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Lincoln had a Constitutional duty to perserve the Union! - Abraham Lincoln - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2012 05:30 pm
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Mark
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Gents, may I suggest that there is no "right" answer to this question? I highly recommend "The Development of American Citizenship" by James Kettner (esp. Chapter 9-10) for those who want to understand exactly why this issue was so ambiguous for 19th century Americans.

Mark



 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2012 05:52 pm
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Texas Defender
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Mark-

  I don't see how the 10th Amendment could be any clearer. If the Federal Government is going to declare an action by a state to be illegal or invalid, then it should have the burden placed on it to show where in the Constitution that action taken by the state is forbidden.

  Even the military victory of the north and the occupation of the states that had seceded did not resolve the question. If it had, then there would have been no need for the Supreme Court to address it in the case of Texas v. White (1869). The declaration by the Court at that time that the states had never actually left the Union did not make secession illegal in 1860 and 1861. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution forbids ex post facto laws.



 Posted: Sat Apr 14th, 2012 07:58 pm
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mark-

As I said before again and again, two different views opposite to each other can still both have correct interpretation of constitutional law.

Secessionists interpret the 10th admendment has being "the right to succeed!"

On the other hand, Lincoln had to execute his Oath of Office to perserve the Union (the scope of the preamble) as empowered to him by Article 2-section 1-paragraph 8.

The question becomes "which one will benefit the United States the most?" or most importantly, "which one ensures the soverienty of the United States?"

Last edited on Sat Apr 14th, 2012 07:59 pm by ebg



 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 08:32 am
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ebg wrote:


Did James Buchanan execute his office faithfully when South Carolina tryed to leave the Union? We have to give him the benifit of the doubt that he did. I myself do not know if he did something or not? Could he have done anything anyway because of the short time he had in office before the Lincoln administration?



Short time he had in office? He had over three months before Lincoln took office from the election of 1860. It wasn't until the '30s that the date of the Presidential Inauguration was moved to January 20th. From Washington's second inauguration through to FDR's second every elected president was sworn in March 4th unless the 4th fell on a Sunday. The entire first wave of secession happened on his watch. The Confederacy was formed while he was president. By saying Lincoln had the Constitutional duty to preserve the union then we also have to say Buchannon and the Constitutional duty to prevent it from happening. Most things I've seen have said that Buchannon decided to leave it up to Lincoln to handle. It's a little over two months since SC secedes before Lincoln is sworn in, 74 days in fact. That 118 days after the election. 74 days isn't exactly a short time.

Last edited on Mon Apr 16th, 2012 02:18 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 09:48 am
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Old Blu
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Then that puts it in the states basket.



 Posted: Sun Apr 15th, 2012 05:33 pm
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marke wrote-Short time he had in office? He had over three months before Lincoln took office from the election of 1860. It wasn't until the '30s that the date of the Presidential Inauguration was moved to January 20th. From Washington's second inauguration through to FDR's second every elected president was sworn in March 4th unless the 4th fell on a Sunday. The entire first wave of secession happened on his watch. The Confederacy was formed while he was president. By saying Lincoln had the Constitutional duty to preserve the union then we also have to say Buchannon and the Constitutional duty to prevent it from happening. Most things I've seen have said that Buchannon decided to leave it up to Lincoln to handle. It's a little over two months since SC secedes before Lincoln is sworn in, 74 days in fact. That 118 days after the election. 74 days isn't exactly a short time.

Mark-

Have you every heard of a "lame duck" presidency? Because President Buchannan decides not to act upon succession, doesn't excuses him from his constitutional responsibilities to preserve the Union.

There is no "statues of limitations" upon constititutional crisis. Many President's have inherited the problems from the last administration, that they then must act upon. Given the speed of politicians...74 days of delay to dump the problem onto your political opponent doesn't seem such a long time in the political world.

Last edited on Sun Apr 15th, 2012 05:54 pm by ebg



 Posted: Fri Apr 20th, 2012 11:48 pm
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Buchannon also said he didn't have a Constitutional right to interfere with secession.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 06:37 pm
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Oh my, not again!

I just can’t let Texas Defender present his opinion about the legality of secession as facts. AND I see he is being as rude to ebg as he was to me when I presented facts.

The facts are these,

1) 1n 1869 The US Supreme Court in Texas vs. White ruled that unilateral secession is and was illegal. The Supreme Court decides what existing laws mean and to so it considers the law as written, the intent authors of a law (such as the authors of the constitution) and they apply this with logic and common sense. On the topic of secession, since the Supreme Court has ruled, only the opinion of the Supreme Court on the legality of secession matters, not how we read the constitution.

2) In the Texas vs. White opinion they decided that secession was illegal in 1861. This case decided that bonds sold by the government of Texas in 1861 had to be honored by the reconstruction government after the Civil War because the state could not have unilaterally seceded. The court determined that secession NEVER HAPPENED because it could not have happened. The Supreme Court did not rule that all secession was illegal, just that a state could not unilaterally (meaning on its own) decide to do so. Texas Defender doesn’t want it known that this decision looked back to say unilateral secession was illegal in 1861, the Supreme Court didn’t just decide that secession was illegal from the date of the decision, 1869, forward.

3) The legality of secession was openly debated before the Civil War. It is true that the court had not ruled on the topic before secession had occurred, it was an open question that could only decided by the court.

My whole problem with defenders of secession is that they want to rationalize secession as being entirely reasonable. Secession was a radical, hot headed and illegal action that plunged the country into war, devastated the southern people and the southern economy for almost 100 years and killed 750,000 brave souls on both sides.

Last edited on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 06:40 pm by MildMan



 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 06:46 pm
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Mark
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Mark wrote:
Gents, may I suggest that there is no "right" answer to this question? I highly recommend "The Development of American Citizenship" by James Kettner (esp. Chapter 9-10) for those who want to understand exactly why this issue was so ambiguous for 19th century Americans.

Mark


I know we won't, but can we please just agree that there was obviously no consensus on this issue prior to the Civil War and talk about something else?

Mark



 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:04 pm
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Mild Man-

  It is only: "Here we go again" because YOU have made that choice. In our last exchange, I listed the areas that we were in agreement about. Secession was not one of them.

  My exchanges with ebg predated the last ones I had with you. It should be clear to most readers who was presenting facts, ebg or myself. One position that he took that especially irritated me was that the President could disregard the Constitution if he decided that his action:"Benefited the U.S. the most." He also tried to turn the 10th Amendment on its head in an exchange with Old Blu where he wanted to deny powers to the states when the Constitution sought to limit the powers of the Federal Government, and give those not given to the Federal Government to the states and the people.

  It is still my position that in 1860 and 1861, the southern states had the Constitutional right to leave the Union. You could not say to them then that they couldn't do that, because they would lose the war that resulted, and eight years later a USSC  (A majority of which were Lincoln appointees) would say that they never really did what they did in 1861. In 1860 and 1861, they had the option to leave.

  The southerners were within their rights to secede in 1860 and 1861 because at that time the USSC had not ruled on the question. In 1896, the USSC decision Plessy v. Ferguson established the: "Separate but equal" doctrine, which in effect said that segregation was legal. This decision was not overturned until the 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education. In 1953, the: "Separate but equal" doctrine was still in effect. Segregation could still be enforced. The USSC could say in 1954 that the 1896 decision was wrong, but there could be no punishment, legal or otherwise, meted out to those insisting on segregation before the 1954 decision. Only in 1954 and thereafter could segregation be prohibited.

  It seems to me that it is YOU who insists on using subjective terms like: "Radical" or: "Hot-headed" in this discussion. I have only said that I believe that the southern states had a Constitutional right to leave the Union in 1860 and 1861. I haven't used any subjective terms to describe the action. Obviously, the outcome of their action was: "Bad" for the southerners because they lost the war. If the CSA had survived, then obviously there would have been no Texas v. White decision in 1869 telling them that Mr. Lincoln was right, and they were wrong. In effect, it was the outcome of the war that decided the: "Legality" of the action.

  I would also point out (Again) that there was only a war because Mr. Lincoln would not accept secession, and the southerners would not agree to abandon their quest for independence. But it seems that certain angry individuals ("Hot-headed?") can only blame one side because two sides decided to have a war rather than back down from their positions.

  I do not believe that those who wanted their independence in 1860 and 1861 would care how you choose to characterize them 150 years later. They believed then, and I believe now, that they had a Constitutional right to leave the Union when they did. It is obviously an issue that we will never agree on.

Last edited on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:15 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:13 pm
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MildMan
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MildMan wrote:
Oh my, not again!

My whole problem with defenders of secession is that they want to rationalize secession as being entirely reasonable. Secession was a radical, hot headed and illegal action that plunged the country into war, devastated the southern people and the southern economy for almost 100 years and killed 750,000 brave souls on both sides.


I agree, we won't agree, but not becuse of facts!

Why can't we honor our ancestors by accepting the obvious lessons from the Civil War? Isn't the death of 750,000 enough evidence that secession was a bad idea?

Last edited on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:13 pm by MildMan



 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:19 pm
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Texas Defender
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Mild Man-

  Can we agree that you insisting on this: "Here we go again" was a : "Bad" idea?
I didn't bring back this thread, or the issue.

Last edited on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:25 pm by Texas Defender



 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 08:37 pm
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Yes we can agree that "here we go again" was a bad idea.

I did not see this was an old thread, i thought it was made on Friday. As I disagreed with you on my other posts, so this same disageement can be inferred for all previous discussions and posts - even those made by others before you were even born :)

Further, I appreciate your respectful response.

I do believe that fully honoring our ancestors means that we learn from them, so secession is no small issue.



 Posted: Sat Jan 19th, 2013 09:52 pm
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HankC
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this old thread was awakened by a spammer.

please let it go back to sleep ;)


HankC



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