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The Right of Secession Part One of Two

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The Right of Secession
Part One of Two

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

 . . . conceivably, it was the Northern States that acted illegally in precipitating the War Between the States. The Southern States, in all likelihood, were exercising a perfectly legitimate right in seceding from the Union.1

H. Newcomb Morse
Stetson University College of Law

Stetson Law Review, 1986

 Senator Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana was a brilliant legal mind who was later attorney general, secretary of war and secretary of state of the Confederacy.

In his farewell speech to the United States Senate on February 5, 1861 he went into great detail about the right of secession.

He asserted that the denial of that right is a "pretension so monstrous" that it "perverts a restricted agency [the Federal Government], constituted by sovereign states for common purposes, into the unlimited despotism of the majority, and denies all legitimate escape from such despotism . . . and degrades sovereign states into provincial dependencies."

He said that "for two-thirds of a century this right [of secession] has been known by many of the states to be, at all times, within their power."   :snip:

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