View single post by MildMan
 Posted: Wed Oct 26th, 2011 10:05 pm
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MildMan
Just Testing Ideas
 

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You haven’t convinced me that South Carolina couldn’t secede peacefully. I get your point that there was reason for residents of South Carolina in 1860 to think that secession was legal so they thought permission was not needed to secede.

Whether that is true or not has never been decided in court. I’d like to know if this issue was ever addressed in the constitutional convention. It’s a BIG issue so it seems odd if it were not. When there are disagreements about the constitution – or when states rights trump the federal government – the Supreme Court decides. No government can work if its just an aggrieved party decides what a law means. As for seeing the government as a compact of the states, I agree with you that that is likely how it was seen. But if you were part of a compact wouldn’t you first go to the compact and say, “this is not working, I am going to leave, how do we do this within the law?” Its like first saying, “look even though I said, till death do us part, we are never going to get along, so the only question is how to divorce in a way that isn’t destructive for everyone”.

I am a student of civil war history – so I am very aware of the seemly intractable “sectional” differences. What I am asking is – couldn’t secession be handled in a different more legal, within the government way? If it is a right of states wouldn’t the supreme court agree? And wasn’t this a Taney ( the protector of southern rights) lead court?

You mention that the election of Lincoln was what determined secession. For me this completely subverts the argument that secession is a right. Democracy can’t work if one can secede if one doesn’t like the result of an election. How long would it be before the mountains of SC seceded from the low county? And the northern mountains seceded from the southern?

If South Carolina had the ‘right” to secede, why did it need to fire on Ft Sumter? In any divorce, there needs to be a legal agreement on what property belongs to whom. Violence made war inevitable. Yes, I am sure that Lincon knew that an attempt to resupply the fort would result in a bombardment – and Davis knew that bombardment would force Virginia to secede. All politics.

Firing on Ft Sumter, galvanized the north. Maybe many northerners didn’t like slavery – but most they thought it was none of their business. If SC felt that is needed to secede to protect and preserve its institutions – maybe northerners would have EVENTUALLY said, ‘"good riddance”. By choosing a violent approach rather than a peaceful legal approach the south ended up losing the whole enchilada.

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