|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2012 04:05 pm||
The USSC decision Texas v. White (1869) determined that states did not have a right to secede.
Texas v. White - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This decision in 1869 did not make secession a crime in 1861.
You can say that in your opinion, secession is:"Completely destructive to a democracy," but that doesn't change what is in the Constitution. It is the document that governs. I would add that we do not live in a democracy. It is a representative republic. The majority does not always rule.
Whether of not an independent Confederacy would have fragmented later is also irrelevant. In fact, some in the north feared that if secession was allowed there might be later fragmentation among the northern states.
Mr. Lincoln said before he took office that he would not accept secession. Later in cases such as ex parte Merryman, he showed that he was perfectly willing to ignore court opinions and decisions that he didn't like. He was even willing to usurp the powers of Congress by illegally suspending the writ of habeas corpus. (Some 13,000 persons were arrested and held without trial.) Attempting to litigate the question of secession in federal courts was impractical, and as the Confederates saw it, unnecessary.
As for Constitutional amendments, there already existed the Tenth Amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT (my emphasis) to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
This could not be clearer to me. Do you think that the US Constitution would ever have been ratified if there had been a clause that said: "The people in the various states that have created the US Government hereby give up the power to ever leave it?" I can assure you that it would not have. Even in its original form, many thought that the Constitution failed to sufficiently protect the states and the people FROM the Federal Government.
The first ten amendments to the Constitution were added to satisfy those who feared an all powerful Federal Government. Without this: "Bill of Rights, the Constitution would never have been ratified.
I have said many times on this forum that firing on Ft. Sumter ( Not: "Sumpter," as you and the NY TIMES of that day incorrectly spelled it) was the greatest blunder that the Confederates could have made. Their view, rightly or wrongly, was that a : "Foreign" military power was occupying their territory and refusing to leave. But even if Major Anderson had been starved out of Ft. Sumter, Mr. Lincoln would have found another excuse to raise an army to invade the states that had seceded. He was never going to allow the southern states to leave peacefully. In the end, the issue could only be decided by force of arms.
As for your question about folks being willing to kill to settle their differences, the answer is: "Yes." That is the way that it has always been, which is why soldiers are still needed. Some 170 million souls lost their lives in wars during the 20th Century. Are we more : "Enlightened" now in the 21st? It should be obvious that we are not.
In the case of the Civil War, the Confederates were willing to kill to achieve their independence. Mr. Lincoln was willing to kill to prevent them from doing so. It takes two sides to make a war. You apparently wish to blame only one side.
The Confederates would have answered your charge of treason by saying that they were no longer part of the USA. Call it an act of war by one country against another if you wish. But only US citizens can commit treason against the US. Your charge of treason would have had no validity to them, nor does it to me.
As for Mr. Davis- he never wanted to be President of the CSA. He would have preferred a military commission. He may have been a poor leader, but I doubt that having a different CSA president would have changed the outcome of the war.
As for the Confederate cause, you can have your own opinion. The Confederates would have said that they sought to gain their independence from an oppressive government, just as the Founding Fathers did. Even in the present time, there are many who think that the Federal Government has encroached on the authority of the states and the people, which is why there is still talk of secession even now.
Last edited on Thu Dec 6th, 2012 07:37 pm by Texas Defender