When Virginia asked for commissioner to come to Washington, Michigan said concessions and compromise are not to be entertained or offered to traitors

major bill

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"When the Virginia General Assembly extended an invitation to all states to send delegate to a convention at Washington on February 4 to attempt to work out a peaceful solution to the problems that were dividing the nation." (Michigan and the Civil War Years 1860-1866 A Wartime Chronicle, by George S. May), the matter was sent to the Michigan legislature. The legislature said no and passed a joint resolution that stated: "That Michigan adheres to the government, as ordained by the Constitution, and for sustaining it intact hereby pledges and tenders to the general government all its military power and material resources." The resolution declared that "concessions and compromise are not to be entertained or offered to traitors"
 

major bill

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Michigan sent a strong message to Virginia about the possible convention, but I wondered how other Northern state responded. At least to Michigan, the thought of concessions were a non starter.
 

unionblue

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@major bill ,

You may want to check out the following website over at Civil War Causes:

https://civilwarcauses.org/state.htm
Scroll down until you see the heading, Northern Resolutions on Secession. There you will be able to click on seven individual northern states and view their responses to secession.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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unionblue

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"When the Virginia General Assembly extended an invitation to all states to send delegate to a convention at Washington on February 4 to attempt to work out a peaceful solution to the problems that were dividing the nation." (Michigan and the Civil War Years 1860-1866 A Wartime Chronicle, by George S. May), the matter was sent to the Michigan legislature. The legislature said no and passed a joint resolution that stated: "That Michigan adheres to the government, as ordained by the Constitution, and for sustaining it intact hereby pledges and tenders to the general government all its military power and material resources." The resolution declared that "concessions and compromise are not to be entertained or offered to traitors"

@major bill ,

In addition to your source above, you and others may want to checkout the book, Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, edited by William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson.

A good read, with speeches from both secessionists and unionists, and other records that show the debate before secession.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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@major bill ,

You may want to check out the following website over at Civil War Causes:

https://civilwarcauses.org/state.htm
Scroll down until you see the heading, Northern Resolutions on Secession. There you will be able to click on seven individual northern states and view their responses to secession.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Thank you for this resource, it is excellent. I really love Minnesota's resolution, especially this part;

3. Resolved, That ABRAHAM LINCOLN and HANNIBAL HAMLIN, having been constitutionally and legally elected President and Vice President of the United States, at a general election fully and freely participated in, on the same day, by the people of every State of the Union, South as well as North, that any attempt to dissolve or destroy the Union on account thereof, is without excuse or justification, and should receive the condemnation of every patriot in the land.

Couldn't agree more with this statement, nor said it better.
 

major bill

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Thank you for this resource, it is excellent. I really love Minnesota's resolution, especially this part;

3. Resolved, That ABRAHAM LINCOLN and HANNIBAL HAMLIN, having been constitutionally and legally elected President and Vice President of the United States, at a general election fully and freely participated in, on the same day, by the people of every State of the Union, South as well as North, that any attempt to dissolve or destroy the Union on account thereof, is without excuse or justification, and should receive the condemnation of every patriot in the land.

Couldn't agree more with this statement, nor said it better.

This is not as strong as the one from my home state of Michigan.
 

Potomac Pride

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"When the Virginia General Assembly extended an invitation to all states to send delegate to a convention at Washington on February 4 to attempt to work out a peaceful solution to the problems that were dividing the nation." (Michigan and the Civil War Years 1860-1866 A Wartime Chronicle, by George S. May), the matter was sent to the Michigan legislature. The legislature said no and passed a joint resolution that stated: "That Michigan adheres to the government, as ordained by the Constitution, and for sustaining it intact hereby pledges and tenders to the general government all its military power and material resources." The resolution declared that "concessions and compromise are not to be entertained or offered to traitors"
The Resolution demonstrates one of the reasons for the Civil War which was a fundamental disagreement on the nature of the Constitution between the North and the South. The southern states had a different view on the nature of the Constitution than the northern states. The southern states believed in the Compact Theory of the Constitution. The Compact theory maintains that the Constitution was a compact which consisted of a voluntary agreement among the states to create a federal government. The compact was voluntary in nature and the states retained their fundamental sovereignty which allowed them to withdraw from the Union. The leading advocates of the Compact Theory of the U.S. Constitution originated primarily from Virginia and other southern states. In addition, the Compact Theory existed before slavery even became a national issue. Some of the early proponents of the Compact Theory included Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and later on Jefferson Davis. Furthermore, the Virginia Resolution of 1798 discussed the compact theory of the Constitution. However, the northern states saw the Union as something more permanent, in fact, a perpetual Union. They believed that the states did not retain their independent sovereignty and had accepted unconditionally the sovereignty of the national government with the ratification of the Constitution.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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The Resolution demonstrates one of the reasons for the Civil War which was a fundamental disagreement on the nature of the Constitution between the North and the South. The southern states had a different view on the nature of the Constitution than the northern states. The southern states believed in the Compact Theory of the Constitution. The Compact theory maintains that the Constitution was a compact which consisted of a voluntary agreement among the states to create a federal government. The compact was voluntary in nature and the states retained their fundamental sovereignty which allowed them to withdraw from the Union. The leading advocates of the Compact Theory of the U.S. Constitution originated primarily from Virginia and other southern states. In addition, the Compact Theory existed before slavery even became a national issue. Some of the early proponents of the Compact Theory included Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and later on Jefferson Davis. Furthermore, the Virginia Resolution of 1798 discussed the compact theory of the Constitution. However, the northern states saw the Union as something more permanent, in fact, a perpetual Union. They believed that the states did not retain their independent sovereignty and had accepted unconditionally the sovereignty of the national government with the ratification of the Constitution.
I would not put James Madison into the compact theory group. See the following;
"The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever. It has been so adopted by the other States."
James Madison letter to Alexander Hamilton 20 July 1788
 

Potomac Pride

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I would not put James Madison into the compact theory group. See the following;
"The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever. It has been so adopted by the other States."
James Madison letter to Alexander Hamilton 20 July 1788
James Madison wrote the Virginia Resolution of 1798. He stated that the legitimate powers of the federal government were limited to those which are delegated in the Constitution. If the federal government exceeds its authority, then the states can invoke their sovereignty and respond to any violation of power.
 

unionblue

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"...But sir, when did this doctrine [secession] first find a lodgement in the public mind? I think, sir, it is a rather modern invention....We are told we may find it in the celebrated resolutions and proceedings of the Virginia and Kentucky legislatures in 1798 - 99. …[But] Mr. Madison, their author,...[wrote that] "The Constitution requires an adoption in toto and forever. ...The idea ...of reserving the right to withdraw was started at Richmond, and...itself abandoned as worse than rejection."

Even in the States--our sister States that have seceded--this idea of secession is rather a modern idea....We find, at least, as late as 1821, South Carolina herself...declaring...that she was opposed to "arraying, on questions of national policy, the States as distinct and independent sovereignties, in opposition to, or what is much the same thing, with a view to exercise control over the General Government." ...And then, sir,...during the excitement which grew out of the compromise measures of 1850,...a Convention called in the State of Mississippi for the purpose of passing an ordinance of secession...[instead resolved] "That in the opinion of this Convention, the asserted right of secession from the Union on the part of a State is utterly unsanctioned by the Federal Constitution, which was framed to establish, and not to destroy, the Union of the States"...

Source: The book, Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, edited by William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, part 2, pg. 13-14, Waitman Willey's Unionist Speech, March 4.
 

unionblue

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James Madison wrote the Virginia Resolution of 1798. He stated that the legitimate powers of the federal government were limited to those which are delegated in the Constitution. If the federal government exceeds its authority, then the states can invoke their sovereignty and respond to any violation of power.

"The resolutions written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and passed by the Virginia and Kentucky legislatures in 1798-99, in opposition to the federal government's recently enacted Alien and Sedition Acts, claimed each state's right to "interpose" itself against such allegedly unconstitutional federal laws. But neither state put "interposition" into action, explained how the remedy would work, or defined when interposition could be used thereafter. South Carolina's nullifiers in 1832 and secessionists in 1860 nevertheless claimed Jefferson and Madison's concept of interposition as justification for the latter-day remedies. Madison, still alive in the 1830s, denied that his precedent would justify South Carolina's nullification of the tariff."

Source: Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, edited by William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, part 2, pg. 13, note 2.
 

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James Madison wrote the Virginia Resolution of 1798. He stated that the legitimate powers of the federal government were limited to those which are delegated in the Constitution. If the federal government exceeds its authority, then the states can invoke their sovereignty and respond to any violation of power.
Daniel Webster advocated this view in his debate with Robert Hayne in the Senate in 1830:
When the gentleman says the Constitution is a compact between the States, he uses language exactly applicable to the old Confederation. He speaks as if he were in Congress before 1789. He describes fully that old state of things then existing. The Confederation was, in strictness, a compact; the States, as States, were parties to it. We had no other general government. But that was found insufficient, and inadequate to the public exigencies. The people were not satisfied with it, and undertook to establish a better. They undertook to form a general government, which should stand on a new basis; not a confederacy, not a league, not a compact between States, but a Constitution; a popular government, founded in popular election, directly responsible to the people themselves, and divided into branches with prescribed limits of power, and prescribed duties. They ordained such a government, they gave it the name of a Constitution, and therein they established a distribution of powers between this, their general government, and their several State governments. When they shall become dissatisfied with this distribution, they can alter it. Their own power over their own instrument remains. But until they shall alter it, it must stand as their will, and is equally binding on the general government and on the States.
 

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During Jackson's presidency, Madison publicly disavowed the Nullification movement and argued that no state had the right to secede.
According to (Ronald) Chernow, Madison's support of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in the 1790s "was a breathtaking evolution for a man who had pleaded at the Constitutional Convention that the federal government should possess a veto over state laws."
 
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Potomac Pride

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"The resolutions written by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and passed by the Virginia and Kentucky legislatures in 1798-99, in opposition to the federal government's recently enacted Alien and Sedition Acts, claimed each state's right to "interpose" itself against such allegedly unconstitutional federal laws. But neither state put "interposition" into action, explained how the remedy would work, or defined when interposition could be used thereafter. South Carolina's nullifiers in 1832 and secessionists in 1860 nevertheless claimed Jefferson and Madison's concept of interposition as justification for the latter-day remedies. Madison, still alive in the 1830s, denied that his precedent would justify South Carolina's nullification of the tariff."

Source: Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union, edited by William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson, part 2, pg. 13, note 2.
Jefferson and Madison both agreed that the Constitution was a compact between sovereign states. Therefore, the lawful powers of the federal government were limited to those that had been delegated by the states and all undelegated powers were reserved to the states. Jefferson’s idea of nullification encouraged states to resist federal legislation which they found to be unconstitutional. Madison’s concepts were more moderate and he advised the states to interpose themselves collectively against unconstitutional federal laws. Jefferson and Madison did not create the concepts of nullification and interposition in defense of civil liberties. They only derived them from the principles of those who framed and ratified the Constitution. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions were some of the first true statements of states’ rights in American history. The compact theory which they advocated would influence citizens for generations, particularly Southerners.
 

unionblue

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Jefferson and Madison both agreed that the Constitution was a compact between sovereign states. Therefore, the lawful powers of the federal government were limited to those that had been delegated by the states and all undelegated powers were reserved to the states. Jefferson’s idea of nullification encouraged states to resist federal legislation which they found to be unconstitutional. Madison’s concepts were more moderate and he advised the states to interpose themselves collectively against unconstitutional federal laws. Jefferson and Madison did not create the concepts of nullification and interposition in defense of civil liberties. They only derived them from the principles of those who framed and ratified the Constitution. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions were some of the first true statements of states’ rights in American history. The compact theory which they advocated would influence citizens for generations, particularly Southerners.

From what I read, Madison says he didn't "derive" principles that could be construed as any influence Southerners over nullification or secession.
 

Steve Roberts

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[ Madison argued ] Both of these acts [ alien and sedition acts ] are cognizable within the Constitution and do not suggest an extraconstitutional right of a single state against the federal government.
First Amendment Encyclopedia

James Madison set forth a theory of popular government that substantially modified the prevailing social contract theories.
Law professor Noah Feldman writes that Madison "invented and theorized the modern ideal of an expanded, federal constitution that combines local self-government with an overarching national order."

Gordon S. Wood looks at him in the terms of Madison's own times—as a nationalist but one with a different conception of nationalism from that of the Federalists.
 

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Five days after the Virginia legislature acted, Madison reiterated that a state legislature lacked the constitutional authority to nullify a national law. He wrote Jefferson, concerned that in their “zeal,” some legislators might overlook “the distinction between the power of the State, & that of the Legislature, on questions relating to the federal pact.” While states were “clearly the ultimate Judge of infractions” of the Constitution, it did “not follow” that legislatures were “the legitimate organ” for rendering that ultimate judgment. Unlike the Articles of Confederation, state governments did not form the Federal Constitution. Meetings of state conventions, like those that ratified the Constitution, were the appropriate mechanisms to invoke the “ultimate” right of the people to correct “infractions” by the national government. This was “especially” true, noted Madison, since the people in “a Convention was the organ by which the Compact was made.”
https://www.heritage.org/the-consti...-nullification-james-madison-and-the-exercise

Madison was somewhere in the middle.

Others have taken the position that the federal government is not a compact among the states, but instead was formed directly by the people, in their exercise of their sovereign power. The people determined that the federal government should be superior to the states. Under this view, the states, which are not parties to the Constitution, do not have the right to determine for themselves the proper scope of federal authority, but instead are bound by the determinations of the federal government.

Madison called it a compact but not with the states but rather with the collective whole of the people In the states.
 

Steve Roberts

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James Madison wrote the Virginia Resolution of 1798. He stated that the legitimate powers of the federal government were limited to those which are delegated in the Constitution. If the federal government exceeds its authority, then the states can invoke their sovereignty and respond to any violation of power.
This is misleading at best and flat out wrong at worst.
Madison advocated ,interposition only , by the state, not nullification (or secession) . The state could only address the issue through petition, opinion, protests, and legitimate legislation, or in the extreme, non-compliance, which may carry it’s own ramifications, but not secession. He believed the people were sovereign not the states.
 

Steve Roberts

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The [ Michigan ] Legislature was also firmly pro-Union; when Virginia invited Michigan to send delegates to the Washington Peace Conference, the Legislature passed a refusal resolution stating that "concessions and compromise are not to be entertained or offered to traitors."
Outgoing Governor Moses Wisner delivered a speech to a Michigan Legislature in defense of the Union and the Constitution, stating: "This is no time for timid and vacillating councils, when the cry of treason and rebellion is ringing in our ears."
sounds like South Carolina fire eaters.
did South Carolina or Virginia seek council with Michigan on secession ? Funny how no Deep South states or Arkansas sent delegates.
The key issue, slavery in the territories, was addressed simply by extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean, with no provision for newly-acquired territory. That section passed by a 9–8 vote of the states.
Other features of the proposed constitutional amendment were the requirement for the acquisition of all future territories to be approved by a majority of both the slave states and the free states, a prohibition on Congress passing any legislation that would affect the status of slavery where it currently existed, a prohibition on state legislatures from passing laws that would restrict the ability of officials to apprehend and return fugitive slaves, a permanent prohibition on the foreign slave trade, and 100% compensation to any master whose fugitive slave was freed by illegal mob action or intimidation of officials required to administer the Fugitive Slave Act. Key sections of this amendment could be further amended only with the concurrence of all of the states.

and what did they offer/seek in compromise ? Nothing they didn’t already have plus dissolution of the union.
virginia had it’s chance to disavow secession and rebellion but they brought nothing to the table and chose to be traitors and rebels. Compromise had been achieved time and time again but it was the slave states that kept re-negotiating. Even popular sovereignty was not enough.
as a politician once said, “Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again.”
 

Potomac Pride

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From what I read, Madison says he didn't "derive" principles that could be construed as any influence Southerners over nullification or secession.
In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, Madison discussed possible violations by the federal government on the constitutional limits of its power. He wrote that the states “have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining…the authorities, rights, and liberties pertaining to them.” Although, the resolution did not elaborate on what “interposition” entailed. However, both Madison and Jefferson agreed that the Constitution was a compact that gave the federal government only limited powers and the states maintained their fundamental sovereignty. Therefore, the powers of the federal government were limited to those that had been delegated by the states and all undelegated powers were reserved to the states.
 
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