View single post by Unionblue
 Posted: Tue Nov 24th, 2009 06:27 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 23rd, 2009
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA
Posts: 56

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Taken from an article at the following website:

Too Small for a Republic, Too Large for a Lunatic Asylum.

States Rights

"Mary Lyde Williams gave the Presentation Address at the unveiling of the North Carolina Memorial at Gettysburg on July 3, 1929.  She intended to make a great compliment when she began with the words, "They wrote a constitution in which each state should be free."  Ironically it was none other than Zebulon Vance, the governor of North Carolina who was notoriously hostile to the national government.  Opposition to conscription in North Carolina was intense and disastrous for recruiting.  Vance's faith in states' rights drove him to stubbornly oppose the Davis administration.  And he was not alone.

Governors and state legislatures refused to give the national government the soldiers and money it needed because they feared encroachment on the rights of the states.

Georgia's governor Joe Brown warned of a deep-laid conspiracy on the part of Jefferson Davis to destroy States rights and individual liberty.  Brown declared, "Almost every act of usurpation of power, or of bad faith, has been conceived, brought forth and nurtured in secret session."  Giving the Confederate government power to draft soldiers was the "essence of military despotism."

In 1863 Governor Pendleton Murrah withheld Texas troops claiming they were needed for self-defense of the state and refused to send them East to defend the nation.

Vice President Stephens warned that to allow Davis to make "arbitrary arrests and to draft state officials conferred on him more power than the English Parliament had ever bestowed on the king.  History provided the dangers of such unchecked authority."  Stephens thought that Southerners should never view liberty as "subordinate to independence" because the cry of "independence first and liberty second" was a "fatal delusion."  Independence was not evidently the primary goal for Stephens.

While the Confederate Constitution did not specifically include a provision allowing states to secede; the Preamble spoke of each state "acting in its sovereign and independent character."  But it also declared the formation of a "permanent federal government."  The Constitution prohibited the use of revenues collected in one state for funding internal improvements in another state.  State legislatures were given the power to impeach officials of the Confederate government in some cases.

It is in such contradictory grounds that the seeds of inevitable defeat were sown."



Belief does not make truth. Evidence makes truth. And belief does not make evidence.
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