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When did Missouri Secede?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by Waterloo50, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Following the recent Trivia Bonus question here on CWT, I decided to look into the official date for Missouri's secession. After looking at a number of sites, I have become more confused about Missouri's secession than I was to begin with. Some sites claim that Missouri never officially seceded others give the date as October 31st 1861.
    and finally,
    Here's a quote to a response that someone gave to the same Missouri secession question some 10 years ago.

    In the face of General Lyon's rapid advance in the state, Jackson and Price were forced to flee the capital of Jefferson City on June 14, 1861. In the town of Neosho, Missouri, Jackson called the state legislature into session. They enacted a secession ordinance, recognized by the Confederacy on October 30, 1861. So technically yes and no, the state governor and all the southern supporters did in fact secede and set up a government recognized by the south. But the state as a whole remained in the union under the un-elected pro union government.

    I'd really appreciate a little clarity on the date.

    Regards
    Waterloo50
     

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  3. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    States do not secede. Governments and citizens rebel. In Missouri's case the rebellious government was just a rump government in exile.
     
  4. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Okay, I thought that states seceded, you learn something new everyday.
     
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  5. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    When Slidell and Mason finally made it to London in early 1862 they tried to convince Earl Russell that the people of Missouri and Kentucky had seceded.
    Foreign Secretary Russell had conflicting information from Ambassador Lyons, who was serving in Washington, D.C.
    As has been cited in other threads, Earl Russell remained unconvinced that the Confederate emissaries were depicting the events in Missouri and Kentucky accurately, and British policy remained unchanged.
     
  6. Lusty Murfax

    Lusty Murfax Corporal

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    In some people's minds the former Colonies in the Americas threw off the shackles of the British Crown and as independent sovereign States exchanged them for more stringent bonds to an undefined and minimally established Federal overlord, from which they could never leave. However, to answer your original question, the duly elected government of Missouri having been driven from it's Capitol did vote and pass a secession ordinance on October 31, 1981.

    Link: http://www.civil-war.net/pages/ordinances_secession.asp

    Missouri


    An act declaring the political ties heretofore existing between the State of Missouri and the United States of America dissolved.



    Whereas the Government of the United States, in the possession and under the control of a sectional party, has wantonly violated the compact originally made between said Government and the State of Missouri, by invading with hostile armies the soil of the State, attacking and making prisoners the militia while legally assembled under the State laws, forcibly occupying the State capitol, and attempting through the instrumentality of domestic traitors to usurp the State government, seizing and destroying private property, and murdering with fiendish malignity peaceable citizens, men, women, and children, together with other acts of atrocity, indicating a deep-settled hostility toward the people of Missouri and their institutions; and


    Whereas the present Administration of the Government of the United States has utterly ignored the Constitution, subverted the Government as constructed and intended by its makers, and established a despotic and arbitrary power instead thereof: Now, therefore,


    Be it enacted by the general assembly of the State of Missouri, That all political ties of every character new existing between the Government of the United States of America and the people and government of the State of Missouri are hereby dissolved, and the State of Missouri, resuming the sovereignty granted by compact to the said United States upon admission of said State into the Federal Union, does again take its place as a free and independent republic amongst the nations of the earth.


    This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.


    Approved by the Missouri Legislature on October 31, 1861.



    Present day "historians" can debate whether Missouri's elected officials had the the authority to secede, whether they formed a legal quorum or whether their replacement by the Federal U.S. government with the appointment of men whose loyalty to that government trumped their loyalty to Missouri was proper and rendered the popularly elected officials irrelevant. The fact is that those men representing Missouri did in fact secede from the U.S. and join the Confederate States.
     
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  7. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Indeed you do. I think the secessionists tried to use a political philosophical definition of State that suited their purpose. One thing that panicked them was in Lincoln's Inaugural Address March 4, 1861 which addressed persons rather than States.

    It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that 'resolves' and 'ordinances' to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
    Looking at the Constitution. "We the People of the United States" means that people not States formed the Union and that people are responsible not something called a 'State'.

    This idea is also found in the SOTUS case Texas v White. It is people not geography.
    1. The word "State" describes sometimes a people or community of individuals united more or less closely in political relations, inhabiting temporarily or permanently the same country; often it denotes only the country, or territorial region, inhabited by such a community; not unfrequently, it is applied to the government under which the people live; at other times, it represents the combined idea of people, territory, and government.

    2. In the Constitution, the term "State" most frequently expresses the combined idea, just noticed, of people, territory, and government. A State, in the ordinary sense of the Constitution, is a political community of free citizens, occupying a territory of defined boundaries and organised under a government sanctioned and limited by a written constitution, and established by the consent of the governed.

    3. But the term is also used to express the idea of a people or political community, as distinguished from the government. In this sense, it is used in the clause which provides that the United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.​

    The secessionist depended on the Compact Theory political philosophy which depends on natural law not Constitutional law.

    In short States cannot secede, people can try.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  8. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    A state in the United States is like a corporation. It provides financial protection for individuals incurring debts for the public good. It provides a means for the citizen/shareholders to run the state business.
    Under the theories of the Federalists, and their Whig and Republican successors, the existence of a state does not absolve the people that area of their duty to the United States, any more than a private corporation would shield the shareholders and the officers from their civic responsibility.
    It was a difficult concept to understand, because in 1787 the national government was weak, but by 1833 it was ready to enforce its authority, and by 1860 it had the power to suppress a massive revolt.
     
  9. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Thank you, previously, I had only ever thought of a state as a territory but reading your previous post I can see that a State is so much more than that, I had been basing my understanding of a 'State' on English principles, we have Counties which I assumed were similar to states, counties are defined by territorial boundaries.
    Your explanation has cleared a couple of things up for me, I can now see why I was struggling with the dates for secession, I had always imagined that when a State seceded, it was a case of a territorial withdrawal from the Union. As you have pointed out, there are three definitions of state.
    I'm going to have to read more on compact theory but from the little that I know of it, secessionist would argue that federal government are answerable to the states and not the other way around, so, I'm guessing that a secessionist would argue that a state can legally withdraw from the Union based on the argument that the combined states created the federal government in the first place. Wiki have a helpful section on the compact, 'Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress. I could be wrong here but that looks like an argument for self governance and the right to withdraw from the compact.
    It does appear to be a valid argument.

    Did the secessionist argue that the constitution should be the measure of law and not the federal governments interpretation of it. I can see problems with that, I know that people will twist and turn the constitution in order to favour their own argument.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  10. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Forgive me for asking basic questions but this is all new to me, in return for protecting a state, what does the federal government get back in return, you mention a duty to the United States, what does that involve?
     
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  11. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    The duty is to follow the law, pay taxes, and fight for the government, the same duty that a citizen of a monarchy owes to the monarch. In the United States, the people are the monarch. The people can chop off heads, under the law, or grant corporate charters.
    In the United States some of the state charters were based on charters created by the kings and queens of England. So they thought they pre-existed the United States. Of course if the people had not won the Revolution, those royal charters would have remained British colonies and would not have been sovereign.
     
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  12. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    I've heard it argued that the Constitution is a modified Magna Carta.
     
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  13. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    Your talking to an English Republican, I owe nothing to the Monarchy and I refuse to be called 'Her Majesty's subject' that's got me into trouble a few times. :smile: But I understand the point you are making, You say that in the USA, the people are the monarchy, our monarchy has zero power, would you argue that the American people had power when they chose secession, the Federal government were the monarchy from what I can see.
     
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  14. Patrick H

    Patrick H Captain

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    Missouri's situation was confusing to many and remains so today. Jackson and the legislators who fled with him were duly elected by the people. Those who filled their seats were appointees, and have also been called a rump government. I am unaware just how many legislators fled with Jackson. What I do know is that their action was accepted by the Confederate government and Missouri is represented by the twelfth star in their flag.
     
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  15. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    Basically, the secessionist's tried to argue that it was the states that made the Constitution, and could unmake it, if they chose. In spite of what the Constitution and DoI, might say.
     
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  16. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    But it took awhile to get there in England. And the royalists still had power in the mid 19th century.
    And when was the second reform act approved by parliament? Even Disraeli could read the handwriting on the wall. :playfull::showoff::smoke:
     
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  17. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    I think Queen Victoria was the first Monarch to really feel the loss of power, it fell to her more capable husband to manipulate parliament. We say that the monarchy has zero power but every politician likes a Knighthood and the best way to get one of those is to bend to the will of the Queen. That second reform act was in the 1860's thanks to pressure from the Chartists.
     
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  18. wausaubob

    wausaubob 2nd Lieutenant

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    It is very interesting that when former President Grant went on his world tour and visited England, he sought out Earl Russell, who was then very old and who have lived through the entire period of parliamentary reform, and Earl Russell received him.
    During the Civil War, Thurlow Weed visited Earl Russell and Lady Russell gently illustrated to Mr. Weed how even in 1861 it was considered clever not to publicly controvert the queen.
     
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  19. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

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    And that still stands today, it is illegal to speak ill of the Queen, it comes under the Treason felony act 1848 ,the Republican movement tried to have the law changed but the Ministry of Justice has said that the law will not be repealed. Calling for the abolishment of the Monarchy carries a mandatory life sentence.
     
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  20. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Succinct and well said.
     
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  21. archieclement

    archieclement Corporal

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    Besides all the legal munbo jumbo, I'd say for all practical purposes when the Missouri State Guard entered into Confederate service, the question of if Missouri had seceded was mute.......

    Guess one can argue they weren't really Confederate soldiers till the cows come home, But to the Union soldiers who fell by their hands, don't think their was a lot of doubt
     
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