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Subdeacon Joe

The Question of Secession

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My God, we are a Nation of diverse and conflicting interests and beliefs. That diversity is a strength, giving us a wider scope of capabilities and experience...

 

LL

I'm not sure "diverse" is the right word. Confused, hypocritical and Bi-Polar come to mind. We are a country where the moral majority are often silent and the minority screams the loudest for action. People applaud the outcome of the civil war until one of their pet beliefs is hampered by government intervention (ie gun rights, abortion, gay rights, etc)then they're screaming for states rights from the roof tops. Our current Bi-Polar leader wants to disarm every civilian in the country from a governmental level, yet he pushes states rights when it comes to gay marriage. We want the best of both worlds and ended up with the worst.....in my opinion. ;)

 

BSD

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Since there is nothing in the Constitution prohibiting the states from leaving the Union, nor declaring it a perpetual union, how can states leaving it be extra-Constitutional?

 

Because the Constitution is a contract. Each State upon entry agreed to be bound by its rules. We presume each State's delegation read the contract before they became bound. There is no provision to withdraw from the contract within its four corners but the provision of Art. V. Any State could have taken a reservation and it would have been up to Congress to accept of reject that reservation.* So attempt to withdraw would be be an extra-contractual step because the contract's sole provision was not used.

 

Being a Constitutionalist of any stripe is like being a Jet (with appologies to the "West Side Story")..."from you're first vote to last dying, day." ;)

 

SQQ

 

*Texas was admitted with a reservation. It was not a reservation that permitte withdral but rather a reservation that permitted Texas to be divided into as many as five states. It's been a long time since I looked at this and I don't remember the specifics of the reservation.

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Because the Constitution is a contract. Each State upon entry agreed to be bound by its rules. We presume each State's delegation read the contract before they became bound. There is no provision to withdraw from the contract within its four corners but the provision of Art. V. Any State could have taken a reservation and it would have been up to Congress to accept of reject that reservation.* So attempt to withdraw would be be an extra-contractual step because the contract's sole provision was not used.

 

Being a Constitutionalist of any stripe is like being a Jet (with appologies to the "West Side Story")..."from you're first vote to last dying, day." ;)

 

SQQ

 

*Texas was admitted with a reservation. It was not a reservation that permitte withdral but rather a reservation that permitted Texas to be divided into as many as five states. It's been a long time since I looked at this and I don't remember the specifics of the reservation.

 

There is a reservation built into the Constitution itself - the 10th Amendment.

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I'm a Strict Constructionist (but not an Absolutist). How can one condemn Lincoln on one hand for extra-Constitutional measures to preserve the Union and not condemn the Secessionist States for their extra-Constitutional actions in attempting to leave the Union? Before you interpret a document you first read it. Where in the Constitution is there a method for withdrawl (beyond Art. V)? Seems to me that the "sauce for the gander" rule is being grossly ignored. ;)

 

SQQ

 

 

"Amendment X

 

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."

 

Any organization which I voluntarily join, such as SASS or the NRA for example, I may also voluntarily leave. You, my friend, are ignoring that before April, 1861, when the northern politicians suddenly realized that the cash cow was leaving, nearly everyone believed that secession was a right. New England contemplated secession at the Hartford Convention ~ and that, compadre, is sauce for both goose and gander. :D

 

As for the comment earlier that that South was not economically viable ~ why then did the South pay for 75% of the Federal budget and why was 80% of that money spent in the north. The vast majority of the Federal budget came from import tariffs. On March 2, 1861, (after the secession of South Carolina and others) Congress passed the Morrill Tariff on imports:

 

"In its first year of operation, the Morrill Tariff increased the effective rate collected on dutiable imports by approximately 70%. In 1860 American tariff rates were among the lowest in the world and also at historical lows by 19th century standards, the average rate for 1857 through 1860 being around 17% overall (ad valorem], or 21% on dutiable items only. The Morrill Tariff immediately raised these averages to about 26% overall or 36% on dutiable items, and further increases by 1865 left the comparable rates at 38% and 48%. Although higher than in the immediate antebellum period, these rates were still significantly lower than between 1825 and 1830, when rates had sometimes been over 50%."

 

These tariffs were passed not only to raise funds to support the government, but to protect the "fledgling industries" of the north, who could not compete with cheap European manufactures. In my view it was the north that was not economically viable, and unable to sustain itself without the strong agrarian economy of the South.

 

However, the issue of whether a state may secede from the Union was settled on April 12, 1865, at Appomatox Courthouse, in the Old Dominion of Virginia ~ by force of arms.

 

Buena suerte, amigos

eGG

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"Amendment X

 

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."

 

Any organization which I voluntarily join, such as SASS or the NRA for example, I may also voluntarily leave. You, my friend, are ignoring that before April, 1861, when the northern politicians suddenly realized that the cash cow was leaving, nearly everyone believed that secession was a right. New England contemplated secession at the Hartford Convention ~ and that, compadre, is sauce for both goose and gander. :D

 

As for the comment earlier that that South was not economically viable ~ why then did the South pay for 75% of the Federal budget and why was 80% of that money spent in the north. The vast majority of the Federal budget came from import tariffs. On March 2, 1861, (after the secession of South Carolina and others) Congress passed the Morrill Tariff on imports:

 

"In its first year of operation, the Morrill Tariff increased the effective rate collected on dutiable imports by approximately 70%. In 1860 American tariff rates were among the lowest in the world and also at historical lows by 19th century standards, the average rate for 1857 through 1860 being around 17% overall (ad valorem], or 21% on dutiable items only. The Morrill Tariff immediately raised these averages to about 26% overall or 36% on dutiable items, and further increases by 1865 left the comparable rates at 38% and 48%. Although higher than in the immediate antebellum period, these rates were still significantly lower than between 1825 and 1830, when rates had sometimes been over 50%."

 

These tariffs were passed not only to raise funds to support the government, but to protect the "fledgling industries" of the north, who could not compete with cheap European manufactures. In my view it was the north that was not economically viable, and unable to sustain itself without the strong agrarian economy of the South.

 

However, the issue of whether a state may secede from the Union was settled on April 12, 1865, at Appomatox Courthouse, in the Old Dominion of Virginia ~ by force of arms.

 

Buena suerte, amigos

eGG

 

More on the economic reasons:

 

From: Georgia Secession

 

The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.

 

But when these reasons ceased they were no less clamorous for Government protection, but their clamors were less heeded-- the country had put the principle of protection upon trial and condemned it. After having enjoyed protection to the extent of from 15 to 200 per cent. upon their entire business for above thirty years, the act of 1846 was passed. It avoided sudden change, but the principle was settled, and free trade, low duties, and economy in public expenditures was the verdict of the American people. The South and the Northwestern States sustained this policy. There was but small hope of its reversal; upon the direct issue, none at all.

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Speaking of Georgia secession and "economics", here are a few words from the fire-breathing speech of Robert Toombs, future Confederate sec'y of state, to the Georgia Legislature in support of their resolution of secession:

 

"Give us equality of enjoyment, equal right to expansion - it is as necessary to our prosperity as yours. In 1790 we had less than eight hundred thousand slaves. Under our mild and humane administration of the system they have increased above four millions. The country has expanded to meet this growing want, and Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, have received this increasing tide of African labor; before the end of this century, at precisely the same rate of increase, the Africans among us in a subordinate condition will amount to eleven millions of persons. What shall be done with them? We must expand or perish. We are constrained by an inexorable necessity to accept expansion or extermination. Those who tell you that the territorial question is an abstraction, that you can never colonize another territory without the African slavetrade, are both deaf and blind to the history of the last sixty years. All just reasoning, all past history, condemn the fallacy. The North understand it better - they have told us for twenty years that their object was to pen up slavery within its present limits - surround it with a border of free States, and like the scorpion surrounded with fire, they will make it sting itself to death."

:

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"Amendment X

 

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."

 

Any organization which I voluntarily join, such as SASS or the NRA for example, I may also voluntarily leave. You, my friend, are ignoring that before April, 1861, when the northern politicians suddenly realized that the cash cow was leaving, nearly everyone believed that secession was a right. New England contemplated secession at the Hartford Convention ~ and that, compadre, is sauce for both goose and gander. :D

 

As for the comment earlier that that South was not economically viable ~ why then did the South pay for 75% of the Federal budget and why was 80% of that money spent in the north. The vast majority of the Federal budget came from import tariffs. On March 2, 1861, (after the secession of South Carolina and others) Congress passed the Morrill Tariff on imports:

 

"In its first year of operation, the Morrill Tariff increased the effective rate collected on dutiable imports by approximately 70%. In 1860 American tariff rates were among the lowest in the world and also at historical lows by 19th century standards, the average rate for 1857 through 1860 being around 17% overall (ad valorem], or 21% on dutiable items only. The Morrill Tariff immediately raised these averages to about 26% overall or 36% on dutiable items, and further increases by 1865 left the comparable rates at 38% and 48%. Although higher than in the immediate antebellum period, these rates were still significantly lower than between 1825 and 1830, when rates had sometimes been over 50%."

 

These tariffs were passed not only to raise funds to support the government, but to protect the "fledgling industries" of the north, who could not compete with cheap European manufactures. In my view it was the north that was not economically viable, and unable to sustain itself without the strong agrarian economy of the South.

 

However, the issue of whether a state may secede from the Union was settled on April 12, 1865, at Appomatox Courthouse, in the Old Dominion of Virginia ~ by force of arms.

 

Buena suerte, amigos

eGG

 

I note that the provisions mentioned were in the Constitution itself, not in any later Amendment. This is important because it is the foundation laid by the first 13 States. The 10th Amendment says nothing about withdrawl from from pact that created the Union. The language seems to be more in clarification of existing law than any statement of any new law. Consider it a "legal housekeeping" action.

 

One of the analogies used to justify secession was the "Analogy of the Gentleman's Club." You reprise it here. I agree that you can quit SASS (or any other volutary group) whenever you wish. Of course you must comply with the rules of that club and must make arrangements to settle up with any debts owed. If there are any further requirements for a "clean departure" you must take care of those, also. Such is the way of private organizations.

 

The Constitution, and the Union it created, seems to me to be something more profound than an SASS local shooting club. Or the national organization.

 

Whether or not "nearly everyone believed that secession was a right" (North or South) is an open question. There were certainly those who did. The New England and Hartford Convention threatened it over the War of 1812. It would again become an issue in the Mexican-American War. But the assertion that "nearly everyone" accepted it is highly questionable. Indeed, the fact that nobody actually tried to do so could well indicate that there was a significant difference in what was written in scholarly papers and what was actually feasible. Perhaps the best answer is to compare the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. Under the Articles the right to leave was clear. The Constitution, in the Preamble, says that the purpose of the document is to create "a more perfect Union." Again, any State could have taken a reservation; no State ever did. This suggests to me that all States recognized the permanance of the Union once created.

 

As to external economics, there's a lot to be said about that story. It has no bearing, however, on the power of a State to withdraw from the Consititution unilaterally. If that State wishes to withdraw it has a route, Art. V. To take any other route is to act in an extra-Constitutional manner.

 

G.

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I suppose we will continue to disagree on whether states, historically, could withdraw from the union. It is a moot point now, and just food for interesting discussion, which I have enjoyed. One never learns anything by conversation among people who are in total agreement!

 

 

Sure would like to see your horses the next time I am out your way ~ that Brazilian breed sounds mighty fine. Calico rides a Paso Fino who makes a good trail horse, but is not yet used to gunfire in the arena.

 

Buena suerte, amigo

eGG

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I suppose we will continue to disagree on whether states, historically, could withdraw from the union. It is a moot point now, and just food for interesting discussion, which I have enjoyed. One never learns anything by conversation among people who are in total agreement!

 

 

Sure would like to see your horses the next time I am out your way ~ that Brazilian breed sounds mighty fine. Calico rides a Paso Fino who makes a good trail horse, but is not yet used to gunfire in the arena.

 

Buena suerte, amigo

eGG

 

Yes, the question was ultimately decided at Appomatox Court House.

 

The Marchadors are good horses. Brazil is still largely a Third World Country (once you get away from the big cities) and horses there still have jobs. That means that only at the very top of the breed to you have "cosmetics" as a value. For most of the breed utility is still king. In many ways the Marchador horse is today where the QH, Walker, and other "working breeds" were at the dawn of the 20th Century. Thats good for us now. The challenge is to keep the "working horse ethic" formost and avoid the "show ring ethic" that has infected so many other breeds. THAT will be a real challenge!!! :)

 

Anytime you're in the neighborhood stop by and we'll refight any war you wish!!!!! :lol:

 

SQQ

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Yes, the question was ultimately decided at Appomatox Court House.

 

SQQ

 

 

Actually, the only units that surrendered were those under the command of general Lee. The Army of Virginia..... That was not the government surrendering, only rthe defeat of one Army Group....

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Actually, the only units that surrendered were those under the command of general Lee. The Army of Virginia..... That was not the government surrendering, only rthe defeat of one Army Group....

 

 

GREAT! A DIVERSION!

 

Joe Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Dunbar Station, NC, on April 26th; on May 4th the CSA armies in Alabama and Mississippi surrendered; Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia on May 10th; and General Edmund Kirby Smith negotiated the surrender of his department—the only significant Confederate field army left—on May 26, 1865, and signed the terms of surrender in Galveston, Texas, on June 2, 1865.

 

While it is true that the Confederacy briefly writhed on after Lee's surrender, without the Army of Northern Virginia the chances of staving off the Yankee forces with guerilla warfare until the north tired of an un-ending struggle were slim to none. The South was worn out, and effectively the Confederacy gave up the ghost at Appomatox on April 12th, 1865.

 

Salud, Smokepole!

 

eGG

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Actually, the only units that surrendered were those under the command of general Lee. The Army of Virginia..... That was not the government surrendering, only rthe defeat of one Army Group....

 

Technically, quite correct. As a practical matter, it was over.

 

Lee made a courageous decision by ignoring the orders of Davis to break up his force and engage in a guerilla war that could have lasted a very long time with some very ugly consequences for all concerned. I've always had respect for Lee as a commander and as a gentleman; for Davis, not so much.

 

SQQ

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And which "two" countries would those be? North and South? Urban and rural? Left and Right? Repub and Dem? White and black? One percent and 99? Religious and not? Christian and other? Working and not? Gun folk and anti?

 

My God, we are a Nation of diverse and conflicting interests and beliefs. That diversity is a strength, giving us a wider scope of capabilities and experience...but it also a challange, to find a common basis upon which to rule ourselves. You could draw a hundred virtual lines between various groups, until the country looked like graph paper, and still have conflicting views in the same square.

 

The answer is not further division. We all draw strength and security from a unified republic, with the shared wealth and resources (including each other) unmatched elsewhere in the world. Dividing it would be like cutting a Ferrari in half because the left side and the right side can't agree on which way to turn - and leaving you with two basically worthless pieces.

 

Assume for a moment that you did divide the country by secession, say approximately along the lines of red and blue states, and assuming that no state was left surrounded by others of the differing color. What would you say to folks who lived next door whose political philosophy was closer to the opposition? Get out? Would you tell your neighbor to take his family and get over the border? How about a neighbor who, 2 years after the secession, developed an opposing philosophy? Would you arrest him? Prosecute him? Exile him? Run him out of the kingdom on a rail? Or make his life so miserable that he would have no choice but to move?

 

I just find it hard to believe that such antipathy exists on either side of the differences we feel. I may believe in strict constructionism, but I don't want to cut myself off from half the country because of it. We either find internal resolutions to these issues, or we will eventually devolve into the disconnected, castrated remnant of a once great power, similar to the Soviet break-up. We are better than that; our heritage is stronger than that; and we owe it to ourselves and to our country to rise above these differences and remember who and what we are.

 

The answer? Leadership. Do not be despondent because we are temporarily lacking the level of leadership that is required in these times. Instead, search for it, support it, vote for it, or provide it yourself. Stand up, speak out and insist on it. And don't be fooled or mislead by the false voices that urge division or scapegoating as a solution to our problems. Look for leadership that rises above division, and strives for unity. It's hard, but it's out there.

 

I know, I know....LL crawled back up on the soapbox again. Some things just get me fired up. Rant over.

 

LL

I don't claim to be the brightest bulb in the string but If divided along red and blue state lines each Government could issue credits equal to the market value of their property to those that would want to leave. These credits would be honored by the other government as payment toward replacement property in their new country. I never advocated telling anyone they must leave only hoped to offer a peaceful way to allow those that chose not to live as the majority in their state had elected to. The best leadership in the world will take generations to undo the social entitlements that have been built up over decades. Simply put I do not want to live in the society envisiones and partly enacted by the Left. I'm sure there are people that would not want to live in a society ruled by the US Constitution. I know this because they are doing their best to distroy it and have been ignoring it for years. The professional politicians have put us where we are today and I have no faith in their ability or even their desire to fix what they created because they don't think anything is wrong! They have insulated themselves from the realities of life among the surfs. They set themselves above we the people and pass laws that we must live undar while they exempt themselves from them. I see no common ground between myself and those that think the state should take care of them or those that see their mission to tell everyone what is good for them and how to live while they vote themselves better pay, healthcare and retirement than those they rule.

 

Bugs

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Well thank you, Red.

 

In the end, we're all friends here.

 

LL

Couldn't agree more Pard, the folks on the Wire could take a lesson from us! :blush:

 

BSD

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