Right of secession

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Matt Black, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Matt Black

    Matt Black
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Help, please!

    Did the individual states have the right to secede before the Civil War, on what basis under the Constitution, and which Amendment stripped them of that right ie: could Florida in theory secede today?

    (Sorry if this reeks of Equine Mortality)

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  2. PastorGreg

    PastorGreg
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, the states had the right to secede. No federal constitutional permission necessary. The Constitution was written by the states to specifically spell out what powers they, as sovereign, would allow the federal government to exercise. I'm not sure about some of the bogus amendments drafted after the war - whether they addressed secession or not - but it was the UNConstitutional civil war that stole that right.
     
  3. Stratiotes

    Stratiotes
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matt - this was a debate issue long before the war began and continues to be an issue today. Some have argued that it was once legal but no longer is while others would argue it still is and still others would say that under the Articles of Confederation it was but not under the Constitution.

    There have been several near-secessions in US history, several NE states threatened it during the War of 1812, SC threatened it over nullification (specifically, tarrif bills), and so on.

    Legality in the Constitutional sense or in the "moral" sense of the people, I would argue with the great anti-secessionist, Abe Lincoln, myself who said "Any people whatsoever have the right to abolish the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right." Given that the colonies could secede from the UK in the first place, I think its rather obvious but maybe I'm not as smart as all those yankees that would disagree with me - we southerners generally being unschooled hicks if you are led by stereotypes ;)
     
  4. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,069
    Likes Received:
    216
    Article IV section 3 gives instructions on how States may be admitted to the Union including by Junction.
    Amendment X states "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".

    Since no mention is made of secession, then it is the RIGHT of the STATE!!!

    The thought occoured to me that the founders never realized there would be a need for secession. They never thought the USA would ever get to the point of ultra-excessive federal control.

    One other thought Am I correct in remembering that Texas has a special agreement (upon entering the Union) with the US that they may seceed and/or split into as many as five states?
     
  5. Alexander

    Alexander
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    The alleged right of secession is hypothetical only, since it has never been exercised successfully.

    The Constitution is not a pact of the states, as one reader alleged. The Preamble states that 'We, the People . . . . ' NOT 'We ,the States . . . . . ', There was, if I recall my history correctly, a debate at the Constitutional Covention over this wording, and the 'We, the People . . . . ' wording carried the day.

    Why would anyone want to seriously consider secession as a right, any way? What's the point? For a state or group of states to do so would be treason.

    Alexander
     
  6. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,069
    Likes Received:
    216
    According to the dictionary treason is the attempt to overthrow the goverment. Secession is not overthrowing the goverment, at least under our constitution.

    Why Seceede?
    a. excessive control by federal goverment
    b. excessive taxes
    c. chipping away at our rights


    ok, who else would like to add someting

    Salty
     
  7. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,071
    Likes Received:
    101
    Conversely, since the Constitution contains provisions for adding new states, but not for states' leaving, it could be argued that secession was not considered within the purview of the states.
     
  8. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,071
    Likes Received:
    101
    Yes. From the joint resolution for annexation:

    This was a bit superfluous; the Constitution already provided for creation of states from the territory of other states.

    At the time of annexation, Texas claimed territory in what is now New Mexico and Colorado; they were the most probable candidates for creation of new states. As part of the Compromise of 1850, the U.S. government paid Texas $10 million for Texas to relinquish those claims.
     
  9. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Lincoln Revolution nullified the Dec. of Inde. and demonstrated the general principle that God is on the side with the most cannon.

    The "American Revolution" was a secession because the Americans had no interest in controlling Whitehall. The Constitutional Convention and the Lincoln Revolutions because they changed our form of govt.

    We can't even know our laws because we are ruled by secret presidental orders. The one thing the right wing wackos have correct is that we have been under marshall law since WW2.
     
  10. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I tend to be against secession, these words could be interpreted as justification:

     
  11. Me4Him

    Me4Him
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many States stipulated in their documents to ratify the Constitution that they would join the union "SO LONG" as it benefited the people of their state, VA was one as I recall, the others, I've forgot.

    But a "FREE PEOPLE" can "Change/withdraw" from any government "THEY ESTABLISH/CONTROL".
     
  12. poncho

    poncho
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    19,657
    Likes Received:
    128
    </font>[/QUOTE]
    Problem? The world and most especially the American public is not candid.
     
  13. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"

    Notice that this could be interpreted as God being subject to Nature? It could be rewritten, "Nature's Laws and God."
     
  14. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,502
    Likes Received:
    40
    Au contrare',
    Any powers not mentioned fall into the category of the bolded part above! - Self explanatory!!

    I think "A" says it all.
     
  15. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,071
    Likes Received:
    101
    Actually, it doesn't say anything. What "excessive control by federal government" was involved?
     
  16. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,502
    Likes Received:
    40
    How about IRS, DHEC, HUD, DOEd, BATF, etc, etc, etc, for starters?

    How about a judiciary that makes laws rather than interpreting the law?

    How about an executive branch that can by "executive order" make "stroke of the pen; law of the land - kinda cool"?

    How about a legislature that makes many laws that benefit only the highest bidders to their campaigns?

    How about non-elected agency's that have the power to decide that your farm is a wetland, so you can no longer farm it, can't sell it, but you CAN still pay the taxes on it?

    Most anything that gov't is, that is not covered by the constitution.

    I'm sure that others can add voraciously to this limited list!!! :mad:
     
  17. Brother James

    Brother James
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    0
    One things for sure. The great American dictator Lincoln forever ensured that we and our children will be subjects to the empire for all our lives.
    I will retain my membership in the Sons of confederate veterans and the League of the south in honor of both of my great great grandfathers who fought bravely in the Virginia infantry and suffered in Union prison camps. They were great men who did what they could to save us from this federal monstrocity that we all suffer under today.
     
  18. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    What can of worms did you wish to open???

    There are many different views of whether the South's secession in 1860 and 1861 was legal or not. Yet, in the Constitution, admission to the Union via statehood is spelled out, but no mode of departure/secession is addressed. The Constitution does say that each state is free and independent and retains its sovereignty. The states that did Secede used this to infer that there was a ecession right.

    In 1828, Congress imposed a series of tariffs on the import trade (because the South's economy depended mostly on farming and trade with Europe, these tariffs were veiwed as unfair, causing more money to leave the South than to be brought in because their imports cost more than their exports). Known as the Tariff of Abominations, the South spent $331 million on imports while the North spent $31 million, due to the fact that the South did more trade with Europeans than the North. Since the tariffs could not be abolished, Southern states passed Nullification Laws, and threatened secession to protect their economy. Northerners argued that secession was neither permitted constitutionally, nor was it a proper way to deal with unfair tariffs. The North believed that the Nullification Acts were unfair to the North. Attempts by Congress to provide solutions failed.

    The tariff issue was by no means new. In 1832, a state convention in South Carolina declared a high protective tariff null and void. President Andrew Jackson threatened to send federal troops into Charleston to ensure enforcement of the tariff; but a compromise tariff was worked out before force was actually used. The next time the issue came to a head, the South threatned secession from the Union. In response to many culminating events, but particularly the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency, South Carolina started the ball rolling for secession.

    By the early 1800s, the North and South had very different beliefs, life styles, and economies. Northerners worked mainly in factories, manufacturing goods such as tools and clothing to sell to other parts of the country and lived in crowded cities. Most Northerners opposed slavery and believed it to be wrong although many were also strongly racist. In the South, most of the white population lived on plantations and farms of varying sizes, growing tobacco, cotton, and cash crops that they sold mainly to Europe. Southerners supported slavery and the theory of states' rights. All of these differences created a rift that divided the country and grew as time went on.

    Many Southerners favored the idea of secession and supported it with the theory of states' rights which says that each state is independent and has the power to decide whether Congress passes laws that are unconstitutional. The supporters of states' rights held that the national government was a league of independent states, any of which had the right to secede.

    In the Constitution the Bill of Rights prevents the government from taking a citizen's property from them. Since slaves were viewed as the property of the slave holder, and since northern states refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, thus denying the South of their property, southerners used this part of the Constitution to defend their secession.

    Northern states referred to Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution that reads "No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation... or coin money... No state shall lay any Imposts or duties on imports or exports... No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war unless invaded..." to point to actions of the South they deemed in violation.

    After the War ended, several cases covering the topic were heard. Though it may have seemed moot to many, in 1869, the Supreme Court declared that secession was unconstitutional (Texas v White, 74 U.S. 700). Several other caes followed that confirmed the same.
     
  19. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    What can of worms did you wish to open???

    There are many different views of whether the South's secession in 1860 and 1861 was legal or not. Yet, in the Constitution, admission to the Union via statehood is spelled out, but no mode of departure/secession is addressed. The Constitution does say that each state is free and independent and retains its sovereignty. The states that did Secede used this to infer that there was a ecession right.

    In 1828, Congress imposed a series of tariffs on the import trade (because the South's economy depended mostly on farming and trade with Europe, these tariffs were veiwed as unfair, causing more money to leave the South than to be brought in because their imports cost more than their exports). Known as the Tariff of Abominations, the South spent $331 million on imports while the North spent $31 million, due to the fact that the South did more trade with Europeans than the North. Since the tariffs could not be abolished, Southern states passed Nullification Laws, and threatened secession to protect their economy. Northerners argued that secession was neither permitted constitutionally, nor was it a proper way to deal with unfair tariffs. The North believed that the Nullification Acts were unfair to the North. Attempts by Congress to provide solutions failed.

    The tariff issue was by no means new. In 1832, a state convention in South Carolina declared a high protective tariff null and void. President Andrew Jackson threatened to send federal troops into Charleston to ensure enforcement of the tariff; but a compromise tariff was worked out before force was actually used. The next time the issue came to a head, the South threatned secession from the Union. In response to many culminating events, but particularly the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency, South Carolina started the ball rolling for secession.

    By the early 1800s, the North and South had very different beliefs, life styles, and economies. Northerners worked mainly in factories, manufacturing goods such as tools and clothing to sell to other parts of the country and lived in crowded cities. Most Northerners opposed slavery and believed it to be wrong although many were also strongly racist. In the South, most of the white population lived on plantations and farms of varying sizes, growing tobacco, cotton, and cash crops that they sold mainly to Europe. Southerners supported slavery and the theory of states' rights. All of these differences created a rift that divided the country and grew as time went on.

    Many Southerners favored the idea of secession and supported it with the theory of states' rights which says that each state is independent and has the power to decide whether Congress passes laws that are unconstitutional. The supporters of states' rights held that the national government was a league of independent states, any of which had the right to secede.

    In the Constitution the Bill of Rights prevents the government from taking a citizen's property from them. Since slaves were viewed as the property of the slave holder, and since northern states refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act, thus denying the South of their property, southerners used this part of the Constitution to defend their secession.

    Northern states referred to Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution that reads "No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation... or coin money... No state shall lay any Imposts or duties on imports or exports... No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war unless invaded..." to point to actions of the South they deemed in violation.

    After the War ended, several cases covering the topic were heard. Though it may have seemed moot to many, in 1869, the Supreme Court declared that secession was unconstitutional (Texas v White, 74 U.S. 700). Several other caes followed that confirmed the same.
    </font>[/QUOTE]In the proud and sovereign state of South Carolina, we say, "If at first you don't secede, then try, try again." We really don't care what the Yankee Supreme Court said in 1869. Remember that we were still disenfranchised under the cruel heel of Reconstruction. There is a strong current of secessionist sympathies in the body politic of SC today. The SCV and LoS wield enough clout to elect politicians and to bring down politicians.
     
  20. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    You sound like my ex wife. When our child does something great, it's "look at our daughter". When she does something she doesn't like, it's "look what your daughter did". Sorry, but SCOTUS is your SCOTUS as much as it is mine, and no less. You can't pick and choose which rulings you choose to live under, and which you can't. Yes, you can dislike them, and denounce them, but you live under the Constitution as a whole. If you want the right to secede, and since SCOTUS has already on numerous ocaisions determined that there is no such right in the Constitution, you're welcome to amend the Constitution to spell out secession procedures.
     

Share This Page

Loading...