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1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 8:32:52 AM
“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”
-Abraham Lincoln 1848

“The South maintained with the depth of religious conviction that the Union formed under the Constitution was a Union of consent and not of force; that the original States were not the creatures but the creators of the Union; that these States had gained their independence, their freedom, and their sovereignty from the mother country, and had not surrendered these on entering the Union; that by the express terms of the Constitution all rights and powers not delegated were reserved to the States; and the South challenged the North to find one trace of authority in that Constitution for invading and coercing a sovereign State.-the one for liberty in the union of the States, the other for liberty in the independence of the States.”
-John B Gordon Confederate General Reminiscences of the Civil War
 

The right to self govern is maybe the most fundamental American right there is. It is what led to the revolution. America prior to 1860 maintained a confederation of sovereign states. These states were self governing and independent. The right to succession has been a fundamental right of sovereign states in American history. It has been more common of northern states in America prior to 1860, to discuss or threatened succession. Lincoln turned history on its head and declared the nation created the states and states had no right to leave the union. He also declared the entire people [not the states simple democracy] created the union.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”
-Declaration of Independence


The declaration of Independence says “These colonies are, and ought to be free and independent States.” The deceleration is itself a secession document. When the revolution ended the king of England made a peace treaty with each and every state, not with one American nation. Under the articles of confederation article 1 section 2. “Each state retains its sovereignty freedom and Independence.” This is at odds with Lincolns view, but even so, some will say the peoples of the states gave up sovereignty when they ratified the Constitution.

"The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the states; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chooses to withdraw from the compact, it would be difficult to disapprove its right of doing so, and
the Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its claims directly either by force or right.
-Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America


The first draft of the preamble to the constitution read “we the people of the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode island etc.. when they realized not all states might adopt it, they left out the states to ratify as they chose to. The constitution was than ratified by the states, not the American people. The self governing sovereign people of the individual states appointed representative from each state to ratify the constitution. The states existed prior to and created the constitution out of their own free will. In federalist #39 James Madison “The father of the constitution” said the constitution was ratified by the people “Not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent states to which they respectively belong” “states were considered a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only bound by its own voluntary act.” Virginia, New York and Rhode Island reserved the right to secede from the union before ratifying the constitution.

“The laws of Congress are restricted to a certain sphere, and when they depart from this sphere, they are no longer supreme or binding.”
-New York’s ratifying convention


They also declared the right for other states, the others assumed this was the case. In the constitution “united states” is always in plural, not the way we use it today as to refer to one nation. When the constitution was formed, the states had to seceded from the articles of confederation to do so. Federally founded West Point taught the right to secession in its textbook “a view of the constitution of the united states of america by William Rawle.” The constitution nowhere outlaws secession. The constitution established where the federal government has been delegated authority. The rest is reserved to the states. Secession than is a state issue. Nothing is authorized to the states in the constitution [secession or otherwise] since the purpose of the constitution is federal powers.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”
-10th amendment U.S Constitution


Thomas Jefferson

“Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the 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...each party has equal right to judge for itself”
-Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 written by Thomas Jefferson

“Sever ourselves from the union we so much value, rather than give up the rights of self government which we have reserved, and in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness”
-Thomas Jefferson to James Madison 1799

“Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part.  Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that country, in future time, as with this; and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power.”
–Letter from President Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Joseph Priestly, Jan. 29, 1804


Hartford convention 

At the convention the New England states debated whether they should leave the union. No one questioned the legality, simply if it should be done.  In 1801 Thomas Jefferson as president said “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed.” Jefferson said alittel rebellion is “a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” When as president the New England federalist were considering succession Jefferson said “If any state in the union will declare that it prefers separation...let us separate”

Other Founders

“But the indissoluble link of union between the people of the several states of this confederated nation, is after all, not in the right, but in the heart. If the day should ever come, (may Heaven avert it,) when the affections of the people of these states shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give away to cold indifference, or collisions of interest shall fester into hatred, the bands of political association will not long hold together parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies; and far better will it be for the people of the disunited states, to part in friendship from each other, than to be held together by constraint. Then will be the time for reverting to the precedents which occurred at the formation and adoption of the Constitution, to form again a more perfect union, by dissolving that which could no longer bind, and to leave the separated parts to be reunited by the law of political gravitation to the centre”
-John Quincy Adams Northern federalist 1839



Northern federalist Daniel Webster said in 1851 that if the north would not comply with the fugitive slave law, “The south would no longer be bound to observe the compact. A bargain can not be broken on one side, and still bind the other side”

“The thirteen states are thirteen sovereign bodies”
-Oliver Ellsworth

“The states are nations”
-Daniel Webster Commentaries on the Constitution

“If the union was formed by the accession of states then the union may be dissolved by the secession of states”
-Daniel Webster U.S senate Feb 15 1833

“The attributes of sovereignty are now enjoyed by every state in the union”
-Alexander Hamilton

“The first thing I have at heart is American liberty, the second thing is American union
-Patrick Henry

“Had Buchanan in 1860 sent armed forces to prevent the nullification of the fugitive slave law, as Andrew Jackson thretned to do so in 1833, there would have been a secession of fifteen northern states instead of thirteen southern states. Had the democrats won in 1860 the northern states would have been the seceding states not the southern.”
- George Lunt of Massachusetts Origin of the Late war


By 1860 clearly the southern states saw secession as legal but so did most in the north and many leading newspapers. West Virginia during the civil war seceded from the confederacy and the state of Virginia.

“the leading and most influncial papers of the union believe that any state of the union has a right to secede”
-Davenport Iowa Democrat and news 11/17/60

“opposing secession changes the nature of government “from a voluntary one, in which the people are sovereigns, to a despotism were one part of the people are slaves”
- New York Journal of commerce 1/12/61

“The great principles embodied by Jefferson in the declaration is... that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” Therefore if the southern states wish to secede, “they have a clear right to do so”
-New York tribune 2/5/61

Secession is “the very germ of liberty...the right of secession inheres to the people of every sovereign state”
-Kenosha Wisconsin Democrat 1/11/61



Treason

Article 3 section 3 of the constitution says

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

This is what Abraham Lincoln did in the American civil war, he waged war against the southern states.

“To coerce the states is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised... a complying state at war with a non complying state. Congress marching the troops of one state into the bosom of another? Here is a nation at war with itself. Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself- a government that can exists only by the sword”.
-Alexander Hamilton Northern federalist

“Before the war a union a collection of states... after the war we began to speak of a nation”
-Ken Burns


But southerns would also say the south was not leaving the original American republic, but establishing it. That is why before the war the south often thought the north should succeed.

"All that the South has ever desired was the Union as established by our forefathers should be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered in purity and truth."
 Gen. Robert E. Lee Quoted in The enduring Relevance of Robert E Lee


Also being called a traitor is not automatically a bad thing, our nations greatest heroes IMO were traitors. The declaration of Independence was a secession document of sovereign states choosing separation from England's tyrannical government. From Great Britans point of view, they were the loyalist and Americans the traitors. The difference is the north won the war. Had America lost its war for independence, they would have taught the founders as traitors and rebels in textbooks in America. During the revolution “loyalist” like Benedict Arnold were the traitors. John Brown is celebrated in the north yet he formed his own constitution, left the union and created a nation “the republic of liberated slaves”

“If the declaration justified the secession of 3 million colonists in 1776 then why did it not justify the secession of 5 million southerns from the union in 1861”
-Horce Greeley Northern Abolitionist

“Rebellion if successful, is sacred, if not, is treason”
Proverb

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 9:26:51 AM
1stvermont,

The Civil War answered that question once and for all! Back then it was debatable, but try breaking away from the Union now!!??

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 10:10:03 AM

Quote:
1stvermont,

The Civil War answered that question once and for all! Back then it was debatable, but try breaking away from the Union now!!??

MD
--Michigan Dave


It ended it the same way a husband gives his wife a black eye when she tries to leave for him abusing her. The fact you say "try to break away from it now" is just the reason we need to break away to reestablish the union of the founders and the principles of the revolution and declaration. Some of us actually still believe that those principles comes from our creator and are unalienable not from our current master the federal government. So that when those principles are violated, T

"that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”

To me no military victory cannot abolish those principles, they are eternal deriving their source from god. You would have to kill him first. If at first you dont secede....

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 10:22:49 AM
Rather that's true or not? I don't see any state trying to secede in the future?

Do you???
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 11:56:56 AM

Quote:
Rather that's true or not? I don't see any state trying to secede in the future?

Do you???
--Michigan Dave


I think we are straying from the op but I have prayed for it. To me it would seem California or Texas would be the best chances, i think if either of them did others would follow.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5999

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 1:46:37 PM

Quote:
Some of us actually still believe that those principles comes from our creator and are unalienable not from our current master the federal government.


I respect your right to worship as you wish but the principles upon which the US was created and the documents by which those principles were codified and legalized, were created by men, not a creator.

There are millions of good people in your country and mine who believe in the principles upon which their countries were founded and who would dispute that the hands of the men who wrote those documents were guided by a superior being.

If you are advocating revolution because the US has lost the path presented to it by a God, then you have lost me I'm afraid.

Live your life in peace, 1stvermont

George

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 2:43:48 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Some of us actually still believe that those principles comes from our creator and are unalienable not from our current master the federal government.


I respect your right to worship as you wish but the principles upon which the US was created and the documents by which those principles were codified and legalized, were created by men, not a creator.

There are millions of good people in your country and mine who believe in the principles upon which their countries were founded and who would dispute that the hands of the men who wrote those documents were guided by a superior being.

If you are advocating revolution because the US has lost the path presented to it by a God, then you have lost me I'm afraid.

Live your life in peace, 1stvermont

George
--George


The founders and myself would say it was mans proper realization of the laws and principles god gave mankind to live by in the Bible that led to their creation. Not that they were guided by god, but that they followed gods guidelines for man. It is the fact of these principles dont come from men, that make them so great and outside of what any man does and when he violates them, a new government built on those principles, should replace it.

I am not advocating revolution, but peaceful restoration. However i am not doing so here, this has nothing to do with the op.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 181

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 7:48:14 PM
You misapply the right of revolution, which the founders recognized as one held by all people, with a right to unilateral secession, which they did not recognize.

The right to revolution is predicated upon a people being abused, in some fashion, by their government. The nature of most of the gripes of the founders was that odious laws and practices were forced upon them by a government in which they did not have representation. With the existing government of Great Britain being unresponsive to and dismissive of the grievances of the colonists, certain of them invoked the right to revolution and stated their case to the world in the Declaration of Independence. What, pray tell, were the grievances of the states attempting secession that were so severe, and to which the existing government was so unresponsive, that they could legitimately invoke the right to revolution?

The answer is, "There were none." The slave-holding states always had plenty of representation in congress, especially in the House of Representatives, where their "property" (under the 3/5s clause) inflated the number of their representatives. They had dominated the presidency, and had more than adequate representation on the Supreme Court. They did not have a list of past abuses or transgressions on which to base the necessity of revolution.

Having failed that test, we now look at the claim to a right of unilateral secession.

The union of the states, as described in the Articles of Confederation is "perpetual." The constitution did not change that. Rather, it formed "a more perfect union." Changing to "less than perpetual" is not an act that perfects.

Having said that, there was one way in which the unhappy states could have peacefully left the union: with the consent of the sister states. This was a standard legal principle of that (and this) time. Unless there is an "escape clause", so to speak, written into the contract/compact, all parties which consented to it continue to be bound by it, unless released by the other consenting parties. No such "escape clause" exists in the constitution.

The other way to obtain release from such agreements was by force. If one or more parties refuses to no longer abide by the terms, and the other parties either cannot or will not enforce them, then the agreement is, de facto, ended. This was the chosen method of those attempting secession, and it failed. The agreement to union remained intact.

To take this one step further, had those secessionists in the south honestly believed that unilateral secession was a constitutionally protected right, and had they honestly wanted to avoid armed conflict, the courts (particularly the Supreme Court) were open to them. This approach was never attempted. This indicates to me that they well understood that their assertion was a legal fiction, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)

Yours,

JohnT

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5999

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 7:51:00 PM
Restoration to what exactly?

Care to parse the constitution to tell me which sections were ordained?

You are likely aware that there is considerable debate as to whether the founders wrote the constitution to incorporate Christian principles.


Quote:
“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
—John Adams


The power of your government comes from the people. I believe that that was stated clearly.

Surely you do not advocate for a theocracy. Surely we can see where that leads us.

Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5999

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/17/2017 8:06:42 PM
I am aware that John Adams' quote comes from his quest to achieve some sort of detente with Muslim pirates.

He was criticized for it too.

But if your founders were not exactly secularists; after all, it was the 18th century, they seemed to be bright men who understood the need to separate church and state. I believe that your constitution attests to that.

So how does the Christian right justify the politicization of religion? It is rather frightening to me.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/18/2017 9:49:37 AM
George,

I think it's only the opinion of some? Church and state are separate when it comes to most all US Governmental actions!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5999

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/18/2017 5:10:17 PM
Thanks Dave. I know that separation of church and state is one of the founding principles.

It was and is for us as well but I have to say that from my observations, your politics is much more influenced by pressure from the religious right than we are. Influence of religion on Canadian public policy has to be done subtly.

We have Christian extremists too but the percentage in the population is small and scattered, and Canadians generally seem to recoil at interference by religious groups in our politics.

We have politicians who may be "right to life" supporters but they will vote with their party on abortion questions to support Right to Lifers because they know that most Canadians support that too.

Our last PM, Stephen Harper was the closest that we have come to a leader who was a conservative evangelical Christian.

He used to try to mimic US Presidents by closing his speeches with, "God Bless Canada". That makes many Canadians uncomfortable.

For me it was a signal that the religious right were making inroads into politics and that is a non-starter for me and many others.

One politician who aspired to be PM was Stockwell Day who believed in creationism and was laughed at by Canadians for telling us that the earth was only 6,000 years old.

There was a time when religious leaders swung big weight in our country, most notably the Anglican church in Ontario and the RC church which controlled Québec.

I would say that in the '50's and early '60's, religious patterns in our two countries were not too much different.

Secularism is strong now and hopefully the position of the religious right is not affecting the policies of our political parties, too much.

A short article that compares the influence of religion on public policy in the US and in Canada.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/18/2017 8:52:54 PM

Quote:
You misapply the right of revolution, which the founders recognized as one held by all people, with a right to unilateral secession, which they did not recognize.

The right to revolution is predicated upon a people being abused, in some fashion, by their government. The nature of most of the gripes of the founders was that odious laws and practices were forced upon them by a government in which they did not have representation. With the existing government of Great Britain being unresponsive to and dismissive of the grievances of the colonists, certain of them invoked the right to revolution and stated their case to the world in the Declaration of Independence. What, pray tell, were the grievances of the states attempting secession that were so severe, and to which the existing government was so unresponsive, that they could legitimately invoke the right to revolution?

The answer is, "There were none." The slave-holding states always had plenty of representation in congress, especially in the House of Representatives, where their "property" (under the 3/5s clause) inflated the number of their representatives. They had dominated the presidency, and had more than adequate representation on the Supreme Court. They did not have a list of past abuses or transgressions on which to base the necessity of revolution.

Having failed that test, we now look at the claim to a right of unilateral secession.

The union of the states, as described in the Articles of Confederation is "perpetual." The constitution did not change that. Rather, it formed "a more perfect union." Changing to "less than perpetual" is not an act that perfects.

Having said that, there was one way in which the unhappy states could have peacefully left the union: with the consent of the sister states. This was a standard legal principle of that (and this) time. Unless there is an "escape clause", so to speak, written into the contract/compact, all parties which consented to it continue to be bound by it, unless released by the other consenting parties. No such "escape clause" exists in the constitution.

The other way to obtain release from such agreements was by force. If one or more parties refuses to no longer abide by the terms, and the other parties either cannot or will not enforce them, then the agreement is, de facto, ended. This was the chosen method of those attempting secession, and it failed. The agreement to union remained intact.

To take this one step further, had those secessionists in the south honestly believed that unilateral secession was a constitutionally protected right, and had they honestly wanted to avoid armed conflict, the courts (particularly the Supreme Court) were open to them. This approach was never attempted. This indicates to me that they well understood that their assertion was a legal fiction, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)

Yours,

JohnT
--jthlmnn



Thanks for leading the thread back towards the op's topic. Who would want to leave a union or any government that did not violate their liberty? as you say for secession their must be abuse. Weather the founders would support secession with no abuse is irrelevant. What matters i think is if those who wish to leave because they think they are abused, are able. But for you to claim the south had no reason to leave i would say is ignorant of the situation. see the links below for their justifiable causes of secession.


Upper South
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32632
Cotton States
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32631


Your objections to the legality of secession all come from the starting assumption of how we view our nation today and the Constitution. That is why my thread is on antebellum america and our union. From the perspective of 1860, than of course it is legal as sovereign states. to claim the states had to ask the federal master through its courts show how far we have fallen from the union we once were. See below.

Under from Union to Empire
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/18/2017 9:03:14 PM

Quote:
Restoration to what exactly?

Care to parse the constitution to tell me which sections were ordained?

You are likely aware that there is considerable debate as to whether the founders wrote the constitution to incorporate Christian principles.


Quote:
“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
—John Adams


The power of your government comes from the people. I believe that that was stated clearly.

Surely you do not advocate for a theocracy. Surely we can see where that leads us.

Cheers,

George
--George


Restoration to the union the founders created. See under

From Union to Empire
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841


To the founders their was no question biblical principles led to the revolution our Constitution and many of our laws. A biblically influenced government is not a theocracy but a constitutional republic. This is well off topic and perhaps another thread can be done on this in time. But just real quick to counter your quote.





The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy that ever was conceived upon earth. It is the most republican book in the world, and therefore I will still revere it. The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were.., the general principles of Christianity, in which all those sects were united; and the general principles of English and American liberty, in which all these young men united and which had united all parties in America in majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her independence. Now I will avow that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
John Adams

religion and virtue are the only foundations not only of republicanism and of all free government but of social felicity under all governments and in all combinations of human society.
John Adams

[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion

[T]he religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles… This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.

T]he Christian religion… is the basis, or rather the source, of all genuine freedom in government… I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of Christianity have not a controlling influence
Noah webster

The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Congress 1854

[T]he Christian religion – its general principles – must ever be regarded among us as the foundation of civil society
Danial webster

[T]he only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible.
Benjamin Rush


Has [government] any solid foundation? Any chief cornerstone?... I think it has an everlasting foundation in the unchangeable will of God… The sum of my argument is that civil government is of God.
James otis

Supreme Court Justice David Brewer (1837-1910) said
“of all the nations in the world . . . most justly called a Christian nation..has so largely shaped and molded it."

we are a christian nation, because our republic was built on biblical philosophy and laws.


"One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundations. . . . I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. In [our] republic, there would seem to be a peculiar propriety in viewing the Christian religion as the great basis on which it must rest for its support and permanence"
Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845) was appointed to the Court by President James Madison.

"This is a Christian nation. . . . [T]he calling of this republic a Christian nation is not a mere pretence, but a recognition of an historical, legal, and social truth"
Justice David Brewer (1837-1910), appointed to the Court by President Benjamin Harrison

"In the United States, Christianity is the original, spontaneous, and national religion"
Constitutional law professor Edward Mansfield (1801-1880)

"For many years, my hope for the perpetuity of our institutions has rested upon Bible morality and the general dissemination of Christian principles. This is an element which did not exist in the ancient republics. It is a basis on which free governments may be maintained through all time. . . . Free government is not a self-moving machine. . . . Our mission of freedom is not carried out by brute force, by canon law, or any other law except the moral law and those Christian principles which are found in the Scriptures"
Justice John McLean (1785-1861) was appointed to the Court by President Andrew Jackson.

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE 1852-1853: "Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect [denomination]. Any attempt to level and discard all religion would have been viewed with universal indignation. . . . In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity; that, in its general principles, is the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions"

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: "We are Christians, not because the law demands it, not to gain exclusive benefits or to avoid legal disabilities, but from choice and education; and in a land thus universally Christian, what is to be expected, what desired, but that we shall pay a due regard to Christianity?"


"America was born a Christian nation – America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture"
Woodrow Wilson

"[T]he teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally….impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teaching were removed."
Teddy Roosevelt

"This is a Christian Nation"
Harry truman


"no purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation state or national because this is a religious people... this is a Christian nation"

US supreme court in 1892 church of holy trinity vs united states


"The fundamental basis of this Nation's law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days.If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state"
Harry Truman





For your John Adams quote


So the context of the statement you provided in the treaty. I would recommend this book for context

http://www.amazon.com/Six-Frigates-Epic-History-Founding/dp/039333032X

we were dealing with a Muslim nation who were still fighting the crusades and viewed all "christian" [European crusade nations] nations as crusader nations. In our diplomacy we made clear we were not a crusader nation to the Muslims as they understood a "christian" [ crusader] nation. Here is the statement


"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has []iin itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries"


Noah Webster explained:

"The ecclesiastical establishments of Europe which serve to support tyrannical governments are not the Christian religion but abuses and corruptions of it."

Daniel Webster similarly explained that American Christianity was:

"Christianity to which the sword and the fagot [burning stake or hot branding iron]are unknown – general tolerant Christianity is the law of the land!"

Something interesting, when the peace treaty was signed after the war. it looked like this


Done in duplicate, in the warlike City of Algiers, in the presence of Almighty God, the 28th day of August, in the year of Jesus Christ, 1816, and in the year of the Hegira, 1231, and the 6th day of the Moon Shawal

The book written by the forces involved for a title used

The Life of the Late Gen. William Eaton . . . commander of the Christian and Other Forces . . . which Led to the Treaty of Peace Between The United States and The Regency of Tripoli
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/18/2017 9:08:46 PM

Quote:
I am aware that John Adams' quote comes from his quest to achieve some sort of detente with Muslim pirates.

He was criticized for it too.

But if your founders were not exactly secularists; after all, it was the 18th century, they seemed to be bright men who understood the need to separate church and state. I believe that your constitution attests to that.

So how does the Christian right justify the politicization of religion? It is rather frightening to me.

Cheers,

George
--George


Maybe because there was no separation of church and state in early america? well at least it had a very different meaning than post 1947 ACLU interpretation of The first amendment. Believe it or not the founders intended the first amendment to be like the rest of the amendments that limited government and protected people liberties. So when it says

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

that it actually meant congress, congress was limited not the citizens. Establishment of religion always meant a one denomination rule, This is how it was understood until the majority of 9 judges decided to change course. This is how the state Constitution were as well, for exsample.

New jersey
No Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civilright, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing abelief in the faith of any Protestant sect. who shall demean themselves peaceably underthe government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any officeof profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature.

Maryland, 1776
That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to anyoffice of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this State, and suchoath of office, as shall be directed by this Convention or the Legislature of this State, anda declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.




However this will be for another thread and another day.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/18/2017 9:13:12 PM

Quote:
George,

I think it's only the opinion of some? Church and state are separate when it comes to most all US Governmental actions!
--Michigan Dave


Today yes, not in early america. I think a thread is needed on this.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 181

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/20/2017 9:54:54 PM

Quote:

Quote:
You misapply the right of revolution, which the founders recognized as one held by all people, with a right to unilateral secession, which they did not recognize.

The right to revolution is predicated upon a people being abused, in some fashion, by their government. The nature of most of the gripes of the founders was that odious laws and practices were forced upon them by a government in which they did not have representation. With the existing government of Great Britain being unresponsive to and dismissive of the grievances of the colonists, certain of them invoked the right to revolution and stated their case to the world in the Declaration of Independence. What, pray tell, were the grievances of the states attempting secession that were so severe, and to which the existing government was so unresponsive, that they could legitimately invoke the right to revolution?

The answer is, "There were none." The slave-holding states always had plenty of representation in congress, especially in the House of Representatives, where their "property" (under the 3/5s clause) inflated the number of their representatives. They had dominated the presidency, and had more than adequate representation on the Supreme Court. They did not have a list of past abuses or transgressions on which to base the necessity of revolution.

Having failed that test, we now look at the claim to a right of unilateral secession.

The union of the states, as described in the Articles of Confederation is "perpetual." The constitution did not change that. Rather, it formed "a more perfect union." Changing to "less than perpetual" is not an act that perfects.

Having said that, there was one way in which the unhappy states could have peacefully left the union: with the consent of the sister states. This was a standard legal principle of that (and this) time. Unless there is an "escape clause", so to speak, written into the contract/compact, all parties which consented to it continue to be bound by it, unless released by the other consenting parties. No such "escape clause" exists in the constitution.

The other way to obtain release from such agreements was by force. If one or more parties refuses to no longer abide by the terms, and the other parties either cannot or will not enforce them, then the agreement is, de facto, ended. This was the chosen method of those attempting secession, and it failed. The agreement to union remained intact.

To take this one step further, had those secessionists in the south honestly believed that unilateral secession was a constitutionally protected right, and had they honestly wanted to avoid armed conflict, the courts (particularly the Supreme Court) were open to them. This approach was never attempted. This indicates to me that they well understood that their assertion was a legal fiction, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)

Yours,

JohnT
--jthlmnn



Thanks for leading the thread back towards the op's topic. Who would want to leave a union or any government that did not violate their liberty? as you say for secession their must be abuse. Weather the founders would support secession with no abuse is irrelevant. What matters i think is if those who wish to leave because they think they are abused, are able. But for you to claim the south had no reason to leave i would say is ignorant of the situation. see the links below for their justifiable causes of secession.


Upper South
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32632
Cotton States
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32631


Your objections to the legality of secession all come from the starting assumption of how we view our nation today and the Constitution. That is why my thread is on antebellum america and our union. From the perspective of 1860, than of course it is legal as sovereign states. to claim the states had to ask the federal master through its courts show how far we have fallen from the union we once were. See below.

Under from Union to Empire
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841


--1stvermont


I do not have a "starting assumption." I base my statements/conclusions on the texts of the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution. Further, I base them on the common legal principles of that time. I also base them on the texts of the various articles of secession, and the communications inviting other states to join in secession. I also employ a good deal of study of the various compromises with, and concession to, the slave states over the opening decades of this nation's history. Finally, I have a clear understanding of the difference between a right to revolution and a right to unilateral secession, as it was understood from the time of the founders onwards.

My statements were that there were two methods, that did not employ physical force, for the unhappy states to legally and peacefully attempt to leave the "perpetual" union: with the consent of their sister states (with whom they had first entered the compact and to whom they were bound), or to have their claim that unilateral secession was a constitutionally protected right adjudicated in court. These were common and normative practices for members of a contract/compact, as well as for settling differences between states or between states and the federal government from the time of the the ratification of the Constitution. (Consent of other parties of a compact predated The Constitution and was to familiar to the founders, as well as to the secessionists, decades later.)

The fact that the secessionists of the South immediately resorted to the seizure of federal property, and, later, to the firing upon federal vessels and and installations, speaks volumes as to their lack of faith in the legitimacy of their claim to a constitutionally protected right of secession.

Yours,
JohnT









George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5999

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 6:48:01 AM

Quote:
Maybe because there was no separation of church and state in early america?


You did not address my question. You alluded to a return to the principles upon which the country was founded.

I wish to understand your frame of reference given that comment and some others.

Do you advocate a return to this "Christian society" and the Christian principles upon which you feel the country was founded?

If so, what measures do you advocate to return to those days?

BTW, I think that you may be cherry picking quotes from people to affirm your apparent belief that the US was founded on Christian principles. But they may not be key founding fathers but people who feel as you apparently do.

Best to trust the wording of the constitution I think and to ignore the religious musings of people of the time who may have been Christian because they studiously avoided mentioning Christianity or Christ in the document. They did not ban non-Christians from service in government did they?

What did Jefferson and Madison have to say about governments that professed to be based upon religious principles?

Let me cherry pick one:


Quote:
Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts by the secular arm, to extinguish religious discord, by proscribing all difference in religious opinion
. -James Madison


Would it be worth it to discuss the opinions of the key founders and crafters of the constitution to come to an understanding of their beliefs in the relationship between church and state?


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 556

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 8:03:25 AM
JohnT,

But a state or group of states has to declare its/their intention to leave and take steps for defense until the case is heard and adjudicated in the highest court in the land especially since the federal government calls for troops before any case is even brought.

I honestly think that your problem is you won't concede that there were two opposite views at the time, that a significant percentage North and South believed that unilateral secession was legitimate.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 9:39:16 AM
BTW Yesterday was Dec. 20th & was the 156th anniversary of South Carolina seceding from the Union! It is said that many people in the Charleston, SC streets were celebrating and party-ing, little did they know what death & destruction was about to be brought about the nation because of it!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

[Read More]

Peace,
MD

BTW Don't you think that the secession movement was stirred up by the Planter Elite Plantation Aristocracy, or Fire Eaters? They were in power in the high governmental positions of the Southern States at this time!? Ironically most plantation owners hired someone to fight for them!?
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 181

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 11:49:10 AM

Quote:
JohnT,

But a state or group of states has to declare its/their intention to leave and take steps for defense until the case is heard and adjudicated in the highest court in the land especially since the federal government calls for troops before any case is even brought.


South Carolina had begun seizing federal property on December 26, 1860. The six other states attempting unilateral secession seized federal property throughout January and February of 1861. This was done while Buchanan was still president. There was no military reaction from the federal government. Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4. Two days later, before Lincoln had done anything, Jefferson Davis called for 100,000 volunteers. Lincoln did not call for troops until April 15, 1861, after Fort Sumter had been fired upon.

South Carolina had the opportunity, after their decision to secede and prior to the firing on Fort Sumter, to file a petition with congress asking consent to their departure (kind of the reverse of a territory petitioning to become a state), or file a court case. That was a three month period. Were there not enough lawyers and politicians in South Carolina, or Georgia, or any of the other states attempting secession at that time, to draw up and file the papers? Was it even discussed? From my readings of the proceedings prior to and following declarations of secession, the answers would be "Yes, there were" and "Not much, if at all."


Quote:
I honestly think that your problem is you won't concede that there were two opposite views at the time, that a significant percentage North and South believed that unilateral secession was legitimate.
--John R. Price


Then you misunderstand me. That two views existed is a given. I argue that one had a solid legal and constitutional foundation (perpetual union), and the other was a legal fiction (unilateral secession). Since this thread is ostensibly about the legality of unilateral secession, the relative popularity of the two viewpoints is irrelevant. An illegal action is still an illegal action, no matter how many people think otherwise. To my mind, that relative popularity of viewpoints is worthy of examination and discussion, but in its own thread.

Yours,

JohnT



John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 556

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 11:51:28 AM
Dave,

Where are you getting that most plantation owners hired somebody to fight for them? Plus what is your definition of plantation, at least 25 slaves or by land size? Either way I think you better double check your facts and take a closer look at the government and officer corps of the Confederacy.

Plus who says it was only the Planter Aristocracy in the Fire Eaters group?

I'd also point out once again that the Abolitionist and Industrialist added a hell of a lot of fuel to the fire and stirring of the pot.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 556

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 12:47:44 PM
JohnT,

There was a reaction Fort Sumter and all the Charleston Harbor defenses refused to be seized under direct order from Buchanan. In fact SC wasn't the only place ordered to not surrender. Lincoln had a standing Regular Army and certain Northern stat governments had been recruiting their state militias. One of the main functions of government is defense so why wouldn't a newly elected leader call for volunteers to form a army for defense especially when there are "foreign" troops occupying more than one installation in your territory showing no sign of being willing to surrender without a fight?

What ruling do you expect from a state court in SC or GA? Is the North and the federal government going to accept that ruling? Why are Northern Republican Congressmen going to vote in favor of secession? Is the South going to accept that ruling? Where is the unbiased opinion coming from?

Legality of a action is based on the interpretation of the law and my point is that there were different interpretations on secession not about the popularity of secession. So I apologize what I should have said is you won't concede there were two opposite interpretation of the legitimacy of secession and that in a large part the outcome of the war decided the issue.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 2:07:57 PM

Quote:
Dave,

Where are you getting that most plantation owners hired somebody to fight for them? Plus what is your definition of plantation, at least 25 slaves or by land size? Either way I think you better double check your facts and take a closer look at the government and officer corps of the Confederacy.

Plus who says it was only the Planter Aristocracy in the Fire Eaters group?

I'd also point out once again that the Abolitionist and Industrialist added a hell of a lot of fuel to the fire and stirring of the pot.
--John R. Price



Hi John,

What about the "Twenty Slave Law", passed by the Confederate Congress in 1862, creating an exemption for those southerners who owned 20 or more slaves!? Sure it was amended back & forth but it still remained a loop hole for those owning around 20 + slaves away out!?

[Read More]

Rich mans war, poor mans fight!?
Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 4:29:48 PM

Quote:
BTW Yesterday was Dec. 20th & was the 156th anniversary of South Carolina seceding from the Union! It is said that many people in the Charleston, SC streets were celebrating and party-ing, little did they know what death & destruction was about to be brought about the nation because of it!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

[Read More]

Peace,
MD

BTW Don't you think that the secession movement was stirred up by the Planter Elite Plantation Aristocracy, or Fire Eaters? They were in power in the high governmental positions of the Southern States at this time!? Ironically most plantation owners hired someone to fight for them!?
--Michigan Dave


Is this to me? if so, do I think the planter elite and the fire eaters had a big impact on the secession of the original cotton states? Indeed i do. Not sure what this has to do with op or any thread i have made and of course this post might not have been meant for me so if so, i shall shut up.

forgot, originally farms with 20 or more slaves owners were allowed to not enter the war or later draft so as to keep up food production and other military related services [north made similar rules with large business and certain industries] than when they got desperate, they removed the rule. But remember, nobody thought [ok a few] the war would last long or be bloody.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 5:03:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Maybe because there was no separation of church and state in early america?


You did not address my question. You alluded to a return to the principles upon which the country was founded.

I wish to understand your frame of reference given that comment and some others.

Do you advocate a return to this "Christian society" and the Christian principles upon which you feel the country was founded?

If so, what measures do you advocate to return to those days?

BTW, I think that you may be cherry picking quotes from people to affirm your apparent belief that the US was founded on Christian principles. But they may not be key founding fathers but people who feel as you apparently do.

Best to trust the wording of the constitution I think and to ignore the religious musings of people of the time who may have been Christian because they studiously avoided mentioning Christianity or Christ in the document. They did not ban non-Christians from service in government did they?

What did Jefferson and Madison have to say about governments that professed to be based upon religious principles?

Let me cherry pick one:


Quote:
Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts by the secular arm, to extinguish religious discord, by proscribing all difference in religious opinion
. -James Madison


Would it be worth it to discuss the opinions of the key founders and crafters of the constitution to come to an understanding of their beliefs in the relationship between church and state?


--George



I do absolutely wish to return to our christian heritage and christian principles that we originally held to. How much do i wish we would return? I would alter a few things for sure but as a general idea, im all in. I like the csa Constitution better but it did not go far enough imo. Many of those differences can be found here under The Confederate Constitution http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32631

as a christian i would also add more of the laws of the bible as well.



I could be cherry picking to support my views, of course you wont be able to show it as i am not. That is why clearly a thread is needed and that is a project I have done in the past and will soon be working on to post here as well. A great example of cherry picking is quote from adams dealing with a Muslim nation and your claim we are not a christian nation because the Constitution does not say we are. You have hit the big two, but as a secularist You have but a couple more pieces of "evidence" to push that early america was a secular nation, will you post them next? are you aware or trained to go to them? so with the godless Constitution First I want to point out the state constitutions did, and many still do. For example

Delawares- every person appointed to public office shall say i do profess faith in god the father and in Jesus Christ his only son and in the holy ghost and i acknowledge the holy scriptures of the old and new testament to be given by divine inspiration


Pennsylvania/Vermont
and each member of the legislation before he takes a seat shall make and subscribe the following i do believe in one god the creator and Governor of the universe the rewarded of the good and punish er of the wicked

Tennessee 1796 “no person who denies the being of God, or a
future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil
department of this State.”


The Constitution was silent on the subject of God and religion because religion was a matter left to the states.The Constitution was not an all powerful dictator as we believe it is today, but delegated authority by the states.
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841

State constitutions already had laws dealing with religious freedom and state/ civil governments. The first amendment is to make sure it stays that way and the federal cannot interfere.




Yes in some states non Christians were banned from office, in South Carolina for example you could not even vote unless you were christian. Even some Catholics were not allowed into office or to vote. But your false assumption is a "christian nation" is a theocracy. This I will deal with in a future thread. A biblical nation is a constitutional republic, not a theocracy like the middle ages. Plus your missing the point of where did the ideas that from the Constitution come from? that will be part of a future thread.


Jefferson and madison

I admit I am unfamiliar with the quote but lets see it once more


Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts by the secular arm, to extinguish religious discord, by proscribing all difference in religious opinion
. -James Madison


Amen, part of why the early americas left Europe is because the state took over the church and forced denominational rule a theocracy. Here are some things jefferson did as president, that secularist/seperation of church and state guy we are told about.

recommended the seal of united states include depict bible stories Whereas President Jefferson not only attended Divine services at the Capitol throughout his presidency and had the Marine Band play at the services, but during his administration church services were also begun in the War Department and the Treasury Department, thus allowing worshippers on any given Sunday the choice to attend church at either the United States Capitol, the War Department, or the Treasury Department if they so desired;
Whereas Thomas Jefferson urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes, provided Federal funding for missionary work among Indian tribes, and declared that religious schools would receive `the patronage of the government';

In an 1803 federal Indian treaty, Jefferson willingly agreed to provide $300 to “assist the said Kaskaskia tribe in the erection of a church” and to provide “annually for seven years $100 towards the support of a Catholic priest.” He also signed three separate acts setting aside government lands for the sole use of religious groups and setting aside government lands so that Moravian missionaries might be assisted in “promoting Christianity.”

When Washington D. C. became the national capital in 1800, Congress voted that the Capitol building would also serve as a church building. [7] President Jefferson chose to attend church each Sunday at the Capitol [8] and even provided the service with paid government musicians to assist in its worship. [9] Jefferson also began similar Christian services in his own Executive Branch, both at the Treasury Building and at the War Office
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proposed a design representing Moses crossing the Red Sea, with Pharaoh in hot pursuit. It included the motto: 'Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God'. The task was not complete until the current design was approved by Congress on June 20, 1782.

Jefferson urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes
Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Bishop Carroll on September 3, 1801 (in the Library of Congress, #19966).

Jefferson said
No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.
Hutson (see n. 8) at p. 96, quoting from a handwritten history in possession of the Library of Congress, “Washington Parish, Washington City,” by Rev. Ethan Allen








---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/21/2017 5:17:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
You misapply the right of revolution, which the founders recognized as one held by all people, with a right to unilateral secession, which they did not recognize.

The right to revolution is predicated upon a people being abused, in some fashion, by their government. The nature of most of the gripes of the founders was that odious laws and practices were forced upon them by a government in which they did not have representation. With the existing government of Great Britain being unresponsive to and dismissive of the grievances of the colonists, certain of them invoked the right to revolution and stated their case to the world in the Declaration of Independence. What, pray tell, were the grievances of the states attempting secession that were so severe, and to which the existing government was so unresponsive, that they could legitimately invoke the right to revolution?

The answer is, "There were none." The slave-holding states always had plenty of representation in congress, especially in the House of Representatives, where their "property" (under the 3/5s clause) inflated the number of their representatives. They had dominated the presidency, and had more than adequate representation on the Supreme Court. They did not have a list of past abuses or transgressions on which to base the necessity of revolution.

Having failed that test, we now look at the claim to a right of unilateral secession.

The union of the states, as described in the Articles of Confederation is "perpetual." The constitution did not change that. Rather, it formed "a more perfect union." Changing to "less than perpetual" is not an act that perfects.

Having said that, there was one way in which the unhappy states could have peacefully left the union: with the consent of the sister states. This was a standard legal principle of that (and this) time. Unless there is an "escape clause", so to speak, written into the contract/compact, all parties which consented to it continue to be bound by it, unless released by the other consenting parties. No such "escape clause" exists in the constitution.

The other way to obtain release from such agreements was by force. If one or more parties refuses to no longer abide by the terms, and the other parties either cannot or will not enforce them, then the agreement is, de facto, ended. This was the chosen method of those attempting secession, and it failed. The agreement to union remained intact.

To take this one step further, had those secessionists in the south honestly believed that unilateral secession was a constitutionally protected right, and had they honestly wanted to avoid armed conflict, the courts (particularly the Supreme Court) were open to them. This approach was never attempted. This indicates to me that they well understood that their assertion was a legal fiction, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5)

Yours,

JohnT
--jthlmnn



Thanks for leading the thread back towards the op's topic. Who would want to leave a union or any government that did not violate their liberty? as you say for secession their must be abuse. Weather the founders would support secession with no abuse is irrelevant. What matters i think is if those who wish to leave because they think they are abused, are able. But for you to claim the south had no reason to leave i would say is ignorant of the situation. see the links below for their justifiable causes of secession.


Upper South
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32632
Cotton States
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32631


Your objections to the legality of secession all come from the starting assumption of how we view our nation today and the Constitution. That is why my thread is on antebellum america and our union. From the perspective of 1860, than of course it is legal as sovereign states. to claim the states had to ask the federal master through its courts show how far we have fallen from the union we once were. See below.

Under from Union to Empire
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841


--1stvermont


I do not have a "starting assumption." I base my statements/conclusions on the texts of the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution. Further, I base them on the common legal principles of that time. I also base them on the texts of the various articles of secession, and the communications inviting other states to join in secession. I also employ a good deal of study of the various compromises with, and concession to, the slave states over the opening decades of this nation's history. Finally, I have a clear understanding of the difference between a right to revolution and a right to unilateral secession, as it was understood from the time of the founders onwards.

My statements were that there were two methods, that did not employ physical force, for the unhappy states to legally and peacefully attempt to leave the "perpetual" union: with the consent of their sister states (with whom they had first entered the compact and to whom they were bound), or to have their claim that unilateral secession was a constitutionally protected right adjudicated in court. These were common and normative practices for members of a contract/compact, as well as for settling differences between states or between states and the federal government from the time of the the ratification of the Constitution. (Consent of other parties of a compact predated The Constitution and was to familiar to the founders, as well as to the secessionists, decades later.)

The fact that the secessionists of the South immediately resorted to the seizure of federal property, and, later, to the firing upon federal vessels and and installations, speaks volumes as to their lack of faith in the legitimacy of their claim to a constitutionally protected right of secession.

Yours,
JohnT









--jthlmnn



Since you did not use any sources to make your case i can not respond to why you hold your views. I will refer to my op and my thread on the union below to show your view at odds with the founders and why.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841

Once more it comes to their understanding of the union vs our modern nation.As for South Carolina I dont fully disagree the deep south may have acted in haste as many future upper south confederates believed. However the reason they did so was because Lincoln would not recognize them as independent or sovereign, they were as an independent nation allowed the right to their own territory [within state limits] as a sovereign body.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 556

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/22/2017 12:35:25 AM
Dave,

First the "20 Slave law" was about the draft and the draft was for men aged 18 to 35. How many men under 35 do you think could afford to buy 20 slaves? A slave cost as much or more than a house how many men today under 35 can afford to but 20 or more homes? So for the most part you would be talking men over 35 ineligible for the draft.

Second the longest standing version of the law applied to minors, those of unsound mind, single women or widows and those already in military service of the Confederacy. All of the above weren't subject to the draft anyway and it was all about hired "overseers" and they wouldn't be considered "rich men." Plus your just saying there was a law doesn't prove your statement.

Last there was a well respected study done on the socio-economic background of the Army of Northern Virginia and from memory it said that 36-38% of all the recruits of 1861 and 55-57% of the officer corps either owned or lived in households that owned slaves and the percentages stayed steady or rose during the war.(its from memory so I will dig it up if you want, First name was Jim or James and the last begins with a G. do a search on slave ownership 1860 and it will come up but not in the actual census data) Now actual slave ownership was just above 10% in the South and about 23-24% of Southern households. Ownership of 20 or more was what about 3% I think. I also have to add this isn't counting the Navy or civilian government.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 181

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/22/2017 1:40:08 AM

Quote:
Since you did not use any sources to make your case i can not respond to why you hold your views.


Try Google. With it you can find The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, the various Articles of Secession, and more.

For the communications encouraging other states to also secede, I recommend Dew, Charles B., Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War, 2002, University of Virginia Press

For secessionism, I recommend William W. Freehling's two-volume work, The Road to Disunion. Volume 1 is subtitled Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854, 1991, Oxford University Press. Volume 2 is Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861, 2008, Oxford University Press.


Quote:
I will refer to my op and my thread on the union below to show your view at odds with the founders and why.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841


"The founders" All of them? Really? You grossly overstate the case, here. You might try ploughing through the debates of the Constitutional Convention. (Also available online.) The overwhelming majority of people who hammered out the Constitution, as well as those who later ratified it, not to mention those who petitioned for statehood afterwards, knew full well the gravity and perpetuity of the bond they were entering. Besides which, you established this as a discussion about the legality of unilateral secession. I have stated the legal and constitutional grounds which made such a notion an absurdity.


Quote:
Once more it comes to their understanding of the union vs our modern nation.


You might keep repeating that mantra, but it still won't be true. The constitutional principles of perpetuity and how a state might leave the union were stated by people like James Madison at the time of the convention, the ratification process, during the Nullification Crisis, and by Lincoln himself. They are not a modern perception.


Quote:
As for South Carolina I dont fully disagree the deep south may have acted in haste as many future upper south confederates believed. However the reason they did so was because Lincoln would not recognize them as independent or sovereign, they were as an independent nation allowed the right to their own territory [within state limits] as a sovereign body.

--1stvermont


Two problems with this part:

1) The seizures took place from December, 1860 through February, 1861. Lincoln did not become president until March of 1861.

2) They were not yet (and never would be) an independent nation. Claiming independence does not automatically make it so. You have to get the other party to agree (as we did with Great Britain in 1783), or at least render their exercise of continued governance permanently impotent. The secessionists accomplished neither, which is why no other nation on the planet ever granted them official recognition.

Yours,

JohnT

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/22/2017 2:39:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Since you did not use any sources to make your case i can not respond to why you hold your views.


Try Google. With it you can find The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, the various Articles of Secession, and more.

For the communications encouraging other states to also secede, I recommend Dew, Charles B., Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War, 2002, University of Virginia Press

For secessionism, I recommend William W. Freehling's two-volume work, The Road to Disunion. Volume 1 is subtitled Secessionists at Bay, 1776-1854, 1991, Oxford University Press. Volume 2 is Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861, 2008, Oxford University Press.


Quote:
I will refer to my op and my thread on the union below to show your view at odds with the founders and why.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=19&ID=32841


"The founders" All of them? Really? You grossly overstate the case, here. You might try ploughing through the debates of the Constitutional Convention. (Also available online.) The overwhelming majority of people who hammered out the Constitution, as well as those who later ratified it, not to mention those who petitioned for statehood afterwards, knew full well the gravity and perpetuity of the bond they were entering. Besides which, you established this as a discussion about the legality of unilateral secession. I have stated the legal and constitutional grounds which made such a notion an absurdity.


Quote:
Once more it comes to their understanding of the union vs our modern nation.


You might keep repeating that mantra, but it still won't be true. The constitutional principles of perpetuity and how a state might leave the union were stated by people like James Madison at the time of the convention, the ratification process, during the Nullification Crisis, and by Lincoln himself. They are not a modern perception.


Quote:
As for South Carolina I dont fully disagree the deep south may have acted in haste as many future upper south confederates believed. However the reason they did so was because Lincoln would not recognize them as independent or sovereign, they were as an independent nation allowed the right to their own territory [within state limits] as a sovereign body.

--1stvermont


Two problems with this part:

1) The seizures took place from December, 1860 through February, 1861. Lincoln did not become president until March of 1861.

2) They were not yet (and never would be) an independent nation. Claiming independence does not automatically make it so. You have to get the other party to agree (as we did with Great Britain in 1783), or at least render their exercise of continued governance permanently impotent. The secessionists accomplished neither, which is why no other nation on the planet ever granted them official recognition.

Yours,

JohnT

--jthlmnn


Of course, but as i said you did not use those sources to support your view other than your modern perspective looking back. You need to use sources with their understanding and use the founders to support as i did in my threads. Until that is done i simply refer to my two threads that includes founders and those original sources to disagree with you.


Very true they did not all agree, that is why if you get around to reading my threads [ they are long and dont blame you] witch would be nice if we are to discus this stuff, I said how my thread represented the majority view, and the state ratification understanding from the Virginas perspective, also the dominate view. You mention them but dont realize i quote from a couple state ratification documents that maintain secession by the state when the state felt the compact was violated.


The fact you site Lincoln as a source for what is legal for secession proves once more we are talking two separate things, me the founders/union/compact view, you from a modern taught history looking back. You have made many statements that prove this on this thread. I think you are not aware as you have been taught to think a certain way and dont realize it. But go ahead and support your view from the ratification process and state conversions. Good luck no state would have joined such a compact at the time.



There was no seizures . There was the independent nation the "Palmetto Republic" that maintained its integrity as any republic and controlled what was in its own territory and did not allow a foreign n nation to control it as any nation would. Lincoln won election in November and that directly led to secession.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32631

and after refusing to recganise the principles of the declaration, sc than defended itself from a foreign invader.


you said

"They were not yet (and never would be) an independent nation. Claiming independence does not automatically make it so. You have to get the other party to agree"

Could you support this from the declaration of Independence or those god given unalienable rights? how about the Constitution or the state ratification? I could use them and more to go against what you have said above as i did in my threads. Once more it shows we are talking two separate subjects, you from a modern idea looking back, me from the god given founders/union compact of the day. Sadly i think you still do not see it.

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/22/2017 3:33:13 PM
1st,

The Palmetto Republic? the Palmetto Republic lasted only 2 months! I think I'd rather join Key West's "Conch Republic"! Sipping cold ones, eating fresh seafood at the beach under Palm Trees in Key West, & listening to Jimmy Buffet, sounds like more fun! Although SC has Palm trees too, & also sounds pretty good to this northern boy in the winter!

[Read More]

[Read More]

heading down south next month!
Wasting away in Margaritaville,
MD

BTW; Although this thread is interesting, but going back to Antebellum times, & wishing them to occur again, is almost like a "history what if"? Secession is not likely to happen again? Also I took the time to read each Southern State Secession documents, and the all make slavery a major reason for breaking away!?

[Read More]
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/22/2017 3:38:56 PM

Quote:
1st,

The Palmetto Republic? the Palmetto Republic lasted only 2 months! I think I'd rather join Key West's "Conch Republic"! Sipping cold ones, eating fresh seafood at the beach under Palm Trees in Key West, & listening to Jimmy Buffet, sounds like more fun! Although SC has Palm trees too, & also sounds pretty good to this northern boy in the winter!

[Read More]

heading down south next month!
Wasting away in Margaritaville,
MD

BTW; Although this thread is interesting, but going back to Antebellum times, & wishing them to occur again, is almost like a "history what if"? Secession is not likely to happen again? Also I took the time to read each Southern State Secession documents, and the all make slavery a major reason for breaking away!?

[Read More]

--Michigan Dave


it lasted a short time as they joined the csa. I am sorry but it is hard to believe you read the secession documents rather more likely you were told by someone what they say. It happened to me also than I read them. As you will see i quote from everyone i think

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32632
http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32632

I think it is 5 that mention slavery they all do mention states rights though. However it is important to put them in the historical/political context of their day and to look at other documents on secession from the time period or else some can lead you astray. But have no fear i have done so for you in the above threads. Since you are after truth i am sure will will read them and investigate into truth.

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 181

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/23/2017 4:04:28 PM
The whole basis of the "unilateral secession was legal" argument is the "compact theory" of the union of states. Briefly stated, the states voluntarily entered a contract, called the Constitution, and could voluntarily leave it if/when they so desired.

1stvermont maintains that anything which contradicts this theory is a modern construct imposed retroactively. He has dismissed the plain text of both the Articles of Confederation (the union shall be perpetual), and the Constitution (to form a more perfect union) by implying that they meant something different to the founders. I can find no study of American English, constitutional law, American history, or any other discipline to indicate that the word perpetual meant anything different in the 1780s than it does today, or to indicate that the term more perfect union somehow meant that perpetual was reduced to at will.

One can argue how common the opposing viewpoints of the Constitutional union were, but that is an exercise in politics, not law, and not the Constitution. The opinion which matters here would be that of the Supreme Court of the United States. Did they address the "compact theory" and, therefore, the nature of the union, prior to the Civil War? They did, three times, between 1793 and 1819.

The first instance was Chisolm v Georgia, in 1793. Here the SCOTUS stated that the people directly established "...a Constitution by which it was their will that the State governments should be bound." [Read More]

The second was Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, in 1816. Writing for the majority, Justice Story stated, "The Constitution of the United States was ordained and established not by the States in their sovereign capacities, but emphatically, as the preamble of the Constitution declares, by 'the people of the United States'." He further stated, "The Constitution was for a new Government, organized with new substantive powers, and not a mere supplementary charter to a Government already existing. The Confederation was a compact between States, and its structure and powers were wholly unlike those of the National Government. The Constitution was an act of the people of the United States to supersede the Confederation..."[Read More] (Side note: 4 of the 6 justices deciding this case were southern, one being George Washington's nephew.)

Third was McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819. Here the unanimous majority stated,

"In discussing this question, the counsel for the State of Maryland have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the Constitution, to consider that instrument not as emanating from the people, but as the act of sovereign and independent States. The powers of the General Government, it has been said, are delegated by the States, who alone are truly sovereign, and must be exercised in subordination to the States, who alone possess supreme dominion.

It would be difficult to sustain this proposition. The convention which framed the Constitution was indeed elected by the State legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligation or pretensions to it. It was reported to the then existing Congress of the United States with a request that it might be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.

This mode of proceeding was adopted, and by the convention, by Congress, and by the State legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject -- by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several States -- and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their States. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the State governments.

From these conventions the Constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is "ordained and established" in the name of the people, and is declared to be ordained, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity.

The assent of the States in their sovereign capacity is implied in calling a convention, and thus submitting that instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it, and their act was final. It required not the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the State Governments. The Constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the State sovereignties."
[Read More]

It was on these three decisions that the Supreme Court based its 1869 decision in Texas v White that Texas never left the union, as the union was "indestructible." Employing the doctrine of Stare Decisis, or relying on precedent, the court determined that, in 1861, previous decisions of the court rendered the attempted secession of Texas (and, by extension, the other so-called confederate states) null and void. [Read More]

Yours,

JohnT






Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3052

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/23/2017 7:13:09 PM
Hey 1stvermont,

You got to admit JT makes a pretty good case!

He convinced me, the Constitution does not allow

for legal secession of the states!

And he backs it with facts!

great thread however,
Dave
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/24/2017 11:06:48 AM

Quote:
The whole basis of the "unilateral secession was legal" argument is the "compact theory" of the union of states. Briefly stated, the states voluntarily entered a contract, called the Constitution, and could voluntarily leave it if/when they so desired.

1stvermont maintains that anything which contradicts this theory is a modern construct imposed retroactively. He has dismissed the plain text of both the Articles of Confederation (the union shall be perpetual), and the Constitution (to form a more perfect union) by implying that they meant something different to the founders. I can find no study of American English, constitutional law, American history, or any other discipline to indicate that the word perpetual meant anything different in the 1780s than it does today, or to indicate that the term more perfect union somehow meant that perpetual was reduced to at will.

One can argue how common the opposing viewpoints of the Constitutional union were, but that is an exercise in politics, not law, and not the Constitution. The opinion which matters here would be that of the Supreme Court of the United States. Did they address the "compact theory" and, therefore, the nature of the union, prior to the Civil War? They did, three times, between 1793 and 1819.

The first instance was Chisolm v Georgia, in 1793. Here the SCOTUS stated that the people directly established "...a Constitution by which it was their will that the State governments should be bound." [Read More]

The second was Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, in 1816. Writing for the majority, Justice Story stated, "The Constitution of the United States was ordained and established not by the States in their sovereign capacities, but emphatically, as the preamble of the Constitution declares, by 'the people of the United States'." He further stated, "The Constitution was for a new Government, organized with new substantive powers, and not a mere supplementary charter to a Government already existing. The Confederation was a compact between States, and its structure and powers were wholly unlike those of the National Government. The Constitution was an act of the people of the United States to supersede the Confederation..."[Read More] (Side note: 4 of the 6 justices deciding this case were southern, one being George Washington's nephew.)

Third was McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819. Here the unanimous majority stated,

"In discussing this question, the counsel for the State of Maryland have deemed it of some importance, in the construction of the Constitution, to consider that instrument not as emanating from the people, but as the act of sovereign and independent States. The powers of the General Government, it has been said, are delegated by the States, who alone are truly sovereign, and must be exercised in subordination to the States, who alone possess supreme dominion.

It would be difficult to sustain this proposition. The convention which framed the Constitution was indeed elected by the State legislatures. But the instrument, when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without obligation or pretensions to it. It was reported to the then existing Congress of the United States with a request that it might be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification.

This mode of proceeding was adopted, and by the convention, by Congress, and by the State legislatures, the instrument was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only manner in which they can act safely, effectively and wisely, on such a subject -- by assembling in convention. It is true, they assembled in their several States -- and where else should they have assembled? No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States, and of compounding the American people into one common mass. Of consequence, when they act, they act in their States. But the measures they adopt do not, on that account, cease to be the measures of the people themselves, or become the measures of the State governments.

From these conventions the Constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds directly from the people; is "ordained and established" in the name of the people, and is declared to be ordained, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and to their posterity.

The assent of the States in their sovereign capacity is implied in calling a convention, and thus submitting that instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect liberty to accept or reject it, and their act was final. It required not the affirmance, and could not be negatived, by the State Governments. The Constitution, when thus adopted, was of complete obligation, and bound the State sovereignties."
[Read More]

It was on these three decisions that the Supreme Court based its 1869 decision in Texas v White that Texas never left the union, as the union was "indestructible." Employing the doctrine of Stare Decisis, or relying on precedent, the court determined that, in 1861, previous decisions of the court rendered the attempted secession of Texas (and, by extension, the other so-called confederate states) null and void. [Read More]

Yours,

JohnT






--jthlmnn



Thanks for tacking the time but i admit it is more than frustrating your seemingly unwillingness to read my material before responding and your unwillingness to admit any authority [that the vast majority of americans held before the civil war] other than your modern nation, federal master, starting assumptions this post being the worst. If we come from the beliefs of the declaration [a secession document] the god given unalienable rights, the consent of the governed, and the sovereignty of "we the people" of the states, witch was the view of Americans, than we view everything very different than today looking back. And thus come to very different conclusions. For example that fact that you see the supreme court as the decider [a agent of the federal master] on law, is not only against the founders, but against the view of americans that the Constitution was delegated authority by the states, thus when it steps outside its delegated authority [as the supreme court often does] , it is unconstitutional and to some just the reason secession is needed for when we start to act like an Oligarchy led by 9 supreme court members. So what you see as proof of your views, would be heretical to the founders. For a short example had you read my thread on the union and Constitution [from the founders union viewpoint] you would have seen this.

Supreme Court Reigns Supreme

“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.
–Thomas Jefferson

“The war between the states established.. this principle, that the federal government is, through its courts, the final judge of its own powers”
-President Woodrow Wilson

“The federal government made itself the sole arbitrator of constitutionality, through the supreme court. Not surprisingly the federal government has used this role to decide that there are in fact no limits to its power. Consequentially Americans are no longer sovereign over their government... they fought a war of secession against just such an empire. To than turn around and create a similar empire of their own would have been the height of absurdity”
-Thomas J Dilorenzo Lincoln Unmasked


In the antebellum period the supreme court did not have the final say in any matter but was to simply judge its opinion. To imagine the founders as fighting the largest military in the world [Great Britain] to create a new government to protect life and liberty to than entrust everyone's liberty to a few politically appointed judges stretches the imagination. There was no three coequal branches. [ Won't be found anywhere in constitution] In antebellum America judges could not create policy, it had nor authority to enforce its rulings, they did not have lifetime appointments, were not independent, and did not have final say on constitutionality of a law. As the federalist papers say the legislative has the most authority and the Judiciary “Is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power....it may be truly said to have neither force nor will.” When President Jackson was informed the supreme court decision went against his policy he said “Thank you for your opinion, but my opinion is different and equally valid.” The sovereign states courts had the right to review and judge federal court rulings and law when they overstepped and could override unconstitutional rulings.

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
– Thomas Jefferson letter to William C. Jarvis, 1820






So you start with pointing to the wording of the articles of confederation that states "the union shall be perpetual" and yet what did they do? they seceded from that form of government and created a Constitution. Thus refuting your claim that starts with the assumption of the compact being made, did away with sovereignty of the states. Witch had you read my op, would have shown false. Under the articles of confederation article 1 section 2. “Each state retains its sovereignty freedom and Independence.”. Once more showing your starting assumptions and modern views forced on the past the reason your having difficulty.


You than point to The first instance was Chisolm v Georgia, in 1793. Sadly I wish you had read my threads.I will quote from my thread Did Lincoln save the Constitution? Responding to the PC Version of History

"One of the first times the federal government, in this case the supreme court, tried to force itself on a state, in the court case Chisholm V Georgia 1793. The state of Georgia declared that to submit to a federal court would destroy the “Retained sovereignty of the state.” The federalist supreme court voted 4-1 that Georgia must comply with the federal court ruling. So the Georgia legislature passed a bill that any federal agent in the state that attempted to enforce the federal supreme court ruling, should be hanged. So no federal agent dared enter the state. This resulted in the passing of the 11th amendment as congress itself supporter state sovereignty against the supreme court.



You than quote Justice Story. I will once more quote my thread Did Lincoln save the Constitution? Responding to the PC Version of History

"While it was not the universal opinion of the founders, it was the majority that dominated politics in early American life. The conservatism of the day Known often as Jeffersonian democracy or Jeffersonian agrarians, of a political belief that flowed from the state ratification conventions, especially the Virginian ratification convention. And led by southern [mainly] Virginian planters, held to what was called the compact theory of the union. In 1803 Virginian St George Tucker authored “A view of the constitution of the united states” the dominate view of the federal government at the time. Jefferson first election when the issue of the union came up with the Alien and sedition acts. The nationalist view held by men like Danial Webster, Joseph Story and John Jay, was the minority view. The compact view of Jefferson and James Madison, the “principles of 98” expressed in the Virginia and Kentucky resolution of 1798. This view [that went back to even before the ratification conventions] would dominate the political landscape for decades, and the Virginia conventions understanding of the union would dominate American life before the civil war."


Further i will add

"Then we read about Joseph Story, who adopted Hamilton’s post-ratification view of the general welfare clause, and whose views we are urged to adopt. We are not told that Story had opponents. But he did. Abel Upshur mercilessly dismantled Story in his book A Brief Enquiry into the True Nature and Character of Our Federal Government. Story’s view of the Constitution was long ago exploded as unhistorical; see James McClellan’s Joseph Story and the American Constitution: A Study in Political and Legal Thought. His comments on the general welfare clause, written before Madison’s notes from the convention had been made public, are rooted in highly debatable inferences from the constitutional text."


Tom woods book https://www.amazon.com/Nullification-Resist-Federal-Tyranny-Century/dp/1596981490 is a great one that refutes Story's views. The state ratification conventions would have rejected his views. I will post next more on this in depth.


You than site another federal court ruling that held to the nationalist view. McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819. I will once more show this view false and it should not surprise us the federal thinks it has authority where it does not.. Just see what goes on today in america.





---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/24/2017 11:10:21 AM

Quote:
Hey 1stvermont,

You got to admit JT makes a pretty good case!

He convinced me, the Constitution does not allow

for legal secession of the states!

And he backs it with facts!

great thread however,
Dave

--Michigan Dave



I am sorry to hear that. He did not in fact use the Constitution as the Constitution says nothing on secession because it is not in its delegated authority to make that choice. He used 3 supreme court cases where the federal went out of its delegated authority and rendered an opinion on the matter. Just the reason secession is needed for liberty so when the federal goes out of its delegated bounds you can avoid the tyranny. The fact he goes to the supreme court shows hes coming from the modern nation/federal master view, not the founders. Please read my response to him and my next 2 posts if you care for the viewpoint from antebellum america.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/24/2017 11:11:10 AM
From Union to Empire

“Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the 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...each party has equal right to judge for itself”
-Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 written by Thomas Jefferson

"That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.
-Virginia Resolutions Written by James Madison

"The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the states; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people.
-Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America


While it was not the universal opinion of the founders, it was the majority that dominated politics in early American life. The conservatism of the day Known often as Jeffersonian democracy or Jeffersonian agrarians, of a political belief that flowed from the state ratification conventions, especially the Virginian ratification convention. And led by southern [mainly] Virginian planters, held to what was called the compact theory of the union. In 1803 Virginian St George Tucker authored “A view of the constitution of the united states” the dominate view of the federal government at the time. Jefferson first election when the issue of the union came up with the Alien and sedition acts. The nationalist view held by men like Danial Webster, Joseph Story and John Jay, was the minority view. The compact view of Jefferson and James Madison, the “principles of 98” expressed in the Virginia and Kentucky resolution of 1798. This view [that went back to even before the ratification conventions] would dominate the political landscape for decades, and the Virginia conventions understanding of the union would dominate American life before the civil war. 9 of the first 11 presidents were southern plantation owners, 7 of the first 12 were Virginians [many two term] 9 were southern, and 1 from New York, at that time was “southern” in politics. The future confederate states would provide 13 of the first 18 us presidents before Lincoln.

Today the federal government has the authority over all peoples and states. Everything is subject to its authority. This is not how it has always been or intended by the founders. The federal government only had power and authority that was delegated it by the states. That authority was only within the limits specifically stated in the Constitution.

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.”
-James Madison Federalist Papers #45


The states were to govern the rest.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”
-10th amendment U.S Constitution

“Everything not expressly mentioned will be presumed to be purposely omitted”
-James Wilson Pennsylvanian Ratification convention

“We the delegates of the people of Virginia duly elected...declare and make known, that the powers granted under the constitution, being derived from the people of the united states, may be resumed by them whenever it should be perverted to their injury f...that every power not granted thereby, remains with them”
-Virginia ratification act



The powers that the federal government had, were not Superior to the states, but inferior. Since deriving its delegated powers from the states, who existed before the constitution. Madison stated the meaning of the constitution is found “In those state conventions where it received all the authority which it possessed.” The original constitution reads “A constitution for the united states.”

“I consider the foundation of the [Federal] Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”
– Thomas Jefferson, “Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank” [February 15, 1791]

“Our government is not to be maintained or our union preserved by invasions of the powers of the several states... its true strength consists in leaving individuals and states as much as possible to themselves ..not in binding the states more closely to the center”
-President Andrew Jackson


Even Federalist at the state conventions assured the people that if the federal overstepped its clear delegated powers, these actions were unconstitutional and void.

“no legislative act, therefore contrary to the constitution, can be valid”
-Alexander Hamilton federalist #78

“Congress cannot assume any other powers than those expressly given them. Powers of congress are all defined and clearly laid down. So for they may go, but no further”
-Samuel Johnston North Carolina convention

“Every power, jurisdiction, and right which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the united states of America, or or of the government thereof remains to the people of the several states, or to the representatives state governments”
-New York ratification convention


Sovereignty lied with we the people represented by elected officials of our states.

“The attributes of sovereignty are now enjoyed by every state in the union”
-Alexander Hamilton
“The thirteen states are thirteen sovereign bodies”
-Oliver Ellsworth

“A compact between separate communities”
-James cooper New yorker 1833


states Rights in Action

“The duty of state governments, to protect themselves from encroachments”
-Joseph Desha Kentucky Governor 1825

“The true barriers of our liberty...are the state governments”
-Thomas Jefferson


It was the states in their sovereignty that did almost all the governing “State authority was the rule, federal the exception.” As president Pierce said in 1855 “the power is in states alone.” The federal government had no right to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it in the constitution. For example Jefferson was not against internal improvements as many believe, he just said their had to be an amendment first to the constitution. If the federal government assumed such powers, its acts could be declared unconstitutional by the states. States could decide the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress. At North Carolina’s ratifying convention, James Iredell told the delegates that when “Congress passes a law consistent with the Constitution, it is to be binding on the people. If Congress, under pretense of executing one power, should, in fact, usurp another, they will violate the Constitution.” In December 1787 Roger Sherman observed that an “excellency of the constitution” was that “when the government of the united States acts within its proper bounds it will be the interest of the legislatures of the particular States to Support it, but when it leaps over those bounds and interferes with the rights of the State governments they will be powerful enough to check it.”

“Unconstitutional [laws] void and of no effect. It is the right and the duty of the several states to nullify those acts”
-John Breckenridge Kentucky

“Sir they [the states] ought not to submit, they would deserve the chains which there masters are forging for them, if they did not resist”
-Edward Livingston NY house of representatives


Before Lincoln states determined their own domestic affairs. They were not forced by an all powerful authoritative federal government to comply to its standards. States could nullify unconstitutional rulings and laws from the federal government. One of the first times the federal government, in this case the supreme court, tried to force itself on a state, in the court case Chisholm V Georgia 1793. The state of Georgia declared that to submit to a federal court would destroy the “Retained sovereignty of the state.” The federalist supreme court voted 4-1 that Georgia must comply with the federal court ruling. So the Georgia legislature passed a bill that any federal agent in the state that attempted to enforce the federal supreme court ruling, should be hanged. So no federal agent dared enter the state. This resulted in the passing of the 11th amendment as congress itself supporter state sovereignty against the supreme court. In 1850 a dispute in Texas over land in the New Mexico territory almost led to the secession of Texas. Texas called for force to be used to maintain its integrity. South Carolina nullified the tariffs of 1828 and 1832. States rights were more common in the north, descendants of the federalist party some examples are below.

“The solemn duty of the state governments...to interpose”
-Federalist/ Nationalist Daniel Webster


The Embargo of 1807-1809

Thomas Jefferson as president declared an embargo on all American ports. Massachusetts nullified the federal law and replied

“While this State maintains its sovereignty and independence, all the citizens can find protection against outrage and injustice in the strong arm of the State government..not legally binding on the citizens of this State.”

Connecticut responded with the resolution of the general Assembly

“Resolved, That to preserve the Union, and support the constitution of the United States, it becomes the duty of the Legislatures of the States, in such a crisis of affairs, vigilantly to watch over, and vigorously to maintain, the powers not delegated to the United States, but reserved to the States respectively, or to the people; and that a due regard to this duty, will not permit this Assembly to assist, or concur in giving effect to the aforesaid unconstitutional act, passed, to enforce the Embargo”

The war of 1812

When Connecticut was called to bring out its militia to guard the cost they replied

"It must not be forgotten, that the state of Connecticut is a FREE SOVEREIGN and INDEPENDENT state; that the United States are a confederacy of states; that we are a confederated and not a consolidated republic. The governor of this state is under a high and solemn obligation, “to maintain the lawful rights and privileges thereof, as a sovereign, free and independent state,” as he is “to support the constitution of the United States,” and the obligation to support the latter, imposes an additional obligation to support the former."

and the Governor stated

“It is their right, [states] it becomes there duty, to interpose their protecting shield between their rights and liberty of the people, and the assumed power of the general government”
-Governor Jonathan Trumbull Connecticut


1813 Embargo

In response to the embargo Massachusetts General Court approved

"A power to regulate commerce is abused, when employed to destroy it; and a manifest and voluntary abuse of power sanctions the right of resistance, as much as a direct and palpable usurpation. The sovereignty reserved to the states, was reserved to protect the citizens from acts of violence by the United States, as well as for purposes of domestic regulation. We spurn the idea that the free, sovereign and independent State of Massachusetts is reduced to a mere municipal corporation, without power to protect its people, and to defend them from oppression, from whatever quarter it comes. Whenever the national compact is violated, and the citizens of this State are oppressed by cruel and unauthorized laws, this Legislature is bound to interpose its power, and wrest from the oppressor its victim."


In 1820, when Ohio was fighting against the unconstitutional Bank of the United States, it recognized and approved "the doctrines asserted by the Legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky, in their resolutions of November and December, 1798, and January 1800 — and do consider that their principles have been recognized and adopted by a majority of the American people"


Fugitive Slave Laws/ Liberty Laws

“The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
-South Carolina Causes of secession


Many northern states nullified the fugitive slave laws or passed liberty laws that nullified the federal law. Wisconsin nullified the law supreme court law.

“Resolved, That this assumption of jurisdiction by the federal judiciary, in the said case, and without process, is an act of undelegated power, and therefore without authority, void, and of no force. Resolved, That the government, formed by the Constitution of the United States was not the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; but that, as in all other cases of compact among parties 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... that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism, since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the Constitution, would be the measure of their powers; that the several states which formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a positive defiance of those sovereignties, of all Unauthorized acts done or attempted to be done under color of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.”

"Jeffersonianism still prevailed in the minds of most Americans but was all but snuffed out by Lincolns war"
-Thomas J Dilorenzo the rel Lincoln


States rights held the federal government in check and held it to only what it was granted to do in the constitution. So from the American revolution until The civil war, you had the same constitutional republic. The states doing the self governing in there state sovereignty.

From Union to a Consolidated Nation

”The several states bound loosely in a federal union under a weak central government into a new nation forged by the fires of war”
-James McPherson Battle cry of Freedom Oxford U Press

“In saving the union, I have destroyed the Republic.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“Before the war a union a collection of states... after the war we began to speak of a nation”
-Ken Burns

“Before the war, it was said "the United States are." Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states. And after the war, it was always "the United States is," as we say today without being self-conscious at all. And that sums up what the war accomplished. It made us an "is."
- Shelby Foote author of “The Civil War: A Narrative.”


After the civil war meaningful states rights ended, and our constitutional republic along with it. Lincoln and the civil war began a new American empire that said states and the people, no longer decided their fate, were no longer sovereign, and no longer self governing people [a principle the American revolution was fought for] but were now subject to the almighty federal government. Who was willing to force the people into its mold, or destroy them. Walt Witman said the result of the war was “Consent to our mandates or be shot.” A major transformation from the founders view that “governments are instituted among men” to protects man's unalienable God given rights and liberty.

The war “Destroyed voluntary union of the founders and made all Americans servants rather than masters of their own government... transformed the American government from a constitutional republic to a consolidated empire”
-Thomas Dilorenzo author of The Real Lincoln and Lincoln Unmasked

“States rights was suppressed by force, and the American idea of consent of the governed was replaced by the European idea of obedience to the state”
-Clyde Wilson From Union to Empire


Lincolns northern opponent Stephen Douglas said of Lincolns political goals as wanting to impose “On the nation a uniformity of local laws and institutions and a moral homogeneity dictated by a central government” That election was said by historians to be a contest between “One consolidated empire [ Federalist/Whigs] and “confederacy of sovereign and equal states of Jefferson and Jackson”, “Lincoln goes for consolidation and uniformity in our government while I go for maintaining the confederation of the sovereign states.” said Douglas. The changes came fast, just a few years after the war Harvard professor George Tickmon stated “It does not seem to me as if I were living in the country in which I was born.”

“State sovereignty died at Appomattox”
-Supreme Court Justice Salmon P Chase 1864-73

“States rights, which prior to 1860 had been an important northern belief as southern. Were overturned by Lincolns war
-Dean Sprague Freedom under Lincoln

“By military conquest, they created a new America that superseded the old union of the fathers and put us on the course that we follow today. It was certainly America but it was a new version that essentially repudiated the founders”
-Clyde Wilson professor of History University of South Carolina

“[After the war] the old decentralized federal republic became a new national polity that taxed the people directly, created an internal revenue bureau to collect these taxes, expanded the jurisdiction of federal courts, established a national currency and a national banking structure. The United States went to war in 1861 to preserve the Union; it emerged from war in 1865 having created a nation. Before 1861 the two words "United States" were generally used as a plural noun: "The United States are a republic." After 1865 the United States became a singular noun. The loose union of states became a nation”
-James M. McPherson

“To nationalize as much as possible, even currency, so as to make men love country first before their states, all private interest, local interests, all banking interests, the interests of individuals everything should be subordinate now to the interests of the government”
-Senator John Sherman of Ohio


Changes to the Constitution

“The civil war changed who we are. It made everything different”
--Dennis Frye Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

“St George Tucker authored “A view of the constitution of the united states” the dominate view of the federal government. as a limited, delegated agent of the sovereign people of the several states, and not the judge of the extant of its own powers, was buried by the outcome of the civil war”
-Clyde Wilson From Union to Empire


The civil war marked the beginnings of an all powerful federal government in America, something the founding fathers did all in their powers to stop. With the Lincoln administration and with the passing of the 14th15th amendment soon after the war. We moved further to a more centralized government and denied states sovereignty. It destroyed the concept of delegated and reserved powers, gone was the concept of government authority voluntary from the people. It changed America from a constitution of states to promote common interest, to a national cohesion controlling states by a centralized government.

“The original constitution and the current system of centralized and oppressive federalism...A major, fundamental change had occurred in our government”
-Walter and James Kennedy The South was Right

“A great centralizing force has been set in motion”
-Leonard Curry


11 of the 12 antebellum amendments limited federal powers. 6 of the next 7 would increase federal power at the exspence of the states as the political power shifted from south to north. In antebellum America each state acted for the most part as its own country. People saw themselves as citizens of the state first, country second. Under Lincoln it is said the reverse happened. Northern states objected as well to this transformation as new Jersey said of the amendments and changes in government philosophy

“Transfers to congress the whole control of the right of suffrage in the state.. a power which they [the states] have never been willing to surrender to the general government, and which was reserved to the states as a fundamental principle on which the constitution itself was constructed the principles of self government”

Later the federal government would take more power from the states with the passing of the 17th amendment, it was said than we went from a complex republic to a simple republic. Today the tenth amendment is completely ignored. Senators instead of being appointed by the states, know do the bidding of fund raisers from around the country and political party allies in D.C

“The civil war called forth a new constitutional order...the principles of this legal regime are so radically different from our original constitution drafted in 1787, that they deserve to be reorganized as a second American constitution”
-Columbia University Law Professor George R Fletcher


You will not be able to find any historian who will claim the government we are under today in America, is similar to that of Americans under the antebellum government.

“Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the constitution”
-John Olin George Mason University

“Many think our present federal government is the same one our founders fathers established. Nothing could be further from the truth....after the [civil war].... government power over the people underwent a radical change in the limits of government authority”
-James and Walter Kennedy The South Was Right

“Union victory in the war destroyed the southern vision of America and ensured that the northern vison would become the American vision. Until 1861, however, it was the north that was out of the mainstream, not the south”
-James McPherson Battle Cry of freedom


Supreme Court Reigns Supreme

“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“The war between the states established.. this principle, that the federal government is, through its courts, the final judge of its own powers”
-President Woodrow Wilson

“The federal government made itself the sole arbitrator of constitutionality, through the supreme court. Not surprisingly the federal government has used this role to decide that there are in fact no limits to its power. Consequentially Americans are no longer sovereign over their government... they fought a war of secession against just such an empire. To than turn around and create a similar empire of their own would have been the height of absurdity”
-Thomas J Dilorenzo Lincoln Unmasked


In the antebellum period the supreme court did not have the final say in any matter but was to simply judge its opinion. To imagine the founders as fighting the largest military in the world [Great Britain] to create a new government to protect life and liberty to than entrust everyone's liberty to a few politically appointed judges stretches the imagination. There was no three coequal branches. [ Won't be found anywhere in constitution] In antebellum America judges could not create policy, it had nor authority to enforce its rulings, they did not have lifetime appointments, were not independent, and did not have final say on constitutionality of a law. As the federalist papers say the legislative has the most authority and the Judiciary “Is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power....it may be truly said to have neither force nor will.” When President Jackson was informed the supreme court decision went against his policy he said “Thank you for your opinion, but my opinion is different and equally valid.” The sovereign states courts had the right to review and judge federal court rulings and law when they overstepped and could override unconstitutional rulings.

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
– Thomas Jefferson letter to William C. Jarvis, 1820


With No Check on Federal Government From the States = Rapid Growth and Power of Federal Government

“When all government domestic and forighn in little as in great things shall be drawn to Washington as the source of all power. It will render powerless the checks provided of one government [states] on another, and will become as vegal and oppressive as the government which we have separated”
-Thomas Jefferson

“The US government has grown into a monstrous tyrannical body that would not even by reorganized by its founders”
-Lochlainn Seabrook The Constitution Of The Confederate States Of America Explained

“If we had been able to maintain the real union of sovereign states founded by our fathers, than there would not be, could not be, the imperial central state that we suffer under today”
-Clyde Wilson From Union to Empire


With the death of state sovereignty and transformation of the government by Lincoln. The federal government know has sole power to interpret its own power and forcing the states and American people to comply as it has no other authority. Not only have the states been reduced and put under authority of the federal government, but the 9th and 10th amendments are ignored almost completely in today's politics. Without that check on government, our checks and balances and separation of powers can only slow the federal expansion. With all power at the capital, elites and interest groups control politicians to their bidding. Than you end up with self serving politicians instead of servants of we the people. The constitution would be helpless against a centralized power. The true original conservative political party that was once the dominate party in America, Jeffersonian democracy is all but gone in American politics.

“The war . . . has tended, more than any other event in the history of the country to militate against the Jeffersonian idea, that “the best government is that which governs least.”
-Illinois Governor Richard Yates, January 2, 1865

“Lincoln...undermined the constitutional safeguards of freedom as he opened the way to centralized government with all its political evils”
-Edmund Wilson


With no check from the states, President Lincoln violated the constitution in multiple ways, ran up 2.5 billion in national dept, distributed public lands, printed national currency, instituted a national bank, “Standardized fiscal transactions across state lines for the first time”

[To help conform the public to go along with national banking Lincoln added a 10% tax to state banks to help impose a national bank monopoly [The power to tax is the power to destroy] and hired Jay Cooke to use newspapers ads to attack state chartered banks, so national bank would dominate. Those who supported national banking such as Senator John Sherman of Ohio [Brother of General Sherman] said “the permanently increased government power embodied in the bill,” would foster “a sentiment of nationality.” This “A nationalized money supply helped transform America from a constitutional republic to an empire”] collected numerous forms of taxes “Taxes on everything imaginable” From perfume, playing cards to bowling to going to the theater , instituted a income tax, created the bureau of internal revenue [ Early IRS with 7,000 employees in 63] created the department of agricultural, instituted a federal draft, facilitated the industrial revolution in America at the exspence of agrarian lifestyle, laid massive rail, founded the transcontinental railroad, gave 58 million acres to rail companies etc.

“Furry of new laws, regulations, and bureaucracies created by president Lincoln and the republican party”
-Thomas J Dilorenzo

“the republican dominated congress passed a series of measures that transformed the national economic landscape for all time....significtley expanded the role and fiscal reach of the government and helped create a national economy that dwarfed its predecessors...When Lincoln took office, the main role of the federal government was to deliver mail. The government also foreign policy, defended the frontier with a small army and collected import duties, but primarily Washington was a post office..by the end of the war, the government supported an army of a million men, a national debt of 2.5 billion, distributed public lands, printed a national currency, and collected an array of internal taxes...with the south absent....republicans passed the pacific railway act...created a country more closely resembling a national state than a dispersed region...the Lincoln administration gave away 158 million acres to railroads, passage for the first time in american history of a progressive income tax raising 55 million during the war, the government also floated large bond issues, printed 150 million I greenbacks. The national bank act of 1863 resurrected the Hamiltonian idea of a national banking system... This transformation in national power overshadowed the liberation of four million slaves in terms of its long range impact on all Americans”
- David Goldfeild War is good for Business Americas civil war Magazine

[The civil war was] “The fiery crucible which the old nation was melted down, and out of which modern America was poured”
-Historian William Hess

“In the American government system states rights and liberty could not be separated”
-Clyde Wilson Nullification Reclaiming consent of the Governed

“Lincoln...undermined the constitutional safeguards of freedom as he opened the way to centralized government with all its political evils”
-Edmund Wilson

“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society. “
– John Adams, Novanglus Letters, 1774

“The primary result of the Republican Party victory was permanent instalment of Hamilton’s blessings—a national debt, a protected market for industrialists, and a collusion between bankers and politicians”
-Clyde Wilson Lies my Teacher told me



Deification of the State

“The people were no longer the center, the government was”
-Clyde Wilson From Union to Empire


Starting with Lincoln and following generations of politicians led to what professor Delorenzo calls the “Deification of the state.” The civil war started in America the philosophy that the federal government is the ultimate authority. This has led to rapid growth in the federal government, because there is no higher authority, than the government thinks itself god. There is nothing it cannot touch. It can take away any right from anyone. It thinks it must not just solve all the ills in the country, it must control all modes of behavior and set its own standards. It will regulate the lives to conform to its own image that is beneficial to itself, resulting in more power to itself. People became servants of the state rather than the government servants of its citizens.

“Liberty became less important than the well being of government”
-Al Benson Jr and Walter Kennedy Lincolns Marxists


This is in drastic contrast to the founders who's view was Governments are instituted among men to protect those unalienable rights that come from a higher authority than man [government] that is god. The founders constantly acknowledged that biblical higher power that they were accountable to. Man was not the ultimate authority in fact all men were created equal. This philosophy that reorganizes a creator, produces a limited government. Government is not the ultimate authority but is to protect all citizens god given liberty. It also believes that man should alter and abolish a government that is destructive to those rights of the people. This was stomped out by the civil war, the government is ultimate authority, not the citizens, nor even god.

“The civil war was that the right to govern is paramount over the right to live, that man is made for government, rather than that government is made for man, and that for men to claim the right of self government is to deserve and incure the death penalty”
-Charles L.C minor The real Lincoln 1928

"What we call liberty our founders called bondage...we have not freed the slaves we have extended the plantation, know, we are all slaves"
-Peter Marshall JR The Great War Debate

Lincoln “Remade America”
-Gary Wills

“Overthrow the present form of Federal-republican government, and to establish a strong centralized government in its stead...national banks, bankrupt laws, a vast and permanent public debt, high tariffs, heavy direct taxation, enormous expenditure, gigantic and stupendous peculation . . . No more state lines, no more state governments, but a consolidated monarchy or vast centralized military despotism.” “instead of crushing out the rebellion,” the “effort has been to crush out the spirit of liberty” in the Northern states.
-Northern Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham D-Ohio spoke of the reason for Lincolns war 1863


Yet with government run education, the American people

“Have been taught to celebrate this betrayal of the founding fathers..The vast bulk of Americans proceed through twelve years of government funded education [by an interesting coincidence] teaches them all about the wonders of federal government, how lost they'd be without it, and how foolish it would be to worry that the constitution might not authorize most of what it does. Portrayed as a benevolent force innocently pursuing the common good....cost less benefits granted by selfless crusaders for justice”
-Tomas Woods Nullification How to Resist federal tyranny in the 21st Century

“The American public was also relentlessly propagandized by the government and its private sector accomplices, such as Jay Cooke, into believing that it could now look to the federal government for solutions to its problems. This made it easier for future generations of politicians to convince the American public to acquiesce in further expansions of government and further restrictions on personal liberty that would have caused the founding fathers to reach for their swords”
-Thomas Dilorenzo The Real Lincoln



References

-Virginia/Kentucky resolutions 1798 http://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/primary-source-documents/virginia-and-kentucky-resolutions/
-James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions 1800 http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch8s42.html
-Calhoun Ft Hill Address
http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/fort-hill-address/
-AN EXPOSITION Of the Virginia Resolutions of 1798, Judge Abel P. Upshur
http://dallypost.com/tag/judge-abel-p-upshur/
-Nullification How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century Thomas E woods Regnery Publishing 2010
-The South was Right James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy Pelican 2014 reprint
-Nullification Reclaiming consent of the Governed Clyde Wilson Shotwell Publishing Columbia South Carolina 2016
-Lincolns Marxists Al Benson Jr and Walter Kennedy Pelican Press 2011
-The Real Lincoln Thomas J Dilorenzo Three Rivers press NY NY 2002 -Lincoln Unmasked what your not suppose to know about Dishonest Abe Thomas J Dilorenzo Three rivers Press Crown Forum 2006 -The Yankee Problem An American dilemma Clyde N Wilson Shotwell Publishing Columbia South Carolina 2016 -The Constitution Of The Confederate States Of America Explained A Clause By Clause Study Of The Souths Magna Carta Lochlainn Seabrook Sea Raven Press 2012 -Secession Acts of the Thirteen Confederate States http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/secessionacts.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
-From Union to Empire essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition Clyde Wilson The Foundation for American Education Columbia South Carolina 2003
-Myths of American slavery Walter D Kennedy 2003 Pelican publishing company
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“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 556

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/24/2017 12:03:18 PM
JohnT,

But the act of secession was decided directly by the people either by direct vote, convention or vote of representatives elected by the people. Secession wasn't an act by individual state governments but by the majority of the people of the individual states.

Texas vs White only matters because the Union won the war. I also wonder what the make-up of the Court looked like in 1869.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/25/2017 11:43:37 AM

Quote:
JohnT,

But the act of secession was decided directly by the people either by direct vote, convention or vote of representatives elected by the people. Secession wasn't an act by individual state governments but by the majority of the people of the individual states.

Texas vs White only matters because the Union won the war. I also wonder what the make-up of the Court looked like in 1869.
--John R. Price



also from an antebellum perspective, who cares what the supreme court says on an issues especially one outside its constitutinal bounds?

“…the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”
– Thomas Jefferson letter to William C. Jarvis, 1820

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”
-10th amendment U.S Constitution


“We the delegates of the people of Virginia duly elected...declare and make known, that the powers granted under the constitution, being derived from the people of the united states, may be resumed by them whenever it should be perverted to their injury f...that every power not granted thereby, remains with them”
-Virginia ratification act

“I consider the foundation of the [Federal] Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”
– Thomas Jefferson, “Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank” [February 15, 1791]

“Congress cannot assume any other powers than those expressly given them. Powers of congress are all defined and clearly laid down. So for they may go, but no further”
-Samuel Johnston North Carolina convention

“Every power, jurisdiction, and right which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the united states of America, or or of the government thereof remains to the people of the several states, or to the representatives state governments”
-New York ratification convention

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 93

Re: The legality of Secession in Antebellum America
Posted on: 12/25/2017 11:44:42 AM
Merry Christmas all.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

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