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 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 02:49 pm
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David White
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Bama Living in Sucker land:

Interestingly, the AoC you mention addressed the issue of secession saying it required the consent of all the states for one state to leave the Union.

Hard to imagine that the more permanent Constitution had a lesser standard.



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 03:01 pm
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Doc C
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Thanks Doc J for the help. Again, Ellis's book American Creation is a great read for those interested in delving further into the current topic. (By the way just happened upon it at our local Sams Club). Last Monday picked up his other book, Founding Brothers, which he received the Pulitzer Prize for.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 03:24 pm
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Texas Defender
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  As far as secession goes, the bottom line is that it isn't mentioned at all in the Constitution. Therefore, it can be maintained that it was legal based on the 9th and 10th Amendments. You can make whatever arguments or interpretations you wish to, but you can't debunk that one.

  When the Constitution was ratified by nine states, it became the ruling document of the land. At that point, anything contained in the AOC became irrelevant.


 EDITING:  Similarly, nothing written in the Declaration of Independence had any legal standing. (It gave the power to: "Levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, and establish commerce" to the states.) It was the ratification of the Constitution by the: "Free and Independent" states that established the Federal Government. It was this compact agreed to by the states that created that Government, while limiting its powers. The states and the people retained all the powers not given to the Federal Government in the Constitution.

Last edited on Tue Jun 18th, 2013 01:27 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 03:28 pm
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David White
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I just find it curious that the looser organization addressed it and made it tough to do but the tighter organization didn't and some interpreted that as allowing them to cease membership like it was a fraternal club or something.  Just curious.



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 03:55 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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Slavery was addressed in the formation of the United States. When South Carolina left the Union they did so due to their belief that the laws of the United States, particularly as they concerned slavery were being ignored and flaunted by the States of the North. So in consequence they chose to leave the Union, which they believed to be their right under the Constitution.
Make no mistake about it, the "Lost Cause" notwithstanding the war was fought for States Rights and the right of the States to legally enforce the slave laws. They are joined at the hip, although States Rights do emcompass a wider meaning.
One has to only read the "Succession of South Carolina" to see the intent of the State.
The additional causes, reasonings, given since that time, is only revisionist history. While it is generally acknowledged that much that has been written is from the "victors" point of view, it is also true that the formation of the vanquished States of the Confederacy's doctrine of "The Lost Cause" is also revisionist history.
Prior to the war these United States were a Confederation of States. After the war we became "The" United States, a single entity with a strong central form of government.



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 04:19 pm
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HankC
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Comparing states rights in 1787 and states’ rights in 1860 is almost impossible.

Much of the states’ rights issues in 1787 revolved the issues dividing the big and the small states. Virginia and New York on one side and Delaware and New Jersey, et al, on the other.

The Constitution as ratified was a compromise between the big-state-favoring ‘Virginia Plan’ and the smaller-state-leaning ‘New Jersey Plan’.

It’s no coincidence that the small states tended to ratify easily and early and the larger states last and with less unity; the large states felt they were giving up more than their fair share.

For the next 65 years the states’ rights umbrella was used by a number of states to covering a number of issues. By 1860, though, only southern states were holding the umbrella and slavery was far and away the issue being protected.

For a model of causes of the Civil War, look to Kansas. A review of issues and events from 1854 on, reveals the main cause of the Civil War. Hint: they were not fighting over tariffs…


HankC



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 07:01 pm
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Doc C
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One of the key questions for the founding fathers was sovereignty - state vs federal. Apparently the vast majority of the population was for state sovereignty because of the fear that the federal govt. was going to be similar in form to the government (king/parliament) which they had fought so long to over throw. Also the states were unwilling to subordinate themselves to a domestic version of Parliament, i.e. federal govt. However, as demonstrated by Ellis, the seeds of a federal government were sewn during the Revolutionary War. Prior to the constitution, the states held the power. One of the nightmares Washington and the fledgling continental army faced was their dependence on the individual states for supplies. Another problem Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall feared that unless a consolidated nation-state with powers to make domestic and foreign policy for all the states, the new republic would probably dissolve into a collection of state and regional sovereignties.

Madison, initially a strong proponent of federalism, made the statement that throughout history, confederations, i.e. Greek city states, Italian, Dutch, Austrian had eventually dissolved. He worried in 1786 that unless the AOC dropped and a constitution created - anarchy, chaos, widespread violence, possible civil war between and among the states would occur. Even a Boston newspaper at the time foresaw a regional union of New England states with other regional alliances being created. Later Madison had a drastic change of heart, siding and being a leader for the anti-federalist or republican party. Was this change because of his mentor, Jefferson, and/or did he have to choose between the strong federal government and his home state of Virginia and it's citizens, something other Virginians would have to do 70 years later.

I do disagree that comparing states rights in 1787 and 1860 is impossible. The same problems faced in 1787 arose again and again until their final culmination in 1860. Also, one reason that Virginia and possible other larger states took longer with the ratification process was that their population was more diverse, i.e. piedmont, tidewater, etc.

In conclusion, states rights (sovereignty) and slavery are not synonymous. However, I still am of the opinion that the 2 are very much related. Also, the founding fathers were aware of the slavery issue during this period. I would also enjoy seeing posts related to the issue that if slavery did not exist would the civil war have ever occurred or state secession ever been an issue.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Nov 28th, 2007 11:13 pm
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Doc C
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The southern states were not the first to consider secession. New England leaders approached Aaron Burr, then vice president, to run for gov. of New York. Burr at that time had learned that he had been dropped from the republican ticket of Jefferson, then seeking his second term as president. Burr would supposedly aid in the capture of New York. Federalists leaders envisioned the secession of New England in the wake of republican Jeffersons reelection (sounds vaguely familiar) which would lead to the formation of a federalist-controlled confederation of northern states.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 12:18 am
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JoanieReb
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"In your saddle bag, bring an example."

Alright, Ole.  But I'm gonna have to pull out my McPhersons and spend another night at the campfire.  Shouldn't take much, tho.  ;)

Now, academically, let me point out that by human nature, every person is biased.  We are subjective by nature, there is no such thing as a truly "objective observer". Even every good set of scientific data must have it's "bias" calculated.

The questions to ask with each historian are: where is his/her bias?, how does he/she deal with it? and, how severe is it?

Now, You and McPherson may share the same bias, so he seems less biased to you than he does to me.

Shoot, now I realize that, in order to illustrate his particular bias, I am going to have to use another well-respected and accepted historian or two's works as a comparison/control.  Dang, it, you're demanding:P:  "give me an example, give me an example of the example".... can we get down to really argung after this one?=+++

Just because I would have demanded an example in the saddle bag same as you did doesn't make me any happier about it;).


 

Last edited on Thu Nov 29th, 2007 12:19 am by JoanieReb



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 02:19 am
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Doc C
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One reason for Madison's change to a more states right position away from the Federalist was his opposition to Hamiltons and the federalist wish for the new federal govt. to assume the states debts incurred from the revolutionary war. After the war, veterans were given something akin to promissory notes. Speculators had bought many of these notes from veterans at extremely discounted prices. Madison and others were very upset at the "shafting" of these veterans by these speculator or money changers (akin to Jesus casting out the money changers from the temple). Unlike many other states, Virginia had already paid off a great deal of it's debt. Irregardless of this, she would still be taxed just the same as the states who had a large debt. In one of the great compromises in history, Madison agreed not to voice too much of an opposition for this bill in congress in exchange for the move of the capitol from New York City to its current location.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 02:54 am
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JoanieReb
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We seem to have two different subjects going: the long historical view and CW historical view in one thread. Shall we move the CW-related one to a new thread to avoid confusion?



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 03:48 am
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ole
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Well. The Doc seems to have blown away the applecart. And thrown the entire discussion into another dimension. Lemme see. Must dredge up the fleas of  a thousand camels or some such. I forget which.

ole



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 04:49 am
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JoanieReb
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Poor Ole!  Would it help if I started another NASCAR thread?  ;):):D

Oh well, exemplifying McPherson's biases seemed too much like work - I spent too many years doing acedemic defenses  not to put it off until tomorrow.  I pulled out the books I want, that's a start.



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 02:52 pm
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ole
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 As far as secession goes, the bottom line is that it isn't mentioned at all in the Constitution. Therefore, it can be maintained that it was legal based on the 9th and 10th Amendments. You can make whatever arguments or interpretations you wish to, but you can't debunk that one.

That does seem to be the basis of much argument, TD. Seems that if it wasn't mentioned in the powers surrendered to the feds, then it must have been a power reserved to the state. I've been trying to find out if secession was an understood right or power. Haven't gotten any takers yet.

Woof! Doc's thread has taken off so fast I haven't gotten a chance to read it all yet, let alone toss in my 2 cents.

ole



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 02:59 pm
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ole
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I just find it curious that the looser organization addressed it and made it tough to do but the tighter organization didn't and some interpreted that as allowing them to cease membership like it was a fraternal club or something.  Just curious.
David, you're normally quite lucid and clarion clear. This one found me confused. I'm certain it has import, and would appreciate some expansion. I think I know what you are saying, but that's not the same as knowing. Thanx.

ole



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 03:08 pm
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ole
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Make no mistake about it, the "Lost Cause" notwithstanding the war was fought for States Rights and the right of the States to legally enforce the slave laws. They are joined at the hip, although States Rights do emcompass a wider meaning.

Just once, I'd like to hear what right of any state was being threatened. I will accept that the slavers feared what might be. I will not accept that they could reject the results of a legal election with impunity.

ole



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 03:14 pm
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ole
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The southern states were not the first to consider secession. New England leaders approached Aaron Burr, then vice president, to run for gov. of New York. Burr at that time had learned that he had been dropped from the republican ticket of Jefferson, then seeking his second term as president. Burr would supposedly aid in the capture of New York. Federalists leaders envisioned the secession of New England in the wake of republican Jeffersons reelection (sounds vaguely familiar) which would lead to the formation of a federalist-controlled confederation of northern states.

Lots and lots of people talked about secession. Until South Carolina actually did it, it was just talked about. Consider that the entire idea of a Union was quite new. An untried principle. Would you say that the idea of a cooperative union did outweigh the idea of going it alone?

ole



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 03:30 pm
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ole
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Now, academically, let me point out that by human nature, every person is biased.  We are subjective by nature, there is no such thing as a truly "objective observer". Even every good set of scientific data must have it's "bias" calculated.

Is very true, Joanie. But aren't we talking about a bias that goes a bit overboard? I've heard that Shelby Foote (hisself) had a southern bias and I've heard that he had a northern bias. Does this mean that he had a bias only in the mind of the reader? I'd suppose that bias must be present, so long as it doesn't distort historical accuracy.

Am currently reading Time on the Cross -- Fogel and Engerman, with Slave Testimony -- Blassingame. Both appear to attempt to avoid bias. But there is a slant in both. Fogel and Engerman use facts and statistics and scientific calculations to prove that slaves were better off than one might think. Blassingame makes no bones about the illigetimacy of his interviews -- too small a sample and only the literate. Both, however, do have a story.

As flawed as were the Slave Narratives published from interviews of former slaves in the 1930s, there remains some value. Bias is in the reading.

But I've rambled on far too long. Lower the lance, Joanie. Charge!

ole



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 03:56 pm
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David White
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Ole:

Trust me I was sober and really was doing nothing more than repeating my earlier post. The AoC had a secession clause that required unanimous consent of all the states for one of the members to leave. The document that "formed a more perfect union," is silent on the issue of seccession. I think it is curious that the AoC would have a higher standard for secession than the Constitution forming a "perfect Union." Which in itself says something to me becasue a Union that could be busted up by the whim of one party is NOT a "perfect Union."



 Posted: Thu Nov 29th, 2007 04:37 pm
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ole
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I think I'm gonna get to like you, David. Good sense, good rationale, reasonable thoughts.I think it is curious that the AoC would have a higher standard for secession than the Constitution forming a "perfect Union." Which in itself says something to me becasue a Union that could be busted up by the whim of one party is NOT a "perfect Union."

It is quite clear to me that the founders didn't harbor even a thought of how one could get out of the Union, having joined. So it isn't there.

Will have to refresh my acquaintance with the AoC. Wasn't aware of the words on secession. Dammit, David! You're causing me more problems than you're worth. How 'bout if I just take your word for it. OK! Works for me. Hallelujah!

For an Aggie, you do have some smarts.=+-

ole



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