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Posted: 3/29/2002 5:57:07 AM EDT
From Walter Williams THE REAL LINCOLN http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Do states have a right of secession? That question was settled through the costly War of 1861. In his recently published book, "The Real Lincoln," Thomas DiLorenzo marshals abundant unambiguous evidence that virtually every political leader of the time and earlier believed that states had a right of secession. Let's look at a few quotations. Thomas Jefferson in his First Inaugural Address said, "If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it." Fifteen years later, after the New England Federalists attempted to secede, Jefferson said, "If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation ... to a continuance in the union ... I have no hesitation in saying, 'Let us separate.'" At Virginia's ratification convention, the delegates said, "The powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression." In Federalist Paper 39, James Madison, the father of the Constitution, cleared up what "the people" meant, saying the proposed Constitution would be subject to ratification by the people, "not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong." In a word, states were sovereign; the federal government was a creation, an agent, a servant of the states.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 5:59:01 AM EDT
On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Maryland Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel said, "Any attempt to preserve the Union between the States of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty." The northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace. Purchasing this book -- linked in first paragraph-- helps fund JWR Just about every major Northern newspaper editorialized in favor of the South's right to secede. New York Tribune (Feb. 5, 1860): "If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861." Detroit Free Press (Feb. 19, 1861): "An attempt to subjugate the seceded States, even if successful could produce nothing but evil -- evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content." The New York Times (March 21, 1861): "There is growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go." DiLorenzo cites other editorials expressing identical sentiments. Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech, "It is poetry not logic; beauty, not sense." Lincoln said that the soldiers sacrificed their lives "to the cause of self-determination -- government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth." Mencken says: "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves." In Federalist Paper 45, Madison guaranteed: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." The South seceded because of Washington's encroachment on that vision. Today, it's worse. Turn Madison's vision on its head, and you have today's America.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:00:28 AM EDT
DiLorenzo does a yeoman's job in documenting Lincoln's ruthlessness and hypocrisy, and how historians have covered it up. The Framers had a deathly fear of federal government abuse. They saw state sovereignty as a protection. That's why they gave us the Ninth and 10th Amendments. They saw secession as the ultimate protection against Washington tyranny.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:10:43 AM EDT
Gawd, I love Walter Williams! He always knows just what to say. Yeah, I'd vote for a Presidential ticket of Alan Keyes and Walter O. Williams in a heartbeat! And they can flip a coin to see who gets the top spot! Now what kind of racist am I? Eric The(RightWingConspiracist)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:28:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2002 11:48:10 AM EDT by QCMGR]
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Now what kind of racist am I?
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A confused one?
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:31:00 AM EDT
Post from QCMGR -
A confused one?
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Extremely confused! Eric The(HonestAsTheDayIsLong)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:31:35 AM EDT
This is why I cringe when someone wants to remove the "Starts and Bars" because it makes a racist statement. Granted the one good thing to come out of the "War of 1861" was the abolition of slavery but everything that the war stood for at it's inception was the beginning of the end. I believe that history will ultimately depict Lincoln as the scourge who began the decimation as freedom for America. Oh, and by the way he was Republican.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:34:53 AM EDT
I believe that history will ultimately depict Lincoln as the scourge who began the decimation as freedom for America. Only if we win!
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:36:12 AM EDT
ar10er: The strength of your argument is in the quotes from Jefferson, Madison, et al. However the basis of the argument seems to be the old canard about the Civil War being a war about states rights. Of course that is revisionist history which has been roundly refuted by reputable historians. It appeals to the southern good ole boys with the stars & bars flying from their F150s. The weakest part of your argument is the quotes from the newspapers. As evidence, do you think that the editorials in today's newspapers reflect the thinking of the largest part of todays society? All in all a good read. Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:39:24 AM EDT
The weakest part of your argument is the quotes from the newspapers. As evidence, do you think that the editorials in today's newspapers reflect the thinking of the largest part of todays society? That depends on where you live. Here in Idaho, most of the editorials written by the common folk do.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 6:55:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2002 6:57:02 AM EDT by lurker]
andrew jackson might disagree about a right to seceed, being on the verge of calling up troops in 1832. many editorials are written by editors, who have their own agendas. public opinion in the years immediately preceeding the war swung wildly depending on who you talked with and when. as to the actual question, (is secession "legal"), the original US Articles of Confederation state [b]four[/b] times that the union is perpetual. the constitution is silent on the matter. curiously, the Confederate Constitution again states that the Confederation is permanent. I am left with the conclusion that the original weak Confederation was permanent, while the stronger Federation [b]might[/b] not be, and yet the (2nd) Confederation was permanent again. curious indeed. but it's all moot. as stated, the issue was decided in 1865.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:07:33 AM EDT
lurker but it's all moot. as stated, the issue was decided in 1865. Many in the south would disagree with you.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:29:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By lurker: andrew jackson might disagree about a right to seceed, being on the verge of calling up troops in 1832.
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Andrew Jackson also forced an Indian Nation (I forget which one...)out of Georgia, and the Supreme Court told him it was illegal. His reply was for the court to summon an army and stop him. Andrew Jackson was for these same types of Federal abuses.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 7:36:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Now what kind of racist am I? Eric The(RightWingConspiracist)Hun[>]:)]
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I shall pass on this golden opportunity !!
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:47:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ar10er: lurker but it's all moot. as stated, the issue was decided in 1865. Many in the south would disagree with you.
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true. then again, many in the south felt it was a mistake to seceed the first time. i was at a reenactment this past weekend (bridgeport, alabama). I'm a Private in Co. B. 34th Ga. volunteer infantry. i watched a pickup (maybe an f150?) with both the US and confederate battle flags, and i remember marvelling that in any other country they'd probably have been shot. this really is the best country on earth. but the south is in no better condition to separate than they were the last time, and i think the "secesh" are dreaming an idle fantasy. and yes, it's mixed with a strong dose of racism.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:53:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bretshooter:
Originally Posted By lurker: andrew jackson might disagree about a right to seceed, being on the verge of calling up troops in 1832.
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Andrew Jackson also forced an Indian Nation (I forget which one...)out of Georgia, and the Supreme Court told him it was illegal. His reply was for the court to summon an army and stop him. Andrew Jackson was for these same types of Federal abuses.
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"justice marshal has made his ruling, now let him enforce it". curiously, the instance you cite is not of federal abuse of power, but of federal failure to fulfill constitutional obligation to act in accordance with treaty. all because georgia wanted gold fields inconveniently located on cherokee land.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 8:53:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Gawd, I love Walter Williams! Eric The(RightWingConspiracist)Hun[>]:)]
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I know. He's dreamy, isn't he. Sigh.[;)]
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 9:28:29 AM EDT
"justice marshal has made his ruling, now let him enforce it". curiously, the instance you cite is not of federal abuse of power, but of federal failure to fulfill constitutional obligation to act in accordance with treaty. all because georgia wanted gold fields inconveniently located on cherokee land. [/quote] Thanks for the assist! You don't consider failure to fulfill constitutional obligations as an abuse? It makes the president above the law, which Justice Marshall made with his ruling.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 11:17:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By hardcase: ar10er: The strength of your argument is in the quotes from Jefferson, Madison, et al. However the basis of the argument seems to be the old canard about the Civil War being a war about states rights. Of course that is revisionist history which has been roundly refuted by reputable historians
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Sources please.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 11:40:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bretshooter: Thanks for the assist! You don't consider failure to fulfill constitutional obligations as an abuse? It makes the president above the law, which Justice Marshall made with his ruling.
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agree, in the sense of a "sin of omission". but it seems inconsistent if we complain about an overactive federal govt, then complain about a failure to act. i'm not saying i agree or not with jackson's point, merely that many prominent figures of the time did not agree with a "right to seceed". i am regularly surprised to see principled people sacrifice those principles when some unforseen opportunity comes along. people are complex and multi-dimensional, and to view them otherwise is a mistake. (example: was jefferson right to buy the louisiana purchase?)
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 1:56:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2002 1:57:23 PM EDT by arbob]
States do not have the unilateral right to secede. Lincoln`s argument was that the states did not exist with out the union. Remember the US didn`t exist until the Declaration of independence, until then we were all colonies not independent states. Therefore the secession was only possible through holding a constitutional convention and dissolving the union. Even Jefferson in the Declaration stated that only repeated abuses of the people were justification for revolt. Being pisssed because the gov`t won`t let you keep people in chains and expand the practice, wasn`t a good enough reason. Remember Lincoln wasn`t an abolitionist until the casualty lists made him one. He wanted to use the least amount of Federal power possible.
Link Posted: 3/29/2002 3:33:54 PM EDT
I am almost always of two minds about state rights. Do the states have the right to make laws that are in direct opposition to the Federal Constitution? If your state elected to confiscate all guns, where do you come down between state's rights and the second amendment to the federal constitution? Most of us would scream and shout about the second amendment, but if the absolute sovereignty of the states is upheld then the 2nd only applies if the state says it applies. On the other hand most of us are pretty pissed off when the feds in DC walk in and tell us how to run our lives out in rural America. For most of us I think we suffer a divergence of opinion on the issue depending upon the specific case. So nope, it ain't simple. And living in the People's Republic of Taxachusetts as I am doomed to do, the concept of state's rights bothers me a lot since our gun control laws in this state are terrible and getting worse. I really need a strong federal 2nd Amendment to be reaffirmed by the federal courts to help us fight back against some of the arbitrary anti-gun legislation and regulation in this state. So I won't take a firm stance on it.
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