View single post by MildMan
 Posted: Tue Nov 1st, 2011 07:29 pm
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Just Testing Ideas

Joined: Wed Jul 23rd, 2008
Posts: 93

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Good points Texas Defender and Hellcat.

You mentioned the Hartford convention, and this prompted me to do some reading. I knew you were right, that some New England states had discussed secession during the war of 1812 but I did not know the details. Consistent with your points, much of the discussion of the Hartford convention centered around rights reserved for the states and the “duty” of states to watch over their rights. There was also concern about the majority injuring the interests of the minority and Virginia born presidents dominating the federal government. While many details are different, the political points made are eerily similar to the ones made by the south before the war of 1861.

But take a look at this unedited quote on secession from the “Report and Resolutions of the Hartford Convention (1815)”.

“Finally, if the Union be destined to dissolution, by reason of the multiplied abuses of bad administrations, it should, if possible, be the work of peaceable times, and deliberate consent.”

This would appear to validate my contention –US citizens, southerners and northerners, thought that proposing secession was a valid response to extreme abuses. However, they also noted that those who wished to secede should first attempt to do so peacefully and with consent (which I interpret to mean, legally).

It is also important to note that the Hartford Convention discussed secession, but it did not actually propose secession. Instead it proposed changes to the constitution to preserve and protect the power of New England states.

If southern rights were indeed being trampled upon, then discussion of secession and votes by citizens of those states to secede were valid responses. However, there was an alternative to war in 1861, legal secession, but Southern political leaders chose not to fully pursue it.

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