Thomas Jefferson, Secession, and States Rights

jgoodguy

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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.
If we get into principal, my bets are on the antislavery contingent.
I prefer the muck and mire of greed and politics.
 

Andersonh1

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If we get into principal, my bets are on the antislavery contingent.
I prefer the muck and mire of greed and politics.

And this is my problem with this approach. Men who are wrong on principle about slavery can be right about other things. Anti-slavery men are right on that principle but can be wrong on other things. I prefer not to say "that guy is a slaveholder, so he's always wrong" or "that guy hates slavery, so I'm going to take his side on everything". People are a complicated mix, and we invite oversimplification and inaccuracy when we judge by just the one issue of where they stood on slavery.
 

jgoodguy

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And this is my problem with this approach. Men who are wrong on principle about slavery can be right about other things. Anti-slavery men are right on that principle but can be wrong on other things. I prefer not to say "that guy is a slaveholder, so he's always wrong" or "that guy hates slavery, so I'm going to take his side on everything". People are a complicated mix, and we invite oversimplification and inaccuracy when we judge by just the one issue of where they stood on slavery.

Complicated to be sure, and detail is good, but in the end most humans are self serving. If a fellow murders a child, do we look at the murder, the extenuating circumstances or simple report the facts.
 

Andersonh1

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Complicated to be sure, and detail is good, but in the end most humans are self serving. If a fellow murders a child, do we look at the murder, the extenuating circumstances or simple report the facts.

Child murder is not the same as men of the 1860s participating in slavery, an institution that had existed since recorded history began, and which the world of the 19th century was casting off as society changed. Not everyone accepted that change at the same rate or for the same reasons, but that does not make them monsters or incapable of being right and principled in other areas of life.
 

jgoodguy

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Child murder is not the same as men of the 1860s participating in slavery, an institution that had existed since recorded history began, and which the world of the 19th century was casting off as society changed. Not everyone accepted that change at the same rate or for the same reasons, but that does not make them monsters or incapable of being right and principled in other areas of life.

It is unremarkable for humans to be inhumane to fellow men and gracious in other areas.
 

48th Miss.

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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.
Interesting way of putting it. Thanks
 

48th Miss.

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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.
Dont plan to to start anything like that, Just pointing to the evolution that took place and why I am skeptical of Court opinions. They may get the last word since the Country has moved that way but that last word can change with the next appointment or drop of a hat.

But off topic and I dont want to derail where we are.
 
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48th Miss.

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Each state did consent. Congress had to pass a law saying a new state was part of the United States.
Not to be hard headed but to clarify your statement.

As it relates to the first 13 States only. Each state ratified and joined individually and did not have the approval of the other 12. Is that correct or not?. Or are you saying they ratified then formed Congress who then pronounced the Union formed and gave their blessing to 13.

Now after the first 13 each new territory had to have congress and the states accept them but not the first states. I seem a bit lost. Thanks
 
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jgoodguy

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Not to be hard headed but to clarify your statement.

As it relates to the first 13 States only. Each state ratified and joined individually and did not have the approval ofnthw other 12. Ia that correctnor not?. Or are you saying they ratified then formed Congress who then pronounced the Union formed and gave their blessing to 13.

Now after the first 13 each new territory had to have congress and the states accept them but not the first states. I seem a bit lost. Thanks
Took 9 to create the union. First 13 got to get in by ratification by virture of being in the Articles of Confereration. After that Congress does the admitting of new States.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

ARTICLE IV, SECTION 3, CLAUSE 1

ARTICLE VII
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The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
 

48th Miss.

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Took 9 to create the union. First 13 got to get in by ratification by virture of being in the Articles of Confereration. After that Congress does the admitting of new States.
Thanks, it just seemed to me cash was saying Va had a say in NY being a state.

I'm gonna have to go back in the thread and regroup my thought.

Thanks
 

unionblue

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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.

Perhaps "delusional?"
 

Andersonh1

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Perhaps "delusional?"

That is not my impression, no. Feel free to read some of it for yourself and form your own impression. They seem like sober, serious, thoughtful men, well aware of the possible consequences of the decision they had to make.
 
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Andersonh1

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As it relates to the first 13 States only. Each state ratified and joined individually and did not have the approval ofnthw other 12. Ia that correctnor not?. Or are you saying they ratified then formed Congress who then pronounced the Union formed and gave their blessing to 13.

The original 13 states had to all ratify the Articles of Confederation for it to go into effect. When it came to revision and then replacement of the Articles, only 12 of the states participated in the Constitutional Convention, and only 9 of the 13 had to ratify for the Constitution to go into effect. Had the remaining four states never joined, the Union would have existed without them and they would have been independent, since the Union under the AOC was no more. They did all ratify, though North Carolina took a year and a half, and Rhode Island took two years.

The decision of one state was not binding on another. Each individually chose to join or not. Once the requisite nine had ratified, the Constitution went into effect and the states moved forward with setting up the new government. It is accurate to say that the first nine states to ratify the Constitution created our present Union, the remaining four pre-existing states joined that Union, and every subsequent state has been created under the rules laid out in the Constitution.
 

48th Miss.

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The original 13 states had to all ratify the Articles of Confederation for it to go into effect. When it came to revision and then replacement of the Articles, only 12 of the states participated in the Constitutional Convention, and only 9 of the 13 had to ratify for the Constitution to go into effect. Had the remaining four states never joined, the Union would have existed without them and they would have been independent, since the Union under the AOC was no more. They did all ratify, though North Carolina took a year and a half, and Rhode Island took two years.

The decision of one state was not binding on another. Each individually chose to join or not. Once the requisite nine had ratified, the Constitution went into effect and the states moved forward with setting up the new government. It is accurate to say that the first nine states to ratify the Constitution created our present Union, the remaining four pre-existing states joined that Union, and every subsequent state has been created under the rules laid out in the Constitution.

Thanks, that is and was my basic understanding.

So am I correct that now we are tring to find out why the 13 Originals and the few that joined prior to the CW were confused or did not understand what they joined, what they gave up, what they retained. That the "We the People"is clearer now than it was then.
I wonder if it was ignorance, apathy, deceit or what that defined or redifined the terms.

Thanks
 

jgoodguy

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Perhaps "delusional?"
Perhaps their point of view was too focused and missed larger picture. Happen when wealth and way of life is threatened.
The original 13 states had to all ratify the Articles of Confederation for it to go into effect. When it came to revision and then replacement of the Articles, only 12 of the states participated in the Constitutional Convention, and only 9 of the 13 had to ratify for the Constitution to go into effect. Had the remaining four states never joined, the Union would have existed without them and they would have been independent, since the Union under the AOC was no more. They did all ratify, though North Carolina took a year and a half, and Rhode Island took two years.

The decision of one state was not binding on another. Each individually chose to join or not. Once the requisite nine had ratified, the Constitution went into effect and the states moved forward with setting up the new government. It is accurate to say that the first nine states to ratify the Constitution created our present Union, the remaining four pre-existing states joined that Union, and every subsequent state has been created under the rules laid out in the Constitution.
Technically the AOC could have continued with 4 States. However only 2 remained in the AOC and not in the new union when it adjourned for the last time.
 

Andersonh1

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Thanks, that is and was my basic understanding.

So am I correct that now we are tring to find out why the 13 Originals and the few that joined prior to the CW were confused or did not understand what they joined, what they gave up, what they retained. That the "We the People"is clearer now than it was then.
I wonder if it was ignorance, apathy, deceit or what that defined or redifined the terms.

Thanks

I think there's a good discussion of the issues in this article, and Turley comes to one conclusion that while Lincoln's view would probably prevail in a court (and he clearly favors Lincoln's view), neither side had an overwhelming argument. Prior to the Civil War, both sides had points of history and language in their favor. I've pulled two quotes, but I would encourage anyone to read the entire article to get the full context.

https://jonathanturley.org/2010/09/24/uncivil-action-was-lincoln-wrong-on-secession/

But the Civil War was largely fought over equally compelling interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. Which side was the Constitution on? That’s difficult to say.

The interpretative debate—and ultimately the war—turned on the intent of the framers of the Constitution and the meaning of a single word: sovereignty—which does not actually appear anywhere in the text of the Constitution.

Southern leaders like John C. Calhoun and Jefferson Davis argued that the Constitution was essentially a contract between sovereign states—with the contracting parties retaining the inherent authority to withdraw from the agreement. Northern leaders like Abraham Lincoln insisted the Constitution was neither a contract nor an agreement between sovereign states. It was an agreement with the people, and once a state enters the Union, it cannot leave the Union.

---------------------------------


Neither side, in my view, had an overwhelming argument. Lincoln’s position was the one most likely to be upheld by an objective court of law. Faced with ambiguous founding and constitutional documents, the spirit of the language clearly supported the view that the original states formed a union and did not retain the sovereign authority to secede from that union.
 

Andersonh1

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Technically the AOC could have continued with 4 States. However only 2 remained in the AOC and not in the new union when it adjourned for the last time.

That's something I had wondered about. Did the government under the articles continue for the states not in the Union? I don't think that's the case, and had assumed that adoption of the Constitution ended the operation of the AOC, and that Rhode Island and North Carolina were independent of the US and each other for the time they had not ratified.
 

unionblue

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That is not my impression, no. Feel free to read some of it for yourself and form your own impression. They seem like sober, serious, thoughtful men, well aware of the possible consequences of the decision they had to make.

Andersonh1,

I have read the words of these men and I have come to the strong conclusion, they weren't serious enough about their decisions or the tragic consequences of those decisions.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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