Was It Legal for the Southern States to Secede

Was It Legal for the Southern States to Secede

Another argument in favor of secession rights concerns the states of Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island. Readers may recall that the states included in their ratifications of the Constitution a clause allowing them to leave the Union if the new government became oppressive. It was on this basis that they joined the Union. Virginia cited this provision from its ratification when it seceded in 1861. But since the Constitution is also based on the principle of equality – all states are equal in dignity and rights, and no state can have more rights than another – the right of secession invoked by these three states must extend equally to all states. There is no provision in the U.S. Constitution that prohibits a state from seceding from the Union. This is exemplified by a proposal made at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to give the new federal government specific authority to abolish a breakaway state. James Madison, widely recognized as the principal founding father and scholar of the Constitution, rejected the proposal on the grounds that « a union of states containing such an ingredient seemed to foresee its own destruction.

The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than a punishment and would probably be regarded by the attacked party as the dissolution of any earlier treaty to which it might be bound. The safeguarding of state sovereignty is enshrined in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves to the states all rights not expressly delegated to the federal government. Since the federal government has never been given the right to force states into subjugation by force, secession is in fact a legal right that can be exercised at any time. The most famous secessionist movement was the fall of the southern states of the United States. Secession from the United States was accepted in eleven states (and failed in two others). The breakaway states merged to form the Confederate States of America (CSA). No « league », no matter how firm; no « confederation » or « confederation »; No pact between « sovereign » states – all these highly publicized and legally charged words of the articles were conspicuously absent from the preamble and all other operational parts of the Constitution. The new text proposed a fundamentally different legal framework. [23] In fact, most white families in the South did not have slaves. Less than half of white households in Mississippi, for example, owned one or more slaves, and this proportion was even lower in whiter states like Virginia and Tennessee. It is also true that in areas with few slaves, most white Southerners were not in favor of secession. West Virginia seceded from Virginia to remain with the Union, and Confederate troops had to occupy parts of eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama to keep them in line.

Of course, if a state has the audacity to secede from the Union, everything in the Constitution would not matter to it, since the Constitution assumes that they are states that are part of the Union. As soon as a state attempts to secede, it naturally becomes a foreign nation and thus all the power that the federal government has over foreign nations. This would include the power to declare war on the separatist state, forcing it back to the Union. No. It is important to note that none of these jurists (with the exception of the second half of Alaska, after the word « hereafter ») refer to a lawsuit or court decision. SCOTUS 2004 does NOT say, « The question of whether a state could secede was not resolved before Texas vs. whites. » Scalia does not write: « The constitutional question resolved by Texas v White is that there is no right of secession. » The Alaska court does not say, « The ability of a state to secede was unexplained before Texas against whites. » What they all mention is war. All these lawyers say that the civil war itself has solved the issue.

Not just any court decision: real war. And that`s the truth. Secession is not a legalistic issue that courts can resolve by reviewing the Constitution and Supreme Court precedents. I think there has been some confusion about the word « illegal.«  It is usually a punishable act, but the question of unilateral secession is whether it is constitutionally permissible. We commonly refer to unconstitutional acts as « illegal »; It may not be precise enough. It could certainly be argued that Texas v. White was ill-decided, but the current precedent is clear that states cannot secede unilaterally, and that precedent states that unilateral secession has always been illegal. However, the speech did not impress other states considering secession from the Union.

After the attack on Fort Sumter and the official declaration of Lincoln`s state of insurrection, four other states—Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas—seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy. The Republic of Texas successfully seceded from Mexico in 1836 (but this took the form of an open rebellion against Mexico and did not seek an arrest warrant under the Mexican Constitution to do so). Mexico refused to recognize its rebellious province as an independent country, but the great nations of the world recognized it. In 1845, Congress admitted Texas as a state. The documents governing Texas` accession to the United States of America do not mention a right of secession – although they do mention the possibility of dividing Texas into several states within the Union. Mexico warned that annexation meant war, and the Mexican-American War followed in 1846. [62] But any state which has expressly separated itself from so many powers that it forms one nation with the other states can have no right of secession from that moment, because such secession does not break a pact, but destroys the unity of a nation, and any violation of this unity is not only a rupture, that would result from the breach of a contract. but it is an insult to the whole Union. [emphasis added] To say that any state can secede from the Union at will means that the United States is not a nation, because it would be solekism to pretend that any part of a nation could sever its ties with the other parties, to their detriment or ruin, without committing insults. Secession, like any other revolutionary act, can be morally justified by extreme oppression; But to call it a constitutional right confuses the meaning of the terms and can only be done by gross error, or to deceive those who are willing to assert a right but would pause before making a revolution, or incur penalties after failure. [32] The U.S.

Supreme Court declared unilateral secession unconstitutional, commenting that revolution or state consent could lead to successful secession.

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