Why did the Confederates not explicitly write secession into their Constitution?

Viper21

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Except for South Carolina, it appears.
Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, & Arkansas too. They hadn't joined the CSA yet, so they had no votes.

I bring this up not just to be Captain Obvious but also because, in many discussions the upper South & their actions/decisions are cast in the same lot so to speak. Meaning, plenty of folks don't separate their causes, actions, timelines, etc.. which obviously are different.

Most people who like to demonize the South, relate the words/actions of SC, & Miss, to all Confederate States. Which is just not historically correct. Just like Stephens' cornerstone speech. He wasn't officially speaking for VA, NC, TN, AR as they weren't members of the CSA on 21 March '61.

The eventual 11 Confederate States, weren't all the same. Though sharing some common ideology, they were unique in their objectives/goals. Much like our 50 states today. There's major differences between New York/Massachusetts, & Virginia/Texas today. Heck, even between the states I paired. Yet, they are all aligned under our Nation. The Confederate States shared in this uniqueness.
 

Mango Hill

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Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, & Arkansas too. They hadn't joined the CSA yet, so they had no votes.

I bring this up not just to be Captain Obvious but also because, in many discussions the upper South & their actions/decisions are cast in the same lot so to speak. Meaning, plenty of folks don't separate their causes, actions, timelines, etc.. which obviously are different.

Most people who like to demonize the South, relate the words/actions of SC, & Miss, to all Confederate States. Which is just not historically correct. Just like Stephens' cornerstone speech. He wasn't officially speaking for VA, NC, TN, AR as they weren't members of the CSA on 21 March '61.

The eventual 11 Confederate States, weren't all the same. Though sharing some common ideology, they were unique in their objectives/goals. Much like our 50 states today. There's major differences between New York/Massachusetts, & Virginia/Texas today. Heck, even between the states I paired. Yet, they are all aligned under our Nation. The Confederate States shared in this uniqueness.

I, for one, don't demonize the Confederacy. I treated as a historical event from which future generations should learn from in order not to repeat it and agree with most of what you posted. I would add the west coast states to NY/MA and the rest of flyover country. :D
 

unionblue

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Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, & Arkansas too. They hadn't joined the CSA yet, so they had no votes.

I bring this up not just to be Captain Obvious but also because, in many discussions the upper South & their actions/decisions are cast in the same lot so to speak. Meaning, plenty of folks don't separate their causes, actions, timelines, etc.. which obviously are different.

Most people who like to demonize the South, relate the words/actions of SC, & Miss, to all Confederate States. Which is just not historically correct. Just like Stephens' cornerstone speech. He wasn't officially speaking for VA, NC, TN, AR as they weren't members of the CSA on 21 March '61.

The eventual 11 Confederate States, weren't all the same. Though sharing some common ideology, they were unique in their objectives/goals. Much like our 50 states today. There's major differences between New York/Massachusetts, & Virginia/Texas today. Heck, even between the states I paired. Yet, they are all aligned under our Nation. The Confederate States shared in this uniqueness.

@Viper21 ,

Those states you seem not willing to associate with the deep south states willingly joined over the issue of slavery as the main point of contention.

I base this premise on the convention journals of Virginia and others upper south states. When searching for the words, "slave," "slavery," vs. "tariffs," or any other hoped for cause of a different reason for secession of these upper south states, it's always slavery that seems to get the most discussion during these secession conventions.

I don't wonder why that is. I merely accept the idea that the subject was important enough to dominate the discussions at those conventions.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Viper21

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@Viper21 ,

Those states you seem not willing to associate with the deep south states willingly joined over the issue of slavery as the main point of contention.

I base this premise on the convention journals of Virginia and others upper south states. When searching for the words, "slave," "slavery," vs. "tariffs," or any other hoped for cause of a different reason for secession of these upper south states, it's always slavery that seems to get the most discussion during these secession conventions.

I don't wonder why that is. I merely accept the idea that the subject was important enough to dominate the discussions at those conventions.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Conventions are just that discussions, where different people voice their opinions, & an official opinion, or position is agreed upon & adopted. This is done by a vote of the delegates. What you are ignoring, is the fact that after all that discussion, after all the journals could document...... Virginia voted AGAINST secession overwhelmingly on 4 April 1861.

This is AFTER Stephens cornerstone speech. This is AFTER, plenty of lobbying from CSA states. It isn't until AFTER Lincoln declared forced coercion was coming South that, Virginia reconvened, & voted again. This time clearly in favor of secession on 17 April 1861.

I always have a hard time understanding why this information is ignored, or minimized. It's a very significant part of the history of it all. Some folks just can't admit that, slavery alone was not enough to get Virginia to join the CSA. It took planned military coercion. A small insignificant point to some, a very real fact to me.
 

DanSBHawk

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It isn't until AFTER Lincoln declared forced coercion was coming South that, Virginia reconvened, & voted again. This time clearly in favor of secession on 17 April 1861.
They didn't "reconvene." They had been continuously in session working on a slavery Constitutional amendment.

Obviously not all of Virginia was as offended by the "forced coercion" or we wouldn't have West Virginia as a state.
 

unionblue

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Conventions are just that discussions, where different people voice their opinions, & an official opinion, or position is agreed upon & adopted. This is done by a vote of the delegates. What you are ignoring, is the fact that after all that discussion, after all the journals could document...... Virginia voted AGAINST secession overwhelmingly on 4 April 1861.

This is AFTER Stephens cornerstone speech. This is AFTER, plenty of lobbying from CSA states. It isn't until AFTER Lincoln declared forced coercion was coming South that, Virginia reconvened, & voted again. This time clearly in favor of secession on 17 April 1861.

I always have a hard time understanding why this information is ignored, or minimized. It's a very significant part of the history of it all. Some folks just can't admit that, slavery alone was not enough to get Virginia to join the CSA. It took planned military coercion. A small insignificant point to some, a very real fact to me.

@Viper21 ,

What's that line from a John Wayne movie?

"Words are what men live by."

What I have a hard time understanding is when researching the Virginia secession convention journal, is why slavery is the top mentioned subject of that convention, beating out every other concern, and no one seems to grasp that fact.

Slavery was the biggest concern for the folks at that convention, and it's even been pointed out they were trying to craft a constitutional amendment concerning slavery for the Constitution before Ft. Sumter took that option away from them. They tried to go in by the front door with that effort, but took the back door when the option went away.

That's what is significant for me.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Viper21

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@Viper21 ,

What's that line from a John Wayne movie?

"Words are what men live by."
Yet, actions are what they are judged by (or at least should be). Do we interpret out current population's motivations based on the words of delegates in negotiations, or proposed legislation...? Or do we rightly judge them based on the official action/s they take..?

It doesn't matter what is said in Convention, the official position of the State is what their issued Ordinance states, & or what their actions are/were.

If folks can't see the difference/s between the actions, motivations, etc. of the upper South, it's because y'all don't want to. It's right there in the historical record for all to see.
 

unionblue

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Yet, actions are what they are judged by (or at least should be). Do we interpret out current population's motivations based on the words of delegates in negotiations, or proposed legislation...? Or do we rightly judge them based on the official action/s they take..?

It doesn't matter what is said in Convention, the official position of the State is what their issued Ordinance states, & or what their actions are/were.

If folks can't see the difference/s between the actions, motivations, etc. of the upper South, it's because y'all don't want to. It's right there in the historical record for all to see.


@Viper21 ,

Without words defining what actions a people wants to take, are there actions?

I mean, after all, the American Revolution didn't just 'happen' nor did the Civil War. Millions of words were tossed back and forth, debate and argument, opinion stated and refuted before any action was taken before the Civil War.

We judge as much on what was said as what was done, and it does matter what is said in Convention to arrive at that issued Ordinance, it has to.

And folks have to see the differences between talking about a thing before deciding on what action they are going to take as a result of all that talking.

And, because I can read the words and see the results of those words put into action, I see that slavery was the Border States primary concern along with their Deep South, Southern Sister States.

And I believe such because of that historical record of their words in Convention.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

Viper21

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@Viper21 ,

Without words defining what actions a people wants to take, are there actions?

I mean, after all, the American Revolution didn't just 'happen' nor did the Civil War. Millions of words were tossed back and forth, debate and argument, opinion stated and refuted before any action was taken before the Civil War.

We judge as much on what was said as what was done, and it does matter what is said in Convention to arrive at that issued Ordinance, it has to.

And folks have to see the differences between talking about a thing before deciding on what action they are going to take as a result of all that talking.

And, because I can read the words and see the results of those words put into action, I see that slavery was the Border States primary concern along with their Deep South, Southern Sister States.

And I believe such because of that historical record of their words in Convention.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
Well, we'll have to just disagree on this. Deliberations, talk, discussion, etc... aren't legal opinions, or official actions. Formal documents, actual legislation, or laws are.

There are many words that have been spoken within the Chambers of the US Congress since it's inception, that are emphatically NOT the official position of the United States.

I would bet every dollar in my pocket that, you have had conversations with officers, & NCO's that are NOT the official position of the US Army. Ever voluntold someone to do something..? It was never the official position of the US Army to force recruits to purchase travelers cheques in boot camp. Yet, we all did. We were very distinctly told, "You do NOT, HAVE to do this. It is highly recommended that you do so".

Ever have a conversation with a group of NCO's trying to figure out a position to take on a number of subjects..? Rhetorical question I know but, my point is..... the ultimate decision that was made, was your official position. The results of your collaboration became your position. Not every word uttered in deliberation.

When the American Revolution happened, did we send King George, the Declaration of Independence, or the notes from the Continental Congress...? Which do we hold in esteem..? Which generally speaking, does the world judge our great nations actions on in 1776 ..?

I respect your opinions. I do. However, I think you're being unfair, to not acknowledge, the circumstances for Virginia's secession, are not the same as the deep south. Did they have some common ground..? Of course. Was slavery on their minds..? Of course. However, the ACTIONS of Virginia, show that, slavery alone didn't get them to secede. Could it have, if Ft Sumter & the following call of troops didn't happen..? Perhaps. We'll never know because, that's not what happened. What did happen, is there for everyone to see. When slavery, & slavery alone was the cause.... Virginia's delegates voted overwhelmingly against Secession, 4 April '61. With war on the table, & Federal coercion a certainty, they changed course, & voted for Secession with a clear mandate, 17 April '61.

The surrender of Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers so radically changed all of the political calculations of members of the convention that even without outside pressure on April 17, 1861, the Virginia Convention voted 88 to 55 to submit an ordinance of secession to the voters for ratification or rejection in a May referendum.

In the aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln's call for troops to put down the insurrection in South Carolina, many Virginians who had opposed secession on its merits quickly changed their minds about secession for practical reasons. The question was no longer whether secession was wise, legal, necessary, or in Virginia's interest; the question became which side to take.


https://edu.lva.virginia.gov/online_classroom/union_or_secession/unit/9
On April 17, 1861, Allen Taylor Caperton, of Monroe County in the mountains of western Virginia, explained to the Virginia Convention why he planned to vote for secession that day. He had voted against secession on April 4, but conditions had changed radically, and he decided that it was essential to have "a unanimous vote in this Convention in favor of the ordinance of secession. I see nothing else that may save us from that disaster." Caperton, like many other men who had originally opposed secession, changed his mind after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. "War is upon us," Caperton admitted, "and we are compelled to make the best of it."

https://edu.lva.virginia.gov/online_classroom/union_or_secession/doc/caperton_speech
 

unionblue

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Well, we'll have to just disagree on this. Deliberations, talk, discussion, etc... aren't legal opinions, or official actions. Formal documents, actual legislation, or laws are.

I fail to see why you can't recognize the idea that deliberations, talk, discussion, etc., lead to legal opinion and official actions, formal documents and actual legislation.

There are many words that have been spoken within the Chambers of the US Congress since it's inception, that are emphatically NOT the official position of the United States.

But yet MANY words in those Chambers have led to those official positions of the United States.


I would bet every dollar in my pocket that, you have had conversations with officers, & NCO's that are NOT the official position of the US Army.

Ah, yes, I remember, they were called 'bull sessions,' we all knew we were letting off steam or telling war stories to one another.

Ever voluntold someone to do something..? It was never the official position of the US Army to force recruits to purchase travelers cheques in boot camp. Yet, we all did. We were very distinctly told, "You do NOT, HAVE to do this. It is highly recommended that you do so".

Sure, it happened, after we TALKED, exchanged ideas and options.

Ever have a conversation with a group of NCO's trying to figure out a position to take on a number of subjects..? Rhetorical question I know but, my point is..... the ultimate decision that was made, was your official position. The results of your collaboration became your position. Not every word uttered in deliberation.

I would have been a worthless NCO if during a staff meeting at my company or battalion if I had not offered my views or opinions on an upcoming FTX or company training and other company business. No, not every word made it to the final deliberation, but the process of planning did take in all positions and objections to reach the planned objective. How could it be otherwise? So many variables to take into consideration to reach that ultimate decision.

When the American Revolution happened, did we send King George, the Declaration of Independence, or the notes from the Continental Congress...? Which do we hold in esteem..? Which generally speaking, does the world judge our great nations actions on in 1776 ..?

Still took a whole lot of debate and talk to reach the point to delegate the writing of the Declaration and to send it to the King. Didn't take place without it.

I respect your opinions. I do. However, I think you're being unfair, to not acknowledge, the circumstances for Virginia's secession, are not the same as the deep south. Did they have some common ground..? Of course. Was slavery on their minds..? Of course. However, the ACTIONS of Virginia, show that, slavery alone didn't get them to secede. Could it have, if Ft Sumter & the following call of troops didn't happen..? Perhaps. We'll never know because, that's not what happened. What did happen, is there for everyone to see. When slavery, & slavery alone was the cause.... Virginia's delegates voted overwhelmingly against Secession, 4 April '61. With war on the table, & Federal coercion a certainty, they changed course, & voted for Secession with a clear mandate, 17 April '61.

The surrender of Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers so radically changed all of the political calculations of members of the convention that even without outside pressure on April 17, 1861, the Virginia Convention voted 88 to 55 to submit an ordinance of secession to the voters for ratification or rejection in a May referendum.

In the aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln's call for troops to put down the insurrection in South Carolina, many Virginians who had opposed secession on its merits quickly changed their minds about secession for practical reasons. The question was no longer whether secession was wise, legal, necessary, or in Virginia's interest; the question became which side to take.


https://edu.lva.virginia.gov/online_classroom/union_or_secession/unit/9
On April 17, 1861, Allen Taylor Caperton, of Monroe County in the mountains of western Virginia, explained to the Virginia Convention why he planned to vote for secession that day. He had voted against secession on April 4, but conditions had changed radically, and he decided that it was essential to have "a unanimous vote in this Convention in favor of the ordinance of secession. I see nothing else that may save us from that disaster." Caperton, like many other men who had originally opposed secession, changed his mind after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to suppress the Southern rebellion. "War is upon us," Caperton admitted, "and we are compelled to make the best of it."

https://edu.lva.virginia.gov/online_classroom/union_or_secession/doc/caperton_speech

I love this response as it shows you have taken time and effort to answer my views, but you were right to say from the beginning we are going to have to agree to disagree.

From tracking the number of times slavery is mentioned in the Virginia secession journals shows this topic was of primary concern. But, discounting even this fact, what was the Virginia Convention working on before Ft. Sumter? Wasn't it a proposal concerning slavery?

Slavery was the concern and the Upper South cannot escape that fact just because it was late to the party.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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