Was change of government from the AOC to the Constitution a “Secession”

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
On what legal basis do you determine that Rhode Island was part of the Union in that time period between the implementation of the Constitution and Rhode Island's ratification of it? Can you provide sources to support your view? The facts demonstrate to me that they were in fact not in the Union, but that Congress/the other states gave them time and leeway in the hope that they would ultimately join, but after a number of votes rejecting ratification, finally had enough.
The Union of the United States existed before the Constitution and continues under it. The United States existed before the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The Supreme Court of the United States has steadfastly maintained for more than two centuries that the United States began on July 4, 1776 and has continued as the same country ever since. (Madison said July 2, 1776, but the Supreme Court said July 4, 1776).

As to the votes: they were deliberate attempts to avoid the instructions to call a convention. When Rhode Island did finally call a convention, that convention did (eventually) ratify the Constitution after meeting in March and May.

Against this, what legal basis can you present? What sources support your view? What fact can you show that says yes, what you want to see actually happened? Can you actually find a document from Rhode Island saying they are leaving the Union? Can you show a document from the United States telling Rhode Island they are out of the Union?
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
That term "Rogue Island" always irks me. It betrays some possessiveness on the part of those using it towards the citizens of Rhode Island, as if they had no right to live and run their own state the way they saw fit.

I have never seen that interpretation before, from anyone. It surprises me very much, and I cannot recall ever seeing anything that would have led me to attach that meaning to it.

The country tended to use that term (also a bunch of others) for Rhode Island because they were constantly a thorn in everybody's side. They refused, for example, to ratify the impost of 1781 (the other 12 States all did, then Rhode Island said no). That forced the Congress to rely on requisitions for money -- Rhode Island was always a problem (so were Virginia and New York, just not as big a pain as Rhode Island). They actually had a "Paper Money Party" in Rhode Island advocating just printing paper money to pay the bills -- leading to very high inflation, worthless script, and great difficulties in trading outside the State. The situation in Rhode Island was much like that of Shay's Rebellion in Massachusetts (1786-87).

Here's Thomas Jefferson's opinion on them in a letter to Lafayette (written April 2, 1791 -- ten days after Jefferson arrived in New York to become Secretary of State):
"... The opposition to our new constitution has almost totally disappeared. Some few indeed had gone such lengths in their declarations of hostility that they feel it awkward perhaps to come over, but the amendments proposed by Congress, have brought over almost all their followers. If the President can be preserved a few years till habits of authority and obedience can be established, generally, we have nothing to fear. The little vaut-rien, Rhode-island will come over with a little more time. ..."

Google translates "vaut-rien" as "worthless". It is probably more like "rascal" or "scamp" or "good-for-nothing" here.
 

CW Buff

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Location
Connecticut
Maybe Washington and Hamilton were simply speaking as hypocrites, but if that's the case, even if the 1784 Washington quote should be understood to deny the right of secession, he obviously proved that he didn't mean what he said just 3 years later.

If I understand you right, you seem to be saying that the Confederation was an indissoluble union, and it was therefore hypocritical to dissolve the Confederation contrary to the AoCs and then deny individual states the right to dissolve their connections to the more perfect Union. If that's the case, where does the idea that the Confederation was an indissoluble union from?

If I tracked down the right quotes, it can't be Washington, because he doesn't call the Confederation an indissoluble union:
“There are four things, which I humbly conceive, are essential to the well being, I may even venture to say, to the existence of the United States as an Independent Power:

1st. An indissoluble Union of the States under one Federal Head.”
If Washington is calling for an indissoluble union in 1783, then it stands to reason he did not believe the AoCs provided one (i.e. that they already had one).
“Let the thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one great American system” Federalist 11
And Hamilton is promoting the ratification of the Constitution. The indissoluble Union he seeks will be provided by the Constitution, not the AoCs. Again, no sense in calling for something you already have. That's basically why the Framers didn't go with a revised AoCs.
 

Duncan

Guest
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Yes of course there was a secession. Thirteen states seceded from the Union under The Articles of Confederation and then joined the Union under the United States Constitution. It was a textbook secession, and a perfect example of what secession is.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
So how did the states get out of the Union under the Articles of Confederation? They left that union, right?

When I installed a new version of Windows on my computer it's still the same computer.

The United States of America formed in 1776 with a beta version of government, installed a new operating system called the Articles of Confederation in 1781, and upgraded to a new Constitution operating system in 1789.

The only secession occurred when the colonies declared themselves seceded from Great Britain.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
So how did the states get out of the Union under the Articles of Confederation? They left that union, right?

No, they never left. There is and always has been one and only one United States of America. It starts on July 4, 1776 (according to the Supreme Court). The name itself comes into official use about two months after that (they were calling themselves the United Colonies of America when they declared for independence and the Congress passed an act to change it after July 4). The United States of America has continued ever since, in good times and bad. No State has ever left it, although several did try in 1860-61.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
No, they never left. There is and always has been one and only one United States of America. It starts on July 4, 1776 (according to the Supreme Court). The name itself comes into official use about two months after that (they were calling themselves the United Colonies of America when they declared for independence and the Congress passed an act to change it after July 4). The United States of America has continued ever since, in good times and bad. No State has ever left it, although several did try in 1860-61.
It was a re-organization, like a successful Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The main creditor was Virginia, but Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania agreed. If New York and Virginia agreed on the re-organization, it was going to happen. Funny to think of any state being independent as in forming its own navy, appointing its own diplomatic corps or negotiating its own treaties. It was attempted once. The mass of 1860 people knew that was a formula for endless war, which leads to a fractured and militarized country.
 
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wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Of course these bodies of men in small states wanted the protection of the United States without having to pay their taxes.
And later people wanted to use the national government to enlarge the imperial domain of their economic system, without having to face any negative consequences if the national government changed policies.
 

Duncan

Guest
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
No, they never left. There is and always has been one and only one United States of America. It starts on July 4, 1776 (according to the Supreme Court). The name itself comes into official use about two months after that (they were calling themselves the United Colonies of America when they declared for independence and the Congress passed an act to change it after July 4). The United States of America has continued ever since, in good times and bad. No State has ever left it, although several did try in 1860-61.


False. And it's shocking to see this claim made by a unionist. Absolutely no disputes the fact that the union under the AOC was a political union of states. Every state left that union. It is as dead as Julius Caesar. And now the union exists under the U.S. Constitution.And what's more, is that unionists positively insist that the new union is a union of people. A union of states and a union of people are utterly and completely different things. So again, to see a unionist make this claim is stunning.
 

trice

Lt. Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
False. And it's shocking to see this claim made by a unionist. Absolutely no disputes the fact that the union under the AOC was a political union of states. Every state left that union. It is as dead as Julius Caesar. And now the union exists under the U.S. Constitution.And what's more, is that unionists positively insist that the new union is a union of people. A union of states and a union of people are utterly and completely different things. So again, to see a unionist make this claim is stunning.

Strangely, the United States Supreme Court seems to agree with me and disagree with you. Why do you think that is?
 

Duncan

Guest
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
@Joshism , @trice , and @wausaubob , in their above posts, have answered your above question far better than I could have.


Tell me, who were the Rhode Island Senators between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790? Name them both please. And who was the Congressman from Rhode Island between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790? And tell me, why did Rhode Island ratify the Constitution if it was already in the union? Why does the Historian Laureate of Rhode Island routinely note that Rhode Island was an Independent Republic between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790? Having an ambassador to Britain and an Army is not included among the internationally recognized criteria for statehood. Ratifying the Constitution and being represented in the Senate and House absolutely, positively, is required to be a member of the United States union.

PS- Below is a link to an Article entitled "Farewell to the Republic of Rhode Island". It was written by Patrick Conley, and he is the Historian Laureate for Rhode Island. Much more to follow. Thanks.


 
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Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
False. And it's shocking to see this claim made by a unionist. Absolutely no disputes the fact that the union under the AOC was a political union of states. Every state left that union. It is as dead as Julius Caesar. And now the union exists under the U.S. Constitution.And what's more, is that unionists positively insist that the new union is a union of people. A union of states and a union of people are utterly and completely different things. So again, to see a unionist make this claim is stunning.

I think people confuse the fact that the original and replacement Union were both made from the same component parts, but the fact that every state had to either agree with the new government or else end up outside the Union demonstrates that it was in fact a new Union entirely.
 

Duncan

Guest
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Strangely, the United States Supreme Court seems to agree with me and disagree with you. Why do you think that is?


So which is it? A League of States under the AOC, or a Union of People under the Constitution?
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Tell me, who were the Rhode Island Senators between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790? Name them both please. And who were the Congressman from Rhode Island between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790? And tell me, why did Rhose Island ratify the Constitution if it was already in the union? Why does the Historian Laureate of Rhode Island routinely note that Rhode Island was an Independent Republic between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790? Having an ambassador and an Army is not included among the internationally recognized criteria for statehood. Ratifiying the Constitution and being represented in the Senate and House absolutely, positively is.

PS- Below is a link to an Article entitled "Farewell to the Republic of Rhode Island". It was written by Patrick Conley, who is the Historian Laureate for Rhode Island. Much more to follow. Thanks.



@Duncan ,

I don't have to tell you as you have already been told, and with factual sources.

Fact of the matter is, the United States went from one set of operating rules, which stank to high heaven, to another set of operating rules chosen by the people.

It really is that simple.

Unionblue
 

Duncan

Guest
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
@Duncan ,

I don't have to tell you as you have already been told, and with factual sources.

Fact of the matter is, the United States went from one set of operating rules, which stank to high heaven, to another set of operating rules chosen by the people.

It really is that simple.

Unionblue


So who were the Rhode Island Senators and Congressmen between March 4, 1789, and May 29, 1790, under the new operating system? And what's up with the Historian Laureate for Rhode Island? Maybe you should apply for that job? It's really that simple.
 
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