont and Texas which was unusual for that matter.

What we lacked was the details of how it affected the people, the local politics etc.
 

jgoodguy

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There weren't enough pro Union counties in Western Virginia to make up a state. So Washington just took what it needed to make West Va. The peoples vote or wishes didn't matter.
Should be in the upcoming book, but war politics is not peace politics and if you say you are independent, then you do not have access to the US courts for relief.
 

Stone in the wall

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Should be in the upcoming book, but war politics is not peace politics and if you say you are independent, then you do not have access to the US courts for relief.
Yes I'm interested in Eric's upcoming book too. I'm for sure no lawyer or judge, but I have been an umpire and just call em as I se em. The political sides are pretty knew stuff to me, as my interests have been battles, people ect.
 

jgoodguy

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Yes I'm interested in Eric's upcoming book too. I'm for sure no lawyer or judge, but I have been an umpire and just call em as I se em. The political sides are pretty knew stuff to me, as my interests have been battles, people ect.
Battles seemed so boring to me, so I chose politics as my interest.
 

wausaubob

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It was not repeated. Instead the new states admitted after the war were as large as possible. Only the immigration states of North and South Dakota was that principal not followed.
The formation of West Virginia illustrates that when it comes to suppressing an internal rebellion, Congress has enormous power to do that in the way it thinks as best.
In the subsequent 153 years there has not been much effort to give up West Virginia's senators.
 

Stone in the wall

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It was not repeated. Instead the new states admitted after the war were as large as possible. Only the immigration states of North and South Dakota was that principal not followed.
The formation of West Virginia illustrates that when it comes to suppressing an internal rebellion, Congress has enormous power to do that in the way it thinks as best.
In the subsequent 153 years there has not been much effort to give up West Virginia's senators.
Sir , the part about the WV senators flew over my head, maybe a little more on that subject?
 

NedBaldwin

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We have discussed it here off and on for years, someone comes it with it was not constitutional and it gets discussed, but it was constitutional-as constitutional as Vermont and Texas which was unusual for that matter.
Right, I know Ive debated it on here several times.

The Constitutionality question hinges entirely on whether the legislature that met in May 1862 in Wheeling (commonly known as the Reorganized Government of Virginia) was legally the legislature of Virginia for purposes of giving consent to form a new state.
If it was, then the Constitutional process was followed; if it wasnt, then the creation of West Virginia was an unConstitutional action.
In this thread I have not seem Eric give any reason why it wasnt; Cash made a solid argument why it was.
 

jgoodguy

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Right, I know Ive debated it on here several times.

The Constitutionality question hinges entirely on whether the legislature that met in May 1862 in Wheeling (commonly known as the Reorganized Government of Virginia) was legally the legislature of Virginia for purposes of giving consent to form a new state.
If it was, then the Constitutional process was followed; if it wasnt, then the creation of West Virginia was an unConstitutional action.
In this thread I have not seem Eric give any reason why it wasnt; Cash made a solid argument why it was.
It was questionable before Luther v Borden, but not after that. A decision had to be made, it was and it is constitutionally supported. I think Texas v White makes a very good point on this even though it was referring to reconstruction governments.

12. In the exercise of the power conferred by the guaranty clause, as in the exercise of every other constitutional power, a discretion in the choice of means is necessarily allowed. It is essential only that the means must be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the power conferred, through the restoration of the State to its constitutional relations, under a republican form of government, and that no acts be done, and no authority exerted, which is either prohibited or unsanctioned by the Constitution.​
As an aside. Rawle's work "A View of the Constitution of the United States" alleged to teach secession at West Point contained a recipe for secession where if a State became a monarchy, it was automatically out of the Union. That was Pre Luther v Borden and that ruling closed off that method of secession.
 

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