Secession–Not Just Southern and Not Just Secular

by Al Benson Jr.

Often when the issue of secession has been “historically” dealt with it has been done in such a manner as to give the impression that it was purely a Southern political phenomenon. Clearly our present establishment “historians” love to have it so. As usual, there is a little more to the story than what they are pleased to tell us.

Lots of people other than Southerners, in years gone by, admitted the right of secession in this country. Well-known anti-slavery American jurist Joseph Story admitted the right of a state to withdraw from the Union. Judge Story stated: “The obvious deductions which may be, and indeed have been drawn, from considering the Constitution as a Compact between the States, are, that it operates as a mere treaty, or convention between them, and has an obligatory force upon each State no longer that it suits its pleasures, or its consent continues;…and that each State retains the power to withdraw from the Confederacy, and to dissolve the connection, when such shall be its choice;…” So it would seem that Judge Story thus admitted the right of a state to secede.

Thomas Jefferson believed in the right of state secession, and, according to Alexander H. Stephens, the Kentucky Resolutions fully established this.

Even ultra-nationalist Alexander Hamilton was forced, by his own admission, to admit that the right of state secession existed. In regard to Hamilton, Alexander Stephens, who was named after him, wrote: “Even Mr. Hamilton must have believed that this right was incident to the systems; for in his urgent appeals to Mr. Jefferson, as early as 1790, for his influence with members of Congress, in aid of the bill for the assumption of the States debts, he presented the strong reason, that if the measure should not pass, there was great danger of a secession of the members from the creditor States, which would end in ‘a separation of the States.’…he was Secretary of the Treasury. Would he have urged such an argument if he had not believed that those States had a right to withdraw?” That’s an interesting question that those nationalists today of the Hamilton stripe might consider addressing themselves to–then again, maybe not.

And William Rawle, U.S. District Attorney under George Washington, said: “The Union is an association of the people of Republics; its preservation is calculated to depend on the preservation of those republics…It depends on the State itself, to retain or abolish the principle of representation; because it depends on itself, whether it will continue a member of the Union. To deny this right, would be inconsistent with the principles on which all our political systems are founded;…”

Even DeToqueville addressed the secession question. He had stated: “The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their Nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so,…”

Even utopian socialist Horace Greeley, no real friend of the South, said that: “The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nonetheless;…We hope never to live in a Republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets.” It could be that Mr. Greely didn’t really understand the motives of Abraham Lincoln, who had, himself, recognized the right of secession in early 1848–conveniently, just before the onslaught of the socialist revolts in Europe! Again, for more about that read Lincoln’s Marxists.

To be continued.

3 thoughts on “Secession–Not Just Southern and Not Just Secular

  1. Hartford Convention and Northeastern States Secession Movement during the War of 1812…

    The Hartford Convention “New England Considers Secession” December 15, 1814- January 5, 1815 (The War of 1812)

    Concern for states’ rights and thoughts of secession were not exclusive to the South.

    As early as December 1814, a gathering of New England Federalists met at Hartford, Connecticut, to call for states’ rights and secession from the U.S.A. They intended to form a new nation in the northeastern U.S.A. and invite regions of southeast Canada to join them in forming a new nation.

    The War of 1812 was very unpopular in commercial New England which was the emerging manufacturing region of the United States and British manufacturers had been effectively competing in goods and price in the U.S. since their Industrial Revolution had become successful and profitable.

    Of the 26 delegates, 12 were from Massachusetts, 7 from Connecticut, 4 from Rhode Island, 2 from New Hampshire, and 1 from Vermont. (Maine was still a district within Massachusetts.) The delegates drafted proposals for constitutional amendments that would challenge what they saw as President James Madison’s military despotism and force him to resign. Political cartoons of the day depicted England’s King George III trying to lure Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island back into the British fold.

    The delegates loathed the Jeffersonian Republicanism in the Nation’s capital. Their demands would likely have been more separatist if the Essex Junto, a group of extremist Federalists, had not been restrained by the moderation of delegate Harrison Gray Otis. A member of the Essex Junto, former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts George Cabot, who presided at the convention.

    By the time the Hartford delegation arrived in Washington to make their demands, the War of 1812 was over. The Treaty of Ghent had already been signed by President Madison and news of General Andrew Jackson’s victory at New Orleans had reached Washington City. “Their position,” according to a French diplomat, “was awkward, embarrassing, and lent itself to cruel ridicule,” and they withdrew their secession demands.

    Fascinating Fact: The Federalist Party, which had been discredited during the War of 1812 for such secessionist sympathies as those illustrated by the Hartford Convention, fared so poorly in the 1816 election that it did not run a national candidate against the Democratic Republicans in 1820.

    Al Barrs
    eBooks and eArticles by Al Barrs

  2. Pingback: Warmongering, Murdering Tyrant Abraham Lincoln: 7 Things They Didn’t Teach You in School | IF THE TRUTH BE KNOWN…BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny.G… | BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny G ~ "CLINGERS of AMERICA!"

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