Was there anything Virginia could have done to keep West Virginia from seceding?

major bill

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What if anything could have Virginia done to keep West Virginia from seceding and forming West Virginia? I guess we would have to agree that West Virginia actually seceded from Virginia. It appears that the U.S. Legislature did not have a problem with this occurring and Supreme Court did nothing to stop this. In the end the Supreme Court gave this their blessing and their is no higher court that could reverse the decision of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court even agreed that Berkeley County and Jefferson had seceded from Virginia if though these wo counties were not allowed to vote.

I was wondering is there was any legal, political, or military action that Virginia could have taken to stop West Virginia from leaving and forming thier own state? It does appear that the majority of the people in the western section of Virginia did want to form their own state once Virginia seceded from the Union. Still it was not like the people of West Virginia did not keep this plan to secede from Virginia if Virginia left the Union a secret. So the state of Virginia did have a short time to counter this from occurring.
 

ErnieMac

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By the time the Civil War broke out the damage had already been done. Political and economic power were centered in the eastern Tidewater. The western counties had been slighted for years and deeply resented it. IMO the only way Virginia could have held onto the west would have been to have maintained a strong military presence there. Given the infrastructure of what is now West Virginia and the logistical requirements to operate there, that wasn't feasible.
 

major bill

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By the time the Civil War broke out the damage had already been done. Political and economic power were centered in the eastern Tidewater. The western counties had been slighted for years and deeply resented it. IMO the only way Virginia could have held onto the west would have been to have maintained a strong military presence there. Given the infrastructure of what is now West Virginia and the logistical requirements to operate there, that wasn't feasible.

Had it not been for the Civil War would have Virginia eventually divided in to Virginia and West Virginia? I understand that the people in the western part of Virginia were not happy with how they were treated by the eastern Tidewater, but was there enough resentment in western Virginia for them to have left and formed there own state? I am not sure if eastern Virginia would have agreed to allow Virginia to be broken up.
 
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I am no legal beagle but I think Irishtom is probably right, Virginia would have to go to war with the counties in western Virginia to force them to stay.
But this does make an interesting topic, and I suppose any group of countries can separate from a state and form their own state.
As a native Virginian I think it’s appropriate to add a new twist.
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ErnieMac

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Had it not been for the Civil War would have Virginia eventually divided in to Virginia and West Virginia? I understand that the people in the western part of Virginia were not happy with how they were treated by the eastern Tidewater, but was there enough resentment in western Virginia for them to have left and formed there own state? I am not sure if eastern Virginia would have agreed to allow Virginia to be broken up.
I do not think eastern Virginia would have consented. Constitutionally that would have ended the discussion.
 

uaskme

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Vote wasn’t legal.

Rosecrans chased off all of the Confederates. So the Confederates couldn’t hold West VA. Unionist along with Federal Troops filled the Void. None of these Votes were anything close to Fair. So sentiment will never be known. Same thing in KY, MD and MO. Lincoln would of taken East TN if he could of gotten Troops there.
 

NedBaldwin

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Vote wasn’t legal.

Rosecrans chased off all of the Confederates. So the Confederates couldn’t hold West VA. Unionist along with Federal Troops filled the Void. None of these Votes were anything close to Fair. So sentiment will never be known. Same thing in KY, MD and MO. Lincoln would of taken East TN if he could of gotten Troops there.

Law enforcement (Rosecrans) clean out the riff raff and the law abiding citizens vote. Seems legal and fair to me
 

Rusk County Avengers

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What if anything could have Virginia done to keep West Virginia from seceding and forming West Virginia? I guess we would have to agree that West Virginia actually seceded from Virginia. It appears that the U.S. Legislature did not have a problem with this occurring and Supreme Court did nothing to stop this. In the end the Supreme Court gave this their blessing and their is no higher court that could reverse the decision of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court even agreed that Berkeley County and Jefferson had seceded from Virginia if though these wo counties were not allowed to vote.

I was wondering is there was any legal, political, or military action that Virginia could have taken to stop West Virginia from leaving and forming thier own state? It does appear that the majority of the people in the western section of Virginia did want to form their own state once Virginia seceded from the Union. Still it was not like the people of West Virginia did not keep this plan to secede from Virginia if Virginia left the Union a secret. So the state of Virginia did have a short time to counter this from occurring.
Without getting into the legality of West Virginia's secession, (kind of questionable, but it was extraordinary times), I'm gonna say there was nothing that could be done to prevent it. Of course West Virginia got some counties that weren't for the secession from Virginia proper, and that did go to the Supreme Court post-war, but yeah no court was gonna rule in Virginia's favor when it came to secession. Lots of prejudices...

Western Virginia and the rest of Virginia had not been getting along for a while, with the West claiming they weren't properly represented in Richmond. 1861 was just the final straw, or good excuse some prominent Western Virginians had been looking for.

Which reminds me, I need to grab a copy of Seceding from Secession, I keep forgetting to.
 

Lubliner

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Had it not been for the Civil War would have Virginia eventually divided in to Virginia and West Virginia? I understand that the people in the western part of Virginia were not happy with how they were treated by the eastern Tidewater, but was there enough resentment in western Virginia for them to have left and formed there own state? I am not sure if eastern Virginia would have agreed to allow Virginia to be broken up.
Virginia had a way like the amoeba, dividing itself. Remember Kentucky was once a part of Virginia, and politically divided herself from the former. So there stands a good chance due to the imbalance of power Virginia would have divided again without the Civil War being fought.
Lubliner.
 

Lost Cause

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Article IV, Section 3 of the US Constitution:

“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.”

Lincoln’s input on the situation:

“The division of a State is dreaded as a precedent. But a measure made expedient by a war, is no precedent for 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 by that name, there is still difference enough between secession against the constitution, and secession in favor of the constitution.”

https://www.civilwarprofiles.com/lincoln-signs-proclamation-admitting-new-state-of-west-virginia/

The irony of Lincoln recognizing secession, when, according to him, Virginia never left the Union.
 

16thVA

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What if anything could have Virginia done to keep West Virginia from seceding and forming West Virginia? I guess we would have to agree that West Virginia actually seceded from Virginia. It appears that the U.S. Legislature did not have a problem with this occurring and Supreme Court did nothing to stop this. In the end the Supreme Court gave this their blessing and their is no higher court that could reverse the decision of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court even agreed that Berkeley County and Jefferson had seceded from Virginia if though these wo counties were not allowed to vote.

I was wondering is there was any legal, political, or military action that Virginia could have taken to stop West Virginia from leaving and forming thier own state? It does appear that the majority of the people in the western section of Virginia did want to form their own state once Virginia seceded from the Union. Still it was not like the people of West Virginia did not keep this plan to secede from Virginia if Virginia left the Union a secret. So the state of Virginia did have a short time to counter this from occurring.
The evidence provided by voting returns and enlistments do not show real support for a new state. West Virginia made a very lousy Union state, it was the only Union state that did not give the majority of its soldiers to the Union (only about half), and it was the only Union state that had counties that formally voted to secede from the Union. There was no way for Richmond to stop it once the bill hit Congress other than for a Confederate victory or truce. This quote is from a Morgantown newspaper published on the very day of statehood (June 20, 1863) regarding Lincoln's new call for soldiers.

"The first thing that will strike every one is that the draft on West Virginia is largely disproportioned to our resources. Less than half the territory of West Virginia can be reached by our authorities. Whenever we go south of the N.W. Va. Railroad [B&O], we shall find but few counties, if any, in which a draft can be executed to do any good. So that practically it must fall on some dozen counties of the Northwest.

Just a month previously the Jones-Imboden raid took place. The raid had no chance at all to stop statehood since the last necessary vote for statehood had taken place before the raid. Only a Confederate victory in the war would have done that. Imboden also had little understanding of the resources available, there was no way he could have enlisted 2 regiments in a month-long raid. He did very well with the 500+ men raised at a time when Wheeling was begging out of the last quota and were paying recruits good bounties for enlistment.
 
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