Where in the US Constitution does it say that Lincoln was granted the legal authority to initiate a military invasion against the southern states ?

trice

Colonel
Joined
May 2, 2006
And my basic argument is that:
Congress can pass a simple bill that say x area is now a state.
We also know that any changes to existing states require the consent of congress and the effected state(s).

And if congress (with consent from the state) can change a state and make it smaller, they should be able to remove it completely.
Nowadays, there is a big body of law and procedure and tradition on how States are created and admitted (because it has been done 37 times). In the early days of the country, there was absolutely nothing beyond the words in the Constitution (Article IV, Section 3). These say that "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union;". Nothing at all is said about if a State, once admitted, can leave (or be expelled).

Some things have clearly been done which no one can find exact authorization for in the Constitution. The admission of Vermont and Texas might be examples. The Louisiana Purchase was regarded as unconstitutional, but too great a deal to pass up.

I happen to think, like you, that the power to admit a State implies that the Congress can allow a State to leave. Some would say I am inferring that and it is not implied. Strict constructionists might fight against allowing such a thing. Original constructionists might argue for either side according to what they think the Founding Fathers meant (or perhaps what they want the Founding Fathers to have meant). I think the Supreme Court would want no part of this tar-baby and would declare it properly a "political matter" for the Congress to decide; unless such an act was done and some State or States wanted to fight it in the courts, I think the Supreme Court would let the Congress do as it willed -- and then it would be an established precedent.

Accomplishing anything this way is all about political power and will. If "the South" could tie up the country's business in Congress in a time of great turmoil, they might force a deal to let some or all of the slave States leave in order to settle the stalemate. Doing that would lead to the other matters you mention, with negotiated conditions and terms. Separation would take a few years, most likely. "The South" would probably ask to continue the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific as a border. The North (as in "the rest of the country") would be very concerned about transit rights and tariffs on the Mississippi River traffic.
 

LetUsHavePeace

Volunteer
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
It is actually very easy to be a "literalist" on questions of Federal law once you decide to accept the voters' notion that the representatives elected in our national government would follow the rules that the people had adopted. Congress would pass legislation and the President would be responsible for assuring that Congressional legislation was carried out. The Supreme Court would render judicial decisions on cases and controversies between the States and between individuals and the Federal government. The simple answer to the question "Where in the Constitution does it say that Lincoln was granted the legal authority to initiate a military invasion against the southern states?" is "nowhere".
For the President to initiate a military invasion anywhere in the world, Congress must pass and the President must sign a Declaration of War. (Please, for the sake of clarity, can we limit rebuttals on this question to the words in the U.S. Constitution; if the Supreme Court's own lawmaking is allowed entry into the discussion, there is nothing left to discuss at all. Under Supreme Court law the U.S. President has the authority to drop bombs and send troops anywhere in the world.)
Congress did not pass a declaration of war against the seceding states.
The Southern Unionists - the party that Grant and the rest of us Constitutional literalists in 1860 voted for - wanted to ask the States that joined the Confederacy another question: "Where in the Constitution does it say that people in a state can elect a government that can form a compact that voids that state's obligations to the Union?"
The answer was and is "nowhere".
No wonder our country became a nation of litigants. Who wants simple rules that reliably provide the answers that do not leave room for argument?

 

LetUsHavePeace

Volunteer
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
It is actually very easy to be a "literalist" on questions of Federal law once you decide to accept the voters' notion that the representatives elected in our national government would follow the rules that the people had adopted. Congress would pass legislation and the President would be responsible for assuring that Congressional legislation was carried out. The Supreme Court would render judicial decisions on cases and controversies between the States and between individuals and the Federal government. The simple answer to the question "Where in the Constitution does it say that Lincoln was granted the legal authority to initiate a military invasion against the southern states?" is "nowhere".
For the President to initiate a military invasion anywhere in the world, Congress must pass and the President must sign a Declaration of War. (Please, for the sake of clarity, can we limit rebuttals on this question to the words in the U.S. Constitution; if the Supreme Court's own lawmaking is allowed entry into the discussion, there is nothing left to discuss at all. Under Supreme Court law the U.S. President has the authority to drop bombs and send troops anywhere in the world.)
Congress did not pass a declaration of war against the seceding states.
The Southern Unionists - the party that Grant and the rest of us Constitutional literalists in 1860 voted for - wanted to ask the States that joined the Confederacy another question: "Where in the Constitution does it say that people in a state can elect a government that can form a compact that voids that state's obligations to the Union?"
The answer was and is "nowhere".
No wonder our country became a nation of litigants. Who wants simple rules that reliably provide the answers that do not leave room for argument?

"If I mistake not, it is the common sentiment of the secessionists of the South, that they talk about the Constitution, but say nothing about the Union. When I talk about the Union, what do I talk about? I talk about that thing which is the result of the American Constitution."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Amos_Rogers_Nelson
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
It is actually very easy to be a "literalist" on questions of Federal law once you decide to accept the voters' notion that the representatives elected in our national government would follow the rules that the people had adopted. Congress would pass legislation and the President would be responsible for assuring that Congressional legislation was carried out. The Supreme Court would render judicial decisions on cases and controversies between the States and between individuals and the Federal government. The simple answer to the question "Where in the Constitution does it say that Lincoln was granted the legal authority to initiate a military invasion against the southern states?" is "nowhere".
For the President to initiate a military invasion anywhere in the world, Congress must pass and the President must sign a Declaration of War. (Please, for the sake of clarity, can we limit rebuttals on this question to the words in the U.S. Constitution; if the Supreme Court's own lawmaking is allowed entry into the discussion, there is nothing left to discuss at all. Under Supreme Court law the U.S. President has the authority to drop bombs and send troops anywhere in the world.)
Congress did not pass a declaration of war against the seceding states.
The Southern Unionists - the party that Grant and the rest of us Constitutional literalists in 1860 voted for - wanted to ask the States that joined the Confederacy another question: "Where in the Constitution does it say that people in a state can elect a government that can form a compact that voids that state's obligations to the Union?"
The answer was and is "nowhere".
No wonder our country became a nation of litigants. Who wants simple rules that reliably provide the answers that do not leave room for argument?

The person that frames the question assumes the power to shape the debate. Its a rhetorical exercise that has nothing to do with the US Civil War.
 

Gene

Cadet
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Location
Fredericksburg, Virginia
The fact is that secession was still a hotly debated topic at the time of the Civil War, and, prior to that, several regions had, at times, seriously considered secession - even New England did so over the War of 1812. Secession remained unsettled until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1869. Lincoln and his Republican party did not, therefore, have a legal basis for opposing secession, and the seceding states had every right to order the evacuation or surrender of US forces occupying their sovereign territory. Lincoln, who ran for President pledging to preserve the union, never seriously considered preserving it by peaceful means. In fact, when he called up troops to invade and force the preservation, he made matters worse by therefore causing even more states to secede. His invasion, therefore, was the actual start of the war, and Southerners naturally reacted by defending against the invasion.

What's difficult for most people to grasp, having been raised on the Victor's Narrative developed by Lincoln apologists to justify Lincoln's invasion, find it difficult to separate the war he waged to preserve the union from the reasons the Southern states seceded in the first place. The fact is that Lincoln waged war because it was his opinion that the union was worth preserving at all costs. The Whiskey Rebellion is therefore irrelevant on this issue. A better analogy would be a President, with a controlling majority in Congress, to decide that, in his opinion (no legal basis), a group of states had acted badly and, with Congressional support, he decided to send in Federal troops to force a change.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
-Lincoln and his Republican party did not, therefore, have a legal basis for opposing secession
-Lincoln, who ran for President pledging to preserve the union, never seriously considered preserving it by peaceful means.
-His invasion, therefore, was the actual start of the war, and Southerners naturally reacted by defending against the invasion.
None of this is accurate. There was definitely a legal basis for opposing secession. Lincoln made clear in his first inaugural that he would not be the one to initiate a war. All anyone has to do to determine when the public perceived that the war had begun, is to read the headlines about the firing on Sumter, which made it very clear that the public on both sides considered that it was now a war.
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
The fact is that secession was still a hotly debated topic at the time of the Civil War, and, prior to that, several regions had, at times, seriously considered secession - even New England did so over the War of 1812. Secession remained unsettled until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1869. Lincoln and his Republican party did not, therefore, have a legal basis for opposing secession, and the seceding states had every right to order the evacuation or surrender of US forces occupying their sovereign territory. Lincoln, who ran for President pledging to preserve the union, never seriously considered preserving it by peaceful means. In fact, when he called up troops to invade and force the preservation, he made matters worse by therefore causing even more states to secede. His invasion, therefore, was the actual start of the war, and Southerners naturally reacted by defending against the invasion.

What's difficult for most people to grasp, having been raised on the Victor's Narrative developed by Lincoln apologists to justify Lincoln's invasion, find it difficult to separate the war he waged to preserve the union from the reasons the Southern states seceded in the first place. The fact is that Lincoln waged war because it was his opinion that the union was worth preserving at all costs. The Whiskey Rebellion is therefore irrelevant on this issue. A better analogy would be a President, with a controlling majority in Congress, to decide that, in his opinion (no legal basis), a group of states had acted badly and, with Congressional support, he decided to send in Federal troops to force a change.
Your point that "secession was still a hotly debated topic at the time of the Civil War" and "Secession remained unsettled until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1869" somewhat contradicts the argument that "Lincoln and his Republican party did not, therefore, have a legal basis for opposing secession." I myself opine that the constitutionality of unilateral secession was unsettled at the time; but unsettled does not mean it was illegal or unconstitutional.

As has been said several times in this thread, the slave states could have taken their case to Court to have it settled, but they chose not to do so. They deemed the idea of settlement in Court a non-starter, and so it was.

You say "Lincoln, who ran for President pledging to preserve the union, never seriously considered preserving it by peaceful means. In fact, when he called up troops to invade and force the preservation, he made matters worse by therefore causing even more states to secede. His invasion, therefore, was the actual start of the war, and Southerners naturally reacted by defending against the invasion."

You've basically "Lincolnized" the conflict. But Lincon was not sitting alone in a tower, making decisions unilaterally, solely following his own whims. For one thing: as the historian Gary Gallagher has argued, many many people rallied around the Union, and expected the Lincoln administration to forcefully respond to secession. In the minds of various Union men, secessionists were traitors who: sought to bypass (and dishonor) the Constitution to create an illegal state; sought to annul (and dishonor) a fair election because they didn't like the results; and posed a military, economic, and geo-political threat to the United States of America. This is what many Union men perceived at the time, and Lincoln was aware of this.

Lincoln did not wage war because it was his (and nobody else's) opinion that the union was worth preserving. Lincoln responded to an act of insurrection, and his decision was informed in part by (a) the opinion of many people that the Union was worth preserving; and (b) the belief that he had the legal right to put down such insurrection.

You say Lincoln believed "the union was worth preserving at all costs." In fact, neither the CSA nor the USA believed the war would be fought in the scope and to the extent that it was. Both sides miscalculated the cost. And the miscalculation was huge.

- Alan
 
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Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
The fact is that secession was still a hotly debated topic at the time of the Civil War, and, prior to that, several regions had, at times, seriously considered secession - even New England did so over the War of 1812. Secession remained unsettled until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1869. Lincoln and his Republican party did not, therefore, have a legal basis for opposing secession, and the seceding states had every right to order the evacuation or surrender of US forces occupying their sovereign territory. Lincoln, who ran for President pledging to preserve the union, never seriously considered preserving it by peaceful means. In fact, when he called up troops to invade and force the preservation, he made matters worse by therefore causing even more states to secede. His invasion, therefore, was the actual start of the war, and Southerners naturally reacted by defending against the invasion.

What's difficult for most people to grasp, having been raised on the Victor's Narrative developed by Lincoln apologists to justify Lincoln's invasion, find it difficult to separate the war he waged to preserve the union from the reasons the Southern states seceded in the first place. The fact is that Lincoln waged war because it was his opinion that the union was worth preserving at all costs. The Whiskey Rebellion is therefore irrelevant on this issue. A better analogy would be a President, with a controlling majority in Congress, to decide that, in his opinion (no legal basis), a group of states had acted badly and, with Congressional support, he decided to send in Federal troops to force a change.
As you mentioned, the issue of secession was an unsettled matter before the Civil War. Unfortunately, the Constitution does not address the issue of secession and it was really a gray area before the Civil War. The late Forrest McDonald was a Professor Emeritus of History and one of the foremost constitutional historians of his time. He argued that after adopting the Constitution "there were no guidelines, either in theory or in history, as to whether the compact could be dissolved and, if so, on what conditions". However, during "the founding era, many a public figure . . . declared that the states could interpose their powers between their citizens and the power of the federal government, and talk of secession was not unknown".
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Under the principles that were outlined in the Declaration of Independence it’s the moral duty of ((((“the people”)))) to break away from a political arrangement which has become intolerable to them, and the central government has no legal standing to suppress the assertion of this right.

You are conflating the suppression of the will to self-determination with putting down pirates on the high seas, etc,, and this is nothing more and nothing less than pure “bunkum” on your part.
Where in the Constitution does it mention that the states have the right to ,by their action, dissolve the Union ? What was the reason for the ratification of the Constitution if not to form a union out of individual states with each state approving the said parts of the Constitution. The founders had the fore sight to provided for any additions to the paper by amendments which again would have to be accepted by so many states ratification conventions. Please to explain what is meant by ''political arrangement'' which we had with Britain, If you read the whole declaration you will see that the reasons for the separation was more than political. The declaration was not just to the colonies to give reason for our actions against Mother but to also give reason to the other countries .I have ordered a bio. on John C. Calhoun ,the Father of the Secession movement. When I finish with it I should have a better unstanding of the movement , In the mean time my I suggest .,William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil WAR= Eric H. Walther and Heirs of the Founders ,the epic rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster ,the second generation of American Giants =H.W. .Brands .Yancey was from Alabama and was one of the founders of the secession movements in 1840-1850 .Brands' history deals with the period of the Jacksonian and to 1856 ,the least understood period in the politics which lead to 1861. I am a Southern born ,Southern bred with family who fought for the South.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Your point that "secession was still a hotly debated topic at the time of the Civil War" and "Secession remained unsettled until the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in 1869" somewhat contradicts the argument that "Lincoln and his Republican party did not, therefore, have a legal basis for opposing secession." I myself opine that the constitutionality of unilateral secession was unsettled at the time; but unsettled does not mean it was illegal or unconstitutional.

As has been said several times in this thread, the slave states could have taken their case to Court to have it settled, but they chose not to do so. They deemed the idea of settlement in Court a non-starter, and so it was.

You say "Lincoln, who ran for President pledging to preserve the union, never seriously considered preserving it by peaceful means. In fact, when he called up troops to invade and force the preservation, he made matters worse by therefore causing even more states to secede. His invasion, therefore, was the actual start of the war, and Southerners naturally reacted by defending against the invasion."

You've basically "Lincolnized" the conflict. But Lincon was not sitting alone in a tower, making decisions unilaterally, solely following his own whims. For one thing: as the historian Gary Gallagher has argued, many many people rallied around the Union, and expected the Lincoln administration to forcefully respond to secession. In the minds of various Union men, secessionists were traitors who: sought to bypass (and dishonor) the Constitution to create an illegal state; sought to annul (and dishonor) a fair election because they didn't like the results; and posed a military, economic, and geo-political threat to the United States of America. This is what many Union men perceived at the time, and Lincoln was aware of this.

Lincoln did not wage war because it was his (and nobody else's) opinion that the union was worth preserving. Lincoln responded to an act of insurrection, and his decision was informed in part by (a) the opinion of many people that the Union was worth preserving; and (b) the belief that he had the legal right to put down such insurrection.

You say Lincoln believed "the union was worth preserving at all costs." In fact, neither the CSA nor the USA believed the war would be fought in the scope and to the extent that it was. Both sides miscalculated the cost. And the miscalculation was huge.

- Alan
Did not Lincoln believe that there were enough Unionist in the South to brings these seceded states back into the Union ? Did he believe that this was another threat as before by same states as a political tool to achieve that which they failed to do by the election? As the saying goes was this a **** if you do or **** if you do'nt moment. I find it interesting that historians have found Buchannan guilty or lack of taking responsibility for doing that which Lincoln did. Remind me were troops called up prior to the firing on the fort or after. If before then he was doing what Jackson did with Calhoun's nullification and Washington/Hamilton with the Whiskey Rebellion.. ALL three were done to preserve the Union and in force the Constitution /the central government authority. If after ,did those states which succeeded do so because they did not want Union forces to march into their states as an army suppression? aks VA.
 

Gene

Cadet
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Location
Fredericksburg, Virginia
None of this is accurate. There was definitely a legal basis for opposing secession. Lincoln made clear in his first inaugural that he would not be the one to initiate a war. All anyone has to do to determine when the public perceived that the war had begun, is to read the headlines about the firing on Sumter, which made it very clear that the public on both sides considered that it was now a war.
What legal basis? There was no law forbidding it. The courts did not forbid it (until 1869). The Constitution did not forbid it. Were there legal arguments? Supporting both sides. As regards Lincoln's words at his inauguration, they certainly did not reflect his subsequent activity - he certainly was the one who ordered the invasion - the South did not. As regards Sumter, a close look at even that event makes it look far more like an event Lincoln manufactured to force the South to take the action it did. Lincoln never seriously considered legal action or any action less than war - he wanted war. Unfortunately, as with many Southern leaders, Lincoln did not think the war would last long. As with many national leaders in times of war, both sides thought they would achieve victory quickly. That it did not happen that way, that over 700,000 American lives were lost and untold destruction visited on the South by US armies under Lincoln's direction, can and should be laid at Lincoln's feet - again, he invaded the South, not the other way around.

As regards Lincoln not acting alone, true. But he was the President, and he certainly did little to lead this nation towards peace. The war was ultimately his to initiate or not, and he chose to invade.
 

Gene

Cadet
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Location
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Did not Lincoln believe that there were enough Unionist in the South to brings these seceded states back into the Union ? Did he believe that this was another threat as before by same states as a political tool to achieve that which they failed to do by the election? As the saying goes was this a **** if you do or **** if you do'nt moment. I find it interesting that historians have found Buchannan guilty or lack of taking responsibility for doing that which Lincoln did. Remind me were troops called up prior to the firing on the fort or after. If before then he was doing what Jackson did with Calhoun's nullification and Washington/Hamilton with the Whiskey Rebellion.. ALL three were done to preserve the Union and in force the Constitution /the central government authority. If after ,did those states which succeeded do so because they did not want Union forces to march into their states as an army suppression? aks VA.
Virginia and the other states that seceded after Sumter did so because they refused to participate in the invasion of the already seceded states - they felt, at that point, they had no choice. Virginia had previously voted down secession several times, and had even tried to organize a peace conference, which Lincoln flatly rejected. Clearly, he was not interested in peace, but the forceful preservation of the union. BTW, the troops were called up three days after Sumter - Lincoln finally had his reason to invade.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
What legal basis? There was no law forbidding it. The courts did not forbid it (until 1869). The Constitution did not forbid it. Were there legal arguments? Supporting both sides. As regards Lincoln's words at his inauguration, they certainly did not reflect his subsequent activity - he certainly was the one who ordered the invasion - the South did not. As regards Sumter, a close look at even that event makes it look far more like an event Lincoln manufactured to force the South to take the action it did. Lincoln never seriously considered legal action or any action less than war - he wanted war. Unfortunately, as with many Southern leaders, Lincoln did not think the war would last long. As with many national leaders in times of war, both sides thought they would achieve victory quickly. That it did not happen that way, that over 700,000 American lives were lost and untold destruction visited on the South by US armies under Lincoln's direction, can and should be laid at Lincoln's feet - again, he invaded the South, not the other way around.

As regards Lincoln not acting alone, true. But he was the President, and he certainly did little to lead this nation towards peace. The war was ultimately his to initiate or not, and he chose to invade.
I don't buy into the whole "Lincoln-tricked-us-into-shooting" excuse.

Lincoln laid out his intentions, per his constitutional duties, in his first inaugural. He intended nothing more than fulfilling his constitutional duties, and would not invade or start shooting. The secessionists chose to start shooting. The 700,000 dead are a consequence of that choice.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
The discussion of the two acts of Congress are totally irrelevant to this discussion as the original question was "what constitutional authority gives the President the authority to wage war on a state. Once I realized that I realized I had to reread the document.

Let me make two offerings. Article I, Section 8 "To declare War".... As you can see this is an unlimited power. The Congress has unlimited authority to make such a decision. Secondly Article I, Section 10 "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation". If such an action is unlawful, an act not just against Federal law but prohibited by the Constitution itself, the President who is mandated to (per his oath) "protect, preserve and defend the Constitution of the US against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC" would be empowered to take any measures necessary to do so.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Location
Ohio
What legal basis? There was no law forbidding it. The courts did not forbid it (until 1869). The Constitution did not forbid it. Were there legal arguments? Supporting both sides. As regards Lincoln's words at his inauguration, they certainly did not reflect his subsequent activity - he certainly was the one who ordered the invasion - the South did not. As regards Sumter, a close look at even that event makes it look far more like an event Lincoln manufactured to force the South to take the action it did. Lincoln never seriously considered legal action or any action less than war - he wanted war. Unfortunately, as with many Southern leaders, Lincoln did not think the war would last long. As with many national leaders in times of war, both sides thought they would achieve victory quickly. That it did not happen that way, that over 700,000 American lives were lost and untold destruction visited on the South by US armies under Lincoln's direction, can and should be laid at Lincoln's feet - again, he invaded the South, not the other way around.

As regards Lincoln not acting alone, true. But he was the President, and he certainly did little to lead this nation towards peace. The war was ultimately his to initiate or not, and he chose to invade.
The supreme court can only rule on issues as they come before them. They do rule based on previous supreme court decisions. Though the supreme court had never ruled explicitly on secession it had ruled nature of the constitution and the country. These rulings showed that secession by one or several states was unconstitutional.

“We the people of the United States, do ordain and establish this Constitution. Here we see the people acting as sovereigns of the whole country, and, in the language of sovereignty, establishing a Constitution by which it was their will that the State governments should be bound, and to which the State Constitutions should be made to conform. Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner, and the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves as to general objects in a certain manner. By this great compact however, many prerogatives were transferred to the national government, such as those of making war and peace, contracting alliances, coining money, etc. etc.” – Chisholm v. Georgia, 1793

"no legislature of any state has any kind of power over the constitution ... it is the declared duty of the state judges to determine any constitution or laws of any state, contrary to that treaty (or any other), made under the authority of the United States, null and void."-Ware v Hylton, 1796

"That if a body of people, conspire and meditate an insurrection to resist or oppose the execution of any statute of the United States by force, they are only guilty of a high misdemeanor; but if they proceed to carry such intention into execution by force, that they are guilty of the treason of levying war; and the quantum of the force employed neither lessens or increases the crime -- whether by one hundred or one thousand persons is wholly immaterial"-US v Fries, 1800

"The people made the constitution, and the people can unmake it. It is the creature of their will, and lives only by their will. But this supreme and irresistible power to make or to unmake, resides only in the whole body of the people; not in any sub-division of them. The attempt of any of the parts to exercise it is usurpation, and ought to be repelled by those to whom the people have delegated their power of repelling it."-Cohen vs Virginia 1821

If you know of any antebellum Supreme Court cases that support a states right to secession I would love to see them.
 

Trooper "D"

Private
Joined
May 20, 2018
The president has the constitutional duty to suppress rebellion (insurrection) as the commander and chief when directed by congress. Full stop.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei#section8

“The Federal Government may call out the militia in case of civil war; its authority to suppress rebellion is found in the power to suppress insurrection and to carry on war.”

https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/essay/artI_S8_C15_1/

As Marse Robert said, secession is nothing but revolution:

“I hope, therefore, that all constitutional means will be exhausted before there is a resort to force. Secession is nothing but revolution. The framers of our Constitution never exhausted so much labour, wisdom, and forbearance in its formation, and surrounded it with so many guards and securities, if it was intended to be broken by every member of the Confederacy at will.”

Col Lee to his son Rooney - it’s pretty clear that Lee felt that unilateral secession was unconstitutional (illegal) and nothing but revolution. Only when Virginia seceded and the die was already cast did he figure his duty was first to his state. Those who try to clothe unilateral secession in some sort of constitutional legitimacy are in disagreement with none other than Robert Edward Lee.

https://leefamilyarchive.org/reference/essays/rachal/index.html
Secession is not Civil War though.
People who think sending inadequate number of troops across a mile of open territory to assault a well fortified enemy position is suicide also disagree with Mares Robert.
 
The discussion of the two acts of Congress are totally irrelevant to this discussion as the original question was "what constitutional authority gives the President the authority to wage war on a state. Once I realized that I realized I had to reread the document.

Let me make two offerings. Article I, Section 8 "To declare War".... As you can see this is an unlimited power. The Congress has unlimited authority to make such a decision. Secondly Article I, Section 10 "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation". If such an action is unlawful, an act not just against Federal law but prohibited by the Constitution itself, the President who is mandated to (per his oath) "protect, preserve and defend the Constitution of the US against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC" would be empowered to take any measures necessary to do so.
So you are saying that the congresses that enacted the various Militia Acts and the Insurrection Act had no reason to do so? I don't think so.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
I don't buy into the whole "Lincoln-tricked-us-into-shooting" excuse.

Lincoln laid out his intentions, per his constitutional duties, in his first inaugural. He intended nothing more than fulfilling his constitutional duties, and would not invade or start shooting. The secessionists chose to start shooting. The 700,000 dead are a consequence of that choice.
I have more respect for the intelligence of the authorities in SC than to assume that they were stupidly duped into taking the first step by so obvious a move. Occam's Razor applies here. SC initiated the fighting by firing on a United States military post. They started an insurrection/rebellion/civil war.
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Secession is not Civil War though.
People who think sending inadequate number of troops across a mile of open territory to assault a well fortified enemy position is suicide also disagree with Mares Robert.
I have no idea what you’re getting at. According to Lee secession is rebellion and “sending inadequate number of troops across a mile of open territory to assault a well fortified enemy position” is not suicide.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Virginia and the other states that seceded after Sumter did so because they refused to participate in the invasion of the already seceded states - they felt, at that point, they had no choice. Virginia had previously voted down secession several times, and had even tried to organize a peace conference, which Lincoln flatly rejected. Clearly, he was not interested in peace, but the forceful preservation of the union. BTW, the troops were called up three days after Sumter - Lincoln finally had his reason to invade.
The worse error that the government of the Confedercery made in the entire war ,firing on Federal property. that just happen to be in the harbor of Charleston, S.C., the home of nullification ,the home of John C. Calhoun and the state that though out the history had threaten the North with secession since the Constitution .The issue is that he stated that these states were in rebellion after the firing on the federal property of Ft,Sumter. Would we have been in rebellion if there had been no military operation against the fort? One can look at the whole history and one can find incidents or events that Presidents have used politically to bring this nation to war. Lincoln waited for that event which he used to motivate the North to war, and the North with the anger against the South ,esp. SC went just as the South went with the threat of Northern invasion against there country . Buchannan sent a ship to resupply the fort ,turned around .Lincoln sends the same ship forced to turn around. Fort is fired on ,Why did the Confederate fire on the fort when Lincoln had taken over.? Did they underestimate Lincoln and thought that he would ,as all the other times, just seek a appeasement ? Lincoln was from a area of the country where disagreements among men was settled in fights. A amusing book to read ".THE FIELD OF BLOOD violencce in Congress and the road to CIVIL WAR=author Joanne B. Freeman. The Congress had fired the first shots before Sumter.
 
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