The Real Cause of Secession

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
Yes, and you don't get the context of a document entitled "Declaration of Independence," which reads that
"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
They were simply being formal and diplomatic.
But unlike the colonies, the seceding parties were already independent states.
So they didn't have to be technically accurate in their assertions for secession, since it was their absolute right as independent states.


You are still dodging the question: Texas claimed they abandoned their independence when they joined the United States. I notice you have ignored this repeatedly. Why?
 

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
Yes, and you don't get the context of a document entitled "Declaration of Independence," which reads that
"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
They were simply being formal and diplomatic.
But unlike the colonies, the seceding parties were already independent states.
So they didn't have to be technically accurate in their assertions for secession, since it was their absolute right as independent states.


States that a few years later explicitly agreed to give their sovereignty to the people of the United states, their Supremacy to the Laws of the United States, their Judicial Review to the Courts of the United States, without any such stipulations as you are claiming above.

Again, if they were " already independent states" why did Texas claim to have " abandoned her separate national existence" in the exact document where they issued their causes for secession?
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Only if we ignore the US Constitution.
No, that would be claiming that it unites the independent states as dependent states as a single new independent state.
As you do.

I think you simply ignore any historical document, or really any document, that contradicts your own opinions.
Of course you do. Because you don't have the facts, or care about them; and so opinion is all you see, as a self-fulfilling prospect.
Just as you see "the people of of the United States" as being a single group in a single independent state, despite the fact that the context was pre-ratification.
And therefore as I said: you're reading in circles to bear out your own prejudices.
And that's not good history.
 
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Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Now you're ignoring context on purpose.
States that a few years later explicitly agreed to give their sovereignty to the people of the United states, their Supremacy to the Laws of the United States, their Judicial Review to the Courts of the United States, without any such stipulations as you are claiming above.

Independent states don't need to stipulate their independence.
On the contrary, they need to stipulate the sort of alterations of it that you claim took place; and they did not make any.
So everything in the Constitution, was in the context of any agreement between independent states, which does not stipulate ending any state's independence; and your inferences are thus invalidated.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Semantics has its place, and I admit, my disdain for the term "civil war" is a bit weird, especially in a discussion titled CivilWarTalk. But here's why I avoid its use. Civil is an adjective indicating a relationship to ordinary citizens, (military is an antonym by the way,) or describing something courteous and polite. Neither definition fits well with the connotation one gets from the noun, war, which is armed hostile conflict between states or nations, or from the verb form, war, which denotes vigorous conflict in general.

The WBTS was, technically, a war between two distinct nations, a Union of states from the North against a Confederation of states to their South, and moreover, both extended from the founding idea that "These united colonies are, and of a right out to be, free and independent states." So, the title of "War Between the States" is admissible by theory and colloquially as well.
So if if it was a war between the states how does that explain the fact that 104k white Southeners in the eleven Confederate States fought for the Union has well documented in the book " Lincoln's Loyalists Union soldiers from the Confederacy" Richard Current North East University Press.
How does one say it was a war between the states if well over 150k Southern men of color joined the United States Coloured Troops fought for the Union?
The American Civil War was not a war between the states but between those who supported the an independent slave republic vs those who supported the United States.
By the same token a small amount of Northern whites fought for the Confederacy vs many Southern whites fought against the Confederacy as Unionist guerrillas.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
You an have interesting view of concession. Much like your opinion that the US Constitution is meaningless.
I never said that.
I said that it was an agreement between independent states; by which it means exactly what the independent member-states say it means, as with any agreement between independent states. (Other than arbitrarily interpreting it to claim that it ended any member-state's independence, as modern charlatans claim).
You are the one claiming that it terminated their respective independence; but you can't support that claim with valid facts. Just old myths.
And that's not history.
 
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Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
Of course you do. Because you don't know that you don't know.

No, that would be claiming that it unites the independent states as dependent states as a single new independent state.
As you do.


Of course you do. Because you don't have the facts, or care about them; and so opinion is all you see, as a self-fulfilling prospect.
Just as you see "the people of of the United States" as being a single group in a single independent state, despite the fact that the context was pre-ratification.
And therefore as I said: you're reading in circles to bear out your own prejudices.
And that's not good history.


I have been hearing this same DOI based argument on the internet for 30+ years. It is neither compelling, nor particularly interesting, nor is your argument, as voiced in this thread, one of the better ones to be presented. I have repeatedly asked about various on point historical documentation, and you seem to be completely ignorant, willful or otherwise, of all of it. Such ignorance is certainly your right, and you may continue to practice it as you see fit.
 

Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
I never said that
I said that it was an agreement between independent states; by which it means exactly what the independent member-states say it means, as with any agreement between independent states.
You are the one claiming that it terminated their respective independence, but you can't support it with valid facts. Just old myths.
And that's not history.


When you say the explicit wording of the US Constitution is not "valid facts" and "just old myths" that confirms exactly my contention that in your opinion "the US Constitution is meaningless."
 

BuckeyeWarrior

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Location
Ohio
Has no power over independent states.
Actually the Supreme Court does have power over any state in the Union. Article VI clause 2 states in part;
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

The constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to interpret the laws and the constitution. It has done so for over 200 years. Your assertion that it has no power over the states is contradicted by the constitution and 200+ years of American history.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
When you say the explicit wording of the US Constitution is not "valid facts" and "just old myths" that confirms exactly my contention that in your opinion "the US Constitution is meaningless."

The Constitution's explicit wording never even mentions any state's independence.
Therefore it is an agreement between independent states, since it never explicitly alters such in any way.

Independent states do not lose their independence to unite as larger nations, simply by failing to expressly retain it; as Blackstone’s Commentaries had noted that in the case of a nonconfederate, “incorporate union” such as the 1707 union of England and Scotland, no rescission option existed:
“The two contracting states are totally annihilated [qua sovereign states], without any power of revival; and a third arises from their conjunction, in which all the rights of sovereignty … must necessarily reside.”
However the precise wording in that 1707 document that united England and Scotland into the single nation of Great Britain, specifically proclaimed this:
That the two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall, upon the first Day of May next ensuing the Date hereof, and for ever after, be united into one Kingdom by the Name of Great-Britain, and that the Ensigns Armorial of the said united Kingdom, be such as her Majesty shall appoint; and the Crosses of St. Andrew and St. George be conjoined in such a manner as her Majesty shall think fit, and used in all Flags, Banners, Standards, and Ensigns, both at Sea and Land.

This is because such a union can only be explicitly conducted by the independent states themselves. It can never be inferred by outside interpretation; for the obvious reason that independent states are their own final authority, and therefore any outside inference would be inherently void by want of authority.

And this new “one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain,” was the very nonconfederate, “incorporate union” state from which the Founders seceded; and therefore they would naturally be the first to know the difference between agreements among dependent vs. independent states.

In contrast, neither the Constitution, or any other American founding document, ever likewise explicitly united the individual independent states together, to create a single new independent-state, to which they would become dependent states.

Even the federal government did not claim this.

Only you make that allegation.

Rather, the Constitution is a agreement among independent states; just as with the UN or the EU, or indeed the Articles of Confederation.

The main difference is that it is established by the people of each independent state; and they simply delegate various powers to state and federal governments, as detailed in the body of the Constitution.

So it does not mean what you think it means.
 
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Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Actually the Supreme Court does have power over any state in the Union.
Only as delegated by the people of each independent state, who were the ratifying power therein.
As in "We the people of of the United States" in the pre-ratification context of each state retaining its "freedom, sovereignty and independence."
And the constitution mentions nothing about changing any of those, so they remain as they were; as with any agreement among independent states.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
I have been hearing this same DOI based argument on the internet for 30+ years. It is neither compelling, nor particularly interesting, nor is your argument, as voiced in this thread, one of the better ones to be presented.

Do you mean that

1. that the individual states were never independent; or
2. they were independent at first, but chose to unite as dependent states of a single unified independent state?

Because neither is the case. From the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776:

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.

So the states were declared as 13 independent states, in every respect; and "the United States of America" were simply a continental union among them, much like the European Union. Even the name of their respective continent, is the sole uniting feature of both, by name: i.e. it is not a proper name (ala "Columbia" etc), but only a descriptive title, i.e. "these independent states of this particular geographic region."

And from the Articles of Confederation:
Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

So this “perpetual union” did not unite the states into a single independent state; only a second union of independent states like the EU: i.e. a continental union of independent states to which certain powers were simply delegated.

And this independent-state status was never changed by any ensuing agreements or acts, and so they remained independent states by law, in perpetuity to this date.

This is why the federal government did originally not seek to claim point #2 above, since it would be transparently false to claim that "they were independent states at first, but lost that status later."

On the contrary, the federal government claimed some time after the Constitution, that they had never been independent states.
And that was an outright revision of history, to claim powers they did not have, over those who did.
 
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Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
The Constitution's explicit wording never even mentions any state's independence.
Therefore it is an agreement between independent states, since it never explicitly alters such in any way.

Independent states do not lose their independence to unite as larger nations, simply by failing to expressly retain it; as Blackstone’s Commentaries had noted that in the case of a nonconfederate, “incorporate union” such as the 1707 union of England and Scotland, no rescission option existed:

However the precise wording in that 1707 document that united England and Scotland into the single nation of Great Britain, specifically proclaimed this:


This is because such a union can only be explicitly conducted by the independent states themselves. It can never be inferred by outside interpretation; for the obvious reason that independent states are their own final authority, and therefore any outside inference would be inherently void by want of authority.

And this new “one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain,” was the very nonconfederate, “incorporate union” state from which the Founders seceded; and therefore they would naturally be the first to know the difference between agreements among dependent vs. independent states.

In contrast, neither the Constitution, or any other American founding document, ever likewise explicitly united the individual independent states together, to create a single new independent-state, to which they would become dependent states.

Even the federal government did not claim this.

Only you make that allegation.

Rather, the Constitution is a agreement among independent states; just as with the UN or the EU, or indeed the Articles of Confederation.

The main difference is that it is established by the people of each independent state; and they simply delegate various powers to state and federal governments, as detailed in the body of the Constitution.

So it does not mean what you think it means.


You simply refuse to consider the simple text of the Constitution. I can't help you with that. Documents regarding England and Scotland do not in any way change the US Constitution. As Judge Story explained in 1816

"The constitution of the United States was ordained and established, not by the states in their sovereign capacities, but emphatically, as the preamble of the constitution declares, by 'the people of the United States.' There can be no doubt that it was competent to the people to invest the general government with all the powers which they might deem proper and necessary; to extend or restrain these powers according to their own good pleasure, and to give them a paramount and supreme authority. As little doubt can there be, that the people had a right to prohibit to the states the exercise of any powers which were, in their judgment, incompatible with the objects of the general compact; to make the powers of the state governments, in given cases, subordinate to those of the nation, or to reserve to themselves those sovereign authorities which they might not choose to delegate to either. The constitution was not, therefore, necessarily carved out of existing state sovereignties, nor a surrender of powers already existing in state institutions, for the powers of the states depend upon their own constitutions; and the people of every state had the right to modify and restrain them, according to their own views of the policy or principle. On the other hand, it is perfectly clear that the sovereign powers vested in the state governments, by their respective constitutions, remained unaltered and unimpaired, except so far as they were granted to the government of the United States. "

If you can quote me saying anything about dependent states please do so. If you cannot, you will have at least one of the many weaknesses in your argument exposed.
 
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Eric Calistri

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Austin Texas
Do you mean that

1. that the individual states were never independent; or
2. they were independent at first, but chose to unite as dependent states of a single unified independent state?

Because neither is the case. From the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776:



So the states were declared as 13 independent states, in every respect; and "the United States of America" were simply a continental union among them, much like the European Union. Even the name of their respective continent, is the sole uniting feature of both, by name: i.e. it is not a proper name (ala "Columbia" etc), but only a descriptive title, i.e. "these independent states of this particular geographic region."

And from the Articles of Confederation:


So this “perpetual union” did not unite the states into a single independent state; only a second union of independent states like the EU: i.e. a continental union of independent states to which certain powers were simply delegated.

And this independent-state status was never changed by any ensuing agreements or acts, and so they remained independent states by law, in perpetuity to this date.

This is why the federal government did originally not seek to claim point #2 above, since it would be transparently false to claim that "they were independent states at first, but lost that status later."

On the contrary, the federal government claimed some time after the Constitution, that they had never been independent states.
And that was an outright revision of history, to claim powers they did not have, over those who did.


The nature of the United States was fundamentally altered with the ratification of the Constitution by the people of the United States. I again recognize your need to ignore the US Constitution.

But why do you have such trouble with this question:

If they were "already independent states" why did Texas claim to have " abandoned her separate national existence" in the exact document where they issued their causes for secession?

Is it simply because your view was not shared by these secessionists?
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
The nature of the United States was fundamentally altered with the ratification of the Constitution by the people of the United States.
I again recognize your need to ignore the US Constitution.
No, you're recognizing your need to ignore context... as usual.

Fact: The people of each independent state, ratified the Constitution for their own state: independently.

They did not do so as a single group, with any stipulated intention of uniting them as dependent states of a new independent unified state named "The United States of America."

Therefore your insinuation that the Constitution altered any state's independence, is not supported by any evidence.
And again: it wasn't even claimed by the federal government, because of that very fact.

On the contrary, the federal government claimed that the Constitution did not form a new union among the states; but that it continued the same one formed in 1774.
Which did not happen, and was never an independent state.
Ever.
But why do you have such trouble with this question:

If they were "already independent states" why did Texas claim to have " abandoned her separate national existence" in the exact document where they issued their causes for secession?

You're the one who has trouble, providing citation... you know, for context.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
No, you refuse to consider the context...as always, it seems.
As I explained, the 1707 Articles of Union set recognized precedent for independent states uniting as a single independent state.
But it also demonstrates how this requires explicit stipulation of such contained in the agreement, by which the independent states agree to relinquish their separate independence via ratifying it.

The Constitution contains none... and no, the words "We the people of the United States" is not such an express stipulation of relinquishing sovereignty by independent states, and it's frivolous and ignorant to suggest such.
Read on:

Don't believe every Story you read; plain history shows that didn't happen.
The Constitution was ratified by state convention, for the particular state only.
Each convention was comprised of deputies specially elected by the people of the particular state, for their state only-- or not.

This is why Article VII of the Constitution requires the conventions of only nine states or more to ratify it, in order to carry it into effect between the ratifying states.

And therefore the phrase "the people of the United States" refers to the people of whatever independent states did ratify it; since clearly the Framers had no way of knowing which states would ratify.

If it required ratification of all 13 states, then clearly they would be named; but as James Madison explained in Federalist No. 40, "the forbearance can only have proceeded from an irresistible conviction of the absurdity of subjecting the fate of twelve States to the
perverseness or corruption of a thirteenth."

And since they were independent states before the Constitution, then they ratified it as such; and the people of each independent state became the sovereign power over their independent state.


And there's no need to quote you saying anything about dependent states.
Your entire argument claims, with zero supporting facts, that the USA is an independent state, and that the individual states are dependent states thereof.

This was not the case in 1776, as the federal government once claimed; and it wasn't the case anytime afterward.
 
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Steve Roberts

Private
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Federation : A group of states with a central government but independence in internal affairs; a federation.

Confederation : A confederation is a union of sovereign groups or states, united for purposes of common action.

The war settled which the United States was.
Rhode Island, the last hold out to ratify the new laws , the Constitution, was bound to the Union into perpetuity but operated isolated, outside the protection and benefits of the Constitution. When threaten with severing commercial ties they relented and ratified the constitution. With her ratification all 13 original states were bound to the constitution.The people chose.
had the south won, constitutionality would have been irrelevant and so also the north, by winning, also made the constitution irrelevant regardless of which side was right or wrong.
 

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