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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: 

https://www.charlestonathenaeumpress.com/

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The Right of Secession
Part Two of Two

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

The Southern States unquestionably had the right to secede from the Union. That Southerners lost a catastrophic war, which, if it occurred today, would count 8.7 million dead and 10 million wounded, only glorifies and enshrines in the annals of human history, the courage of Southerners and their commitment to democracy, self-government, the Founding Fathers, and especially the Declaration of Independence with its assertion that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Other direct evidence of the right of secession abounds.

Albert Taylor Bledsoe wrote in 1866 what is thought to be the best book ever written on the right of secession: Is Davis a Traitor; or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War of 1861?

Richard M. Weaver, who was during his lifetime a professor and author of several noted books on the South, called Is Davis a Traitor "the masterpiece of the Southern apologias."1 Weaver described it as a "brilliant specimen of the polemic" out of the entire "extensive body of Southern political writing."2:snip: https://www.charlestonathenaeumpress.com/the-right-of-secession-part-two-of-two/

 

 

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Was Secession Treason?

By Earl Starbuck on Sep 18, 2020

Recently an acquaintance of mine remarked that the Confederate statue in her hometown should be removed from its present place of honour and relocated to the Confederate cemetery which is presently (and sadly) in a state of neglect. The statue should be moved, she said, because while the boys who fought and died during the Late Unpleasantness deserve to be remembered, “literal traitors to America” should not be glorified. Were the Confederates traitors to America? Let’s do a little digging and find out, shall we?

1: At the direction of the State governments, the Continental Congress declared independence in July of 1776, stating:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, :snip: 

 

“Free and Independent States,” joined together in common cause to declare their independence from the British empire. Each State was an independent entity, acting on its own behalf, in its own interest, :snip:   https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/was-secession-treason/

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Draggingtree

From the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald May 7, 1861


 

THE REASON FOR SECESSION.


SOME of our friends abroad are amazingly puzzled to know the cause of this revolution now upon us. A few words will serve to show how the matter stands. When the sun arose on the sixth of November last, it shone upon thirty-three States in union, containing a population of 30,000,000, the most happy and prosperous people on the face of the earth. According to the constitutional requirements, the people of every State (save one) came together, and cast their votes for a chief magistrate. The result showed that Abraham Lincoln was legally chosen President for four years. No one disputed the legality of his election; but thousands in this city and elsewhere regretted it. The people of this city voted against him strong. This we had a right to do; but not one of our respectable citizens regarded his election as a just cause of revolution. Even Mr. Stephens, now vice-president of the confederate States, declared that it was no good cause. South Carolina thought she had a cause, and speedily, without waiting for any overt act -indeed, long before the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln took place - met in convention and voted herself out of the Union. Public confidence began to be disturbed and a speedy downfall of business followed. The other cotton States tied themselves to the tail of South Carolina, and acts of seizure and violence of the most disgraceful character were sanctioned by the State authorities; and even our federal government allowed itself to be driven out of Charleston harbor by the booming of its own cannon in the hands of the State authorities. The insult was borne with patience - insult was added to injury - until "forbearance ceased to be a virtue." The South having lost an election which they went into, and imagining some great wrong, commenced to defy the government which had never injured them in the slightest degree, when, lo and behold, civil war is upon us because we refuse longer to be kicked and cuffed about by them, and are not willing to give up all our forts, and even the federal capital itself, from which they seceded. Jefferson Davis, who has been plotting the overthrow of the government for years, would be perfectly satisfied if we would give up everything, and submit to the degradation of allowing the President of the United States to set up his government on a drum-head. The North cannot, and will not submit to this; and those who have done most, and worked hardest for the South, are first and foremost in arming for the war. In the sixth ward, of this city, where Jefferson Davis has had thousands of friends, a powerful regiment is formed, and now, while we write, are on their way to resist his further encroachments upon the rights of the North. We are no politicians, and have never said or done aught against our Southern brethren. We wish them no harm, and we kindly ask them to pause and think the matter over cooly and calmly, without passion and without prejudice. We war not against them for the sake of blood; but we war against them for the maintenance of the best government that ever existed - for the time-honored flag of our country - a flag that was loved by Washington, Madison, Jackson, Clay, Webster, and every other true patriot in the land, as the "gorgeous ensign of the Republic."

The entire North is aroused, and should it cost her a hundred thousand human lives, and a hundred millions of dollars, the government will be sustained.

The struggle will doubtless be one of the most gigantic and terrific that the world has ever seen. Both sides are amply provided with implements of destruction, they are each composed of millions of brave men, and they are bent upon their opposite purposes with the deepest and most determined earnestness. The great drama is already commenced, and its thrilling scenes, with their noble self-sacrifice, sublime daring, heroic achievements, and grim horrors, are passing in swift succession before us. - Scientific American.

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Draggingtree

From the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald May 7, 1861


 

THE REASON FOR SECESSION.


SOME of our friends abroad are amazingly puzzled to know the cause of this revolution now upon us. A few words will serve to show how the matter stands. When the sun arose on the sixth of November last, it shone upon thirty-three States in union, containing a population of 30,000,000, the most happy and prosperous people on the face of the earth. According to the constitutional requirements, the people of every State (save one) came together, and cast their votes for a chief magistrate. The result showed that Abraham Lincoln was legally chosen President for four years. No one disputed the legality of his election; but thousands in this city and elsewhere regretted it. The people of this city voted against him strong. This we had a right to do; but not one of our respectable citizens regarded his election as a just cause of revolution. Even Mr. Stephens, now vice-president of the confederate States, declared that it was no good cause. South Carolina thought she had a cause, and speedily, without waiting for any overt act -  :snip: 

https://civilwartalk.com/forums/additional-discussion-on-secession.230/

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Draggingtree

DeBow's Review on the Views of Non-slaveholders

 

James Dunwoody Brownson DeBow was the founder and editor of the highly influential DeBow's Review, which he published on and off from 1846 until his death in 1867. A secessionist, and an advocate of Southern development and industrialization, DeBow favored Breckinridge in the 1860 election and was an ardent supporter of the Davis administration during the war.

This article appeared in the January, 1861, issue of the Review (pages 67-77), and was sent to me by Bob Huddleston of Denver. The format of some of the tables was slightly altered from the original to conform to the restrictions imposed by HTML. The entire set of DeBow's Review is available online at the Making of America site at the University of Michigan.

  

ART. VI.-THE NON-SLAVEHOLDERS OF THE SOUTH:

THEIR INTEREST IN THE PRESENT SECTIONAL CONTROVERSY

IDENTICAL, WITH THAT OF THE SLAVEHOLDERS.

My Dear Sir: While in Charleston recently I adverted, in conversation with you, to some considerations affecting the question of slavery in its application to the several classes of population at the South, and especially to the non-slaveholding class who, I maintained, were even more deeply interested than any other in the maintenance of our institutions, and in the success of the movement now inaugurated for the entire social, industrial, and political independence of the South. At your request, I promised to elaborate and commit to writing the points of that conversation, which I now proceed to do, in the hope that I may thus be enabled to give some feeble aid to a cause which is worthy of the Sidneys, Hampdens, and Patrick Henrys, of earlier times.  :snip: 

The Non-slaveholders of the South

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Draggingtree

Narrative History of Texas Secession
and Readmission to the Union
 

Related Secession Documents
Ordinance of Secession | Declaration of Causes
An Act to admit Texas as a Member of the Confederate States of America.
Ordinance accepting Confederate statehood
An Ordinance To ratify the Constitution of the Confederate States of America

Related Readmission Documents
Presidential Proclamation Declaring a State of Peace Between Texas and the United States
An Ordinance, Declaring the Ordinance of Secession Null and Void
Act authorizing voters of Virginia, Mississippi and Texas to vote on their new state constitutions
Proclamation submitting the Texas Constitution to the voters of the state
Act to readmit Texas to Congressional representation
Reconstruction Acts

Narrative History of Texas Annexation


Sixteen years after Texas joined the United States, in January 1861, the Secession Convention met in Austin and adopted an Ordinance of Secession on February 1 and a Declaration of Causes on February 2. This proposal was approved by the voters, but even before Texas could become "independent" as provided for in the text of the Ordinance, it was accepted by the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America as a state on March 1, 1861.

The Secession Convention, reconvened on March 2, approved an ordinance accepting Confederate statehood on March 5. Texas delegates to the Provisional Confederate Government had already been elected, and they were among those who approved the proposed Confederate Constitution. Their action was confirmed by the Secession Convention on March 23.  :snip: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/secession/index.html

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