|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2007 04:52 pm||
| If the position of the US Government was that the eleven southern states never really left the Union, then it does seem to be a contradiction that they would have to be re-admitted to it. But this is only one example of the contradictions of the federal position.
Another example is the declaration of a blockade on the southern states that was declared by Mr. Lincoln on April 19th, 1861.
The History Place - Abraham Lincoln
A blockade traditionally was declared by one nation on another nation. But the federal position was that the southern states were not a nation, so how could a blockade be declared upon them in the traditional sense?
Another example would be postwar U.S. Supreme Court decisions specifically denying states the right of secession. If they didn't have the right before the Civil War, why do they need to be denied it afterwards?
The Founding Fathers were geniuses, but they could not make a perfect Constitution. In our system, it takes two branches of the federal government to check the excesses of the third. It can be maintained with some justification that Mr. Lincoln ignored the Constitution when it suited him to do so. He wasn't the first president to do so. (For example, President Jackson chose to ignore a Supreme Court decision regarding the Cherokees).
The Judicial branch of the government tried to check the Executive in the Merryman case and others. It could not do so without the cooperation of the Legislative branch. (In fact, Mr. Lincoln was prepared to arrest the Chief Justice. ) The Congress did not formally suspend habeus corpus until 1863.
When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession
The source referenced above also points out that while the U.S. government would not allow the secession of the Southern states, it happily encouraged the same thing in other countries throughout its history.
It was the states that established the federal government, and not the other way around. Since the interests of the various states did not always coincide, it was natural to expect that friction could arise between them. The ultimate contradiction is that the Founding Fathers recognized their right to leave the British Empire when its policies were harmful to it. Yet the government that they established denied the same right to leave to the southern states, even though its Constitution did not forbid it.