Thomas Jefferson, Secession, and States Rights

jgoodguy

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The fact that is was never mentioned as illegal, never banned (even after the Civil War), and even to this day is not prevented speaks volumes.

Had it been made illegal at the founding of the nation, we would not be here today as a nation. The Union would have never formed because no one would agree to those terms. Salmon Chase as a Supreme Court justice tried to argue that the phrase "perpetual union" solidified the argument, but his argument actually backfires and proves him wrong due to its elimination from the Constitution.

If the phrase "perpetual union" was the best a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court could do, it shows just how weak the argument is.
Reb, your posts are a pleasure to read as always :thumbsup:.

Secession was limited to the mobs outside of the convention at Hartford (at least as far as I know), but the mobs wanted it badly.

Your personal opinion is noted.
 

cash

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In your readings on this NE issue did anybody tell these guys who spoke of secession that it was not possible. Since it was not discussed in convention then I assume it was just side chatter that still needed to be shot down.

Yes, folks told guys it was not possible. In fact, note the newspaper:

"No man, no association of men, no state or set of states has a right to withdraw itself from this Union, of its own accord. The same power which knit us together, can only unknit. The same formality, which forged the links of the Union, is necessary to dissolve it. The majority of States which form the Union must consent to the withdrawal of any one branch of it. Until that consent has been obtained, any attempt to dissolve the Union, or obstruct the efficacy of its constitutional laws, is Treason--Treason to all intents and purposes. . . . This illustrious Union, which has been cemented by the blood of our forefathers, the pride of America and the wonder of the world must not be tamely sacrificed to the heated brains or the aspiring hearts of a few malcontents. The Union must be saved, when any one shall dare to assail it." [Richmond Enquirer 1 November 1814]

President James Madison was concerned the Hartford Convention might be secessionist, so he sent a military officer to keep an eye on things and take action if it did turn secessionist. He made a thousand troops available to Jesup in that eventuality.

“The Madison administration sent Colonel Thomas Sidney Jesup to Hartford, ostensibly to raise recruits but primarily to keep an eye on the convention. If the delegates did seek secession, Jesup was supposed to secure the national arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts, and rally local Republicans to defend the union. To support Jesup, Monroe shifted one thousand troops from the Niagara front east to Greenbush near the Massachusetts line. ‘We should be prepared for all events,’ Jesup agreed. But the Federalist delegates were cautious men who settled for half measures.” [Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies, p. 415]
 

48th Miss.

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Yes, folks told guys it was not possible. In fact, note the newspaper:

"No man, no association of men, no state or set of states has a right to withdraw itself from this Union, of its own accord. The same power which knit us together, can only unknit. The same formality, which forged the links of the Union, is necessary to dissolve it. The majority of States which form the Union must consent to the withdrawal of any one branch of it. Until that consent has been obtained, any attempt to dissolve the Union, or obstruct the efficacy of its constitutional laws, is Treason--Treason to all intents and purposes. . . . This illustrious Union, which has been cemented by the blood of our forefathers, the pride of America and the wonder of the world must not be tamely sacrificed to the heated brains or the aspiring hearts of a few malcontents. The Union must be saved, when any one shall dare to assail it." [Richmond Enquirer 1 November 1814]

President James Madison was concerned the Hartford Convention might be secessionist, so he sent a military officer to keep an eye on things and take action if it did turn secessionist. He made a thousand troops available to Jesup in that eventuality.

“The Madison administration sent Colonel Thomas Sidney Jesup to Hartford, ostensibly to raise recruits but primarily to keep an eye on the convention. If the delegates did seek secession, Jesup was supposed to secure the national arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts, and rally local Republicans to defend the union. To support Jesup, Monroe shifted one thousand troops from the Niagara front east to Greenbush near the Massachusetts line. ‘We should be prepared for all events,’ Jesup agreed. But the Federalist delegates were cautious men who settled for half measures.” [Alan Taylor, The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies, p. 415]

As to the process the article mentions. Each state did not consent to the other states entry as would be the case after the first 13 formed the Union. Still confused a bit on that. Need more reading on the We the People referring to the Nation and not States.

Thanks for the reply
 

48th Miss.

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I had been under the impression that Texas v. White sorted this all out. No?
I will need to read this case. Not sure how i have avoided it. The sad truth is that the courts have strayed so they are not necessarily correct. Freedom of religion stayed on track for a 150 years but had been court eroded since at least 1947 and in some cases reversing themselves with in 5 years so just becuase they said it does not make it fact only the reality of the day.

I do however respect Scalia and he said, from what I have heard, that secession was not allowed in the way it was carried out but I need to take the time to find his full opinion on it.
 

Andersonh1

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I think it is pretty clear that they disregarded their forefathers and were dishonest to boot.

I've been reading through some of the Virginia secession convention that I linked to upthread (not all, there's a LOT of discussion there), and "dishonest" is not a description that comes to mind while reading what those men talked about. They are largely very serious about their duty and responsibilities and very sincere in their beliefs.
 

jgoodguy

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I've been reading through some of the Virginia secession convention that I linked to upthread (not all, there's a LOT of discussion there), and "dishonest" is not a description that comes to mind while reading what those men talked about. They are largely very serious about their duty and responsibilities and very sincere in their beliefs.
Which is why morality and history have such an uneasy relationship. History for the most part is the story of men doing rather distasteful things in order to have domination over other men, take their labor, land, women, wealth and so on and put lipstick on it to justify it. One can look at the lipstick of secession or one can look at the reality of it.
 

jgoodguy

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I will need to read this case. Not sure how i have avoided it. The sad truth is that the courts have strayed so they are not necessarily correct. Freedom of religion stayed on track for a 150 years but had been court eroded since at least 1947 and in some cases reversing themselves with in 5 years so just becuase they said it does not make it fact only the reality of the day.

I do however respect Scalia and he said, from what I have heard, that secession was not allowed in the way it was carried out but I need to take the time to find his full opinion on it.

Texas v. White | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

Warning aint much in Scalia's letter.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/ben-smith/2010/02/scalia-no-to-secession-025119

I am afraid I cannot be of much help with your problem, principally because I cannot imagine that such a question could ever reach the Supreme Court. To begin with, the answer is clear. If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, "one Nation, indivisible.") Secondly, I find it difficult to envision who the parties to this lawsuit might be. Is the State suing the United States for a declaratory judgment? But the United States cannot be sued without its consent, and it has not consented to this sort of suit.

I am sure that poetic license can overcome all that — but you do not need legal advice for that. Good luck with your screenplay.
 

jgoodguy

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I will need to read this case. Not sure how i have avoided it. The sad truth is that the courts have strayed so they are not necessarily correct. Freedom of religion stayed on track for a 150 years but had been court eroded since at least 1947 and in some cases reversing themselves with in 5 years so just becuase they said it does not make it fact only the reality of the day.

I do however respect Scalia and he said, from what I have heard, that secession was not allowed in the way it was carried out but I need to take the time to find his full opinion on it.

One other thing. Don't get me started on religion, I will eat you alive. One good reason we do not discuss it here, we have sharks here and more than one fellow thinking he knew something was disabused of that notion back in the day when we allowed it.
 

Andersonh1

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Which is why morality and history have such an uneasy relationship. History for the most part is the story of men doing rather distasteful things in order to have domination over other men, take their labor, land, women, wealth and so on and put lipstick on it to justify it. One can look at the lipstick of secession or one can look at the reality of it.

Morality is selectively applied to Civil War history as far as I can see.
 

jgoodguy

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Morality is selectively applied to Civil War history as far as I can see.

I think you see too much. OTOH defending the actions of bunch of yahoos, using force and deception to lead their fellow citizens into a bloody war to keep men in bondage takes a special skill set. Can be done and I have see it done well, but not with lost cause stuff.
 

cash

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As to the process the article mentions. Each state did not consent to the other states entry as would be the case after the first 13 formed the Union. Still confused a bit on that. Need more reading on the We the People referring to the Nation and not States.

Thanks for the reply

Each state did consent. Congress had to pass a law saying a new state was part of the United States.
 

Rebforever

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Which is why morality and history have such an uneasy relationship. History for the most part is the story of men doing rather distasteful things in order to have domination over other men, take their labor, land, women, wealth and so on and put lipstick on it to justify it. One can look at the lipstick of secession or one can look at the reality of it.
Personally, I accept historical facts such as those I have furnished you. Just because there were threats about the 3 times I have listed, I am more interested to know why there wasn't a direct law written into the Constitution.

I admire your ability to furnish information. I just don't have the time it takes so I attempt to keep answers short if I can.

thanks,
Marshall
 

Rebforever

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I think you see too much. OTOH defending the actions of bunch of yahoos, using force and deception to lead their fellow citizens into a bloody war to keep men in bondage takes a special skill set. Can be done and I have see it done well, but not with lost cause stuff.
Excuse me? They bloody war didn't start over keeping men in bondage.
It started, and you already know this, over secession. And the South was fighting to keep what they already had protected by the Constitution.
 

Andersonh1

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I think you see too much. OTOH defending the actions of bunch of yahoos, using force and deception to lead their fellow citizens into a bloody war to keep men in bondage takes a special skill set.

That's quite a misrepresentation of what actually happened. Or at the very least, far too broadly applied. There were, without any doubt, leaders who acted out of principle on both sides. Therein lies the tragedy.
 

jgoodguy

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Excuse me? They bloody war didn't start over keeping men in bondage.
It started, and you already know this, over secession. And the South was fighting to keep what they already had protected by the Constitution.

South was fighting to keep what they already had protected by the Constitution = fighting for the constitutional(CSA Constitution) right to own slaves = keeping men in bondage.
 

jgoodguy

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Personally, I accept historical facts such as those I have furnished you. Just because there were threats about the 3 times I have listed, I am more interested to know why there wasn't a direct law written into the Constitution.

I admire your ability to furnish information. I just don't have the time it takes so I attempt to keep answers short if I can.

thanks,
Marshall

I admire your brevity as opposed to other authors.

The short answer is that unilateral secession, as practiced in the 1860-61 was non consensual . If you believe that non consensual activities in a relationship are acceptable, then I suppose that is a position.
 
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