View single post by Marmaduke
 Posted: Tue Dec 1st, 2009 09:54 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 25th, 2009
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Texas Defender wrote: Unionblue-

  Perhaps I spoke too soon about not having much to disagree about.

  We have come to agree that the southern leaders felt justified in their decision to leave the Union. That was the point of my initial response. You continue to want to argue about moral grounds for secession.

What about the legal grounds? That is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Why not? According to written law, every state was its own judge; but Lincoln said that the federal government was judge. This does not make sense, since the federal government is chosen by majority, and so it would just be like before 1776, when the Parliamentary majority would decide all the rules over the colonies. Even if they colonies were given representation, the result would be the same since they were a minority. And it was the same with the southern states.
And this was especially true with the political gaimes played by the Republicans to agitate against fairness in congress. When a party gains control through dishonest means, only a madman would try to stay and play by the rules against a rigged game.
This is how Lincoln plotted to take power: by cheating, and then making war when they quit. Secession was definitely not unlawful like he claimed.

Since the southerners believed that the Constitution allowed them to leave the Union, and that that action was justified, what point would there have been to submitting the question to a federal court? Since they felt that they had the right, there was no need to ask permission. If that sounds simplistic, so be it. That was their position.
The states each won their freedom in 1783, so they were right.

As for Chief Justice Taney, he might have been admired by some, but apparently not by Mr. Lincoln. I would refer you to the Merryman case where Mr. Taney's opinions were totally disregarded. So much for the writ of habeas corpus. In fact, some of his friends feared that the Lincoln administration was going to arrest the Chief Justice.
Perhaps because he signed an arrest-warrant.

I would repeat that the: "leaders of secession" saw no requirement to try the case for secession in a federal court. The reason was not that they couldn't win (I don't know if they could have or not), but that in their view they weren't REQUIRED to.
No more than Britain would be required to get permission to end a treaty.
Also, they saw how Republicans treated federal court-judgments from Dred Scott (i.e. promising to honor it, and then summarily ignoring on that promise when the court ruled against them) -- which was precisely why the states were were seceding in the first place. 
It would be silly to think they'd handle a respect a federal secession-verdict any differently-- as the saying goes, "fool me once, shame on you-- fool me twice, shame on me."
And Lincoln was nothing, if not wholly shameless.

The Articles of Confederation might have talked about: "perpetuity"

 Also soveriegnty, freedom and independence. And the Constitution didn't mention taking these away, contrary to some drug-induced readings.

It is true that previous presidents threatened possible secessionists with military force, but that in no way makes a conclusion about the constitutionality of secession.

Just Jackson, who no one even mentions anymore since he was so erroneous.
But Jackson took his case to Congress, while Lincoln deliberately bypassed the congress in order to take the law into his own hands and start a war, since he knew that this would allow him to get away with murder... and censorship.

President Jackson that he did not always concern himself with legal niceties. Aside from once threatening to hang VP John C. Calhoun, he ignored at least one Supreme Court decision (See Worcester v. Georgia).

So did Lincoln (see Dred Scott) and tried to arrest Justice Taney. He also claimed secession illegal, under the argument that the union was older than the states; but in fact the constitutional union was not even as old as the constitution.

As for Texas v. White, the decision concluded that Texas never actually left the Union.

It also held that the union was intended to be perpetual, under the articles of confederation, and we've already dispensed with that argument. 
That decision was rendered in a 4-3 tie-breaking vote by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, who was Lincoln's former treasury-secretary.

A lttle about Chief Justice "Manhattan Bank" Chase:

The first major investment-banking house in the United States was a creature of government privilege. Jay Cooke, an Ohio-born business promoter living in Philadelphia, and his brother Henry, editor of the leading Republican newspaper in Ohio, were close friends of Ohio U.S. Senator Salmon P. Chase.

When the new Lincoln Administration took over in 1861, the Cookes lobbied hard to secure Chase the appointment of Secretary of the Treasury. That lobbying, plus the then enormous sum of $100,000 that Jay Cooke poured into Chase’s political coffers, induced Chase to return the favor by granting Cooke, newly set up as an investment banker, an enormously lucrative monopoly in underwriting the entire federal debt.

Cooke and Chase then managed to use the virtual Republican monopoly in Congress during the war to transform the American commercial banking system from a relatively free market to a National Banking System centralized by the federal government under Wall Street control. A crucial aspect of that system was that national banks could only expand credit in proportion to the federal bonds they owned – bonds which they were forced to buy from Jay Cooke.

Jay Cooke & Co. proved enormously influential in the post-war Republican administrations, which continued their monopoly in under-writing government bonds.

Naturally, Chase would want to protect his investment, by rendering an 1869 verdict that validated it.

I don't share your apparent view that the southerners were attempting to steal assets of the US in the course of the: "divorce."

It's not even relevant, once the right of southern states to their own soil is denied.

Otherwise, the issue is ridiculous, given the untold wealth surrendered by the seceding states via giving up their claims to the territories-- which amounted to about half the land-mass of the entire union prior to secession. This gives new meaning to the term "making mountains out of molehills," since it's absurd to squabble over a few buildings, when given a million square miles of land in exhange for them. It's like the saying that the Indians "swindled" the settlers when selling them New York for $24.

So, in the end we have come full circle. My case is that the: "leaders of secession" felt justified in their actions based on their interpretation of the Constitution. That is the bottom line. Call them: "imprudent" if you wish to. You can argue about: "morality" endlessly and it makes no difference at all. That remains a matter of opinion. The fact that in the end the north prevailed by force of arms in no way makes any statement about the morality of the actions taken by the secessionists (Or their view of the Constitution). It only serves to further reinforce a quote attributed to Napoleon that: "Morality is on the side of the heaviest artillery."

Which is ironic, since Lincoln refused an offer by Napoleon III to negotiate a peace-treaty with Davis.

However morality can be better served by a clear establishment of prior agreements-- by which it was clear that the union held no national authority over any state, and therefore Lincoln acted in an imperial capacity by claiming such, and then using it in order to invade and conquer those states.

Last edited on Tue Dec 1st, 2009 10:51 am by Marmaduke

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