Skip to comments.Ron Paul is wrong on the Civil War and slavery, and he should be ashamed
Posted on 08/05/2010 6:01:30 AM PDT by Michael Zak
[by Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine, CA), re-published with his permission]
For years I have admired Congressman Ron Pauls principled stance on spending and the Constitution. That said, he really damaged himself when he blamed President Lincoln for the Civil War, saying, Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war [President Abraham Lincoln] did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic.
This is historical revisionism of the worst order, and it must be addressed.
For Congressman Pauls benefit and for his supporters who may not know seven states illegally declared their independence from the United States before Lincoln was sworn in as President. After South Carolina fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, four additional states declared independence...
(Excerpt) Read more at grandoldpartisan.typepad.com ...
The Battle Hymn of the Republic lyrics were written by Julia Ward Howe, to the melody of John Brown’s Body, obviously written after John Brown’s hanging in December, 1859. Harriet Beecher Snowe had nothing to do with it.
It was both. Check you facts.
Dont' let my memory disparage Dr. McWhiney. However, I have run across several others saying the same as I was trying to research the issue. Regardless, Dr. McWhiney and Dr. Williams are great sources of objective history on the subject. If you want to know the truth, no matter what I say, I recommend them to you.
Thank you for the correction. I was a little uneasy about my facts when I posted that. However, the emotional effects on the issue remain the same.
‘Are you claiming that the state governments did not represent the will of the people?’
Since slaves were people, I doubt that any of the seceding states represented the will of their people.
OK. Nope, Fort Sumter was never used as a tariff collection point (although curiously the Mises and Marxist websites claim otherwise).
I live to nit pick.
Well, let's let everyone know what was really going on here. Rhode Island law was that only landowners could vote, which was fine when almost everyone owned land, but as industrialization began, you ended up with a huge population that was disenfranchised. Not surprisingly, the landowning voters rather liked their system and refused to change it. Dorr then declared his own constitutional convention, created a new constitution and announced themselves to be the new government of the state. When the existing state government didn't simply roll over for them, they resorted to armed force, attempted to seize an arsenal and failing. Dorr went on the run.
What Tyler did was refuse to intervene on either side, despite the existing government's call for federal troops. You, apparently, are of the opinion that the federal government should have stepped in, overthrown the state constitution and government that had been in place since the days of the Founders, and installed a different government.
Tariffs at Charleston were collected at the the Exchange and Customs House, located at 122 E. Bay Street in Charleston. Amazingly, it's usually considered a better idea to collect tariffs at a location near the docks where ships are actually unloading, rather than at a remote island with only a small dock in the middle of the bay.
Well,our supreme law is not the Articles of Confederation,although I do not think secession is a good idea.
by Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine, CA)
|[Although very late in the war Lee wanted freedom offered to any of the slaves who would agree to fight for the Confederacy, practically no one was stupid enough to fall for that. In any case, Lee was definitely not fighting to end slavery, instead writing that black folks are better off in bondage than they were free in Africa, and regardless, slavery will be around until Providence decides, and who are we to second guess that? And the only reason the masters beat their slaves is because of the abolitionists.]
Robert E. Lee letter -- "...There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. While my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more deeply engaged for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day. Although the abolitionist must know this, must know that he has neither the right not the power of operating, except by moral means; that to benefit the slave he must not excite angry feelings in the master..."
|December 27, 1856|
|Platform of the Alabama Democracy -- the first Dixiecrats wanted to be able to expand slavery into the territories. It was precisely the issue of slavery that drove secession -- and talk about "sovereignty" pertained to restrictions on slavery's expansion into the territories.||January 1860|
|Abraham Lincoln nominated by Republican Party||May 18, 1860|
|Abraham Lincoln elected||November 6, 1860|
|Robert Toombs, Speech to the Georgia Legislature -- "...In 1790 we had less than eight hundred thousand slaves. Under our mild and humane administration of the system they have increased above four millions. The country has expanded to meet this growing want, and Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, have received this increasing tide of African labor; before the end of this century, at precisely the same rate of increase, the Africans among us in a subordinate condition will amount to eleven millions of persons. What shall be done with them? We must expand or perish. We are constrained by an inexorable necessity to accept expansion or extermination. Those who tell you that the territorial question is an abstraction, that you can never colonize another territory without the African slavetrade, are both deaf and blind to the history of the last sixty years. All just reasoning, all past history, condemn the fallacy. The North understand it better - they have told us for twenty years that their object was to pen up slavery within its present limits - surround it with a border of free States, and like the scorpion surrounded with fire, they will make it sting itself to death."||November 13, 1860|
|Alexander H. Stephens -- "...The first question that presents itself is, shall the people of Georgia secede from the Union in consequence of the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States? My countrymen, I tell you frankly, candidly, and earnestly, that I do not think that they ought. In my judgment, the election of no man, constitutionally chosen to that high office, is sufficient cause to justify any State to separate from the Union. It ought to stand by and aid still in maintaining the Constitution of the country. To make a point of resistance to the Government, to withdraw from it because any man has been elected, would put us in the wrong. We are pledged to maintain the Constitution."||November 14, 1860|
|South Carolina||December 20, 1860|
|Mississippi||January 9, 1861|
|Florida||January 10, 1861|
|Alabama||January 11, 1861|
|Georgia||January 19, 1861|
|Louisiana||January 26, 1861|
|Texas||February 23, 1861|
|Abraham Lincoln sworn in as
President of the United States
|March 4, 1861|
|Arizona territory||March 16, 1861|
|CSA Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, Cornerstone speech -- "...last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution -- African slavery as it exists amongst us -- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the 'rock upon which the old Union would split.' He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact."||March 21, 1861|
|Virginia||adopted April 17,1861
ratified by voters May 23, 1861
|Arkansas||May 6, 1861|
|North Carolina||May 20, 1861|
|Tennessee||adopted May 6, 1861
ratified June 8, 1861
|West Virginia declares for the Union||June 19, 1861|
|Missouri||October 31, 1861|
|"Convention of the People of Kentucky"||November 20, 1861|
“A supposed constitutional right for a state to secede did not occur to people until the 1820s. It never even came up during the convention or ratification.”
Absolutely not true.
“The Constitution did not abolish the Articles of Confederation, it amended and improved the political arrangements.”
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation.
A warning shot is not “hostilities.”
The notion that the Constitution acknowledged a state’s right to secede was invented by Vice President John Calhoun and other pro-slavery “fire-eaters” during the Jackson administration.
“It is precluded by the nature of the term constitution which was the FOUNDATION of the Union and could only be changed by the amendment process.”
The Constitution is not a suicide pact. By your logic, if a constitutional amendment to make, say, Louisiana a toxic waste dump was introduced, and 40 states ratified it, Louisiana would just have to grin and bear it, and would not have the right to withdraw from the Union. I call bullshit. Seems to me that you are confusing the United States with the former Soviet Union.
“The notion that the Constitution acknowledged a states right to secede was invented by Vice President John Calhoun and other pro-slavery ‘fire-eaters’ during the Jackson administration.”
Nope. You should read St. George Tucker’s 1803 treatise on the Constitution. He summarizes the purpose and intent of the Constitution, and says: “The federal government, then, appears to be the organ through which the united republics communicate with foreign nations, and with each other. Their submission to its operation is voluntary: its councils, its sovereignty is an emanation from theirs, not a flame by which they have been consumed, nor a vortex in which they are swallowed up. Each is still a perfect state, still sovereign, still independent, and still capable, should the occasion require, to resume the exercise of its functions, as such, in the most unlimited extent. But until the time shall arive when the occasion requires a resumption of the rights of sovereignty by the several states (and far be that period removed when it should happen) the exercise of the rights of sovereignty by the states, individually, is wholly suspended, or discontinued, in the cases before mentioned: nor can that suspension ever be removed, so long as the present constitution remains unchanged, but by the dissolution of the bonds of union. An event which no good citizen can wish, and which no good, or wise administration will ever hazard.”
Not exactly.The referendum, held 23 May 1861, confirmed the convention's Ordinance of Secession by a vote of 132,201 to 37,451. Most other referenda had similar or wider margins.
Of course, that was on 23 May, and VA had already been at war with the Union for more than a month. Had the vote been held in early April or before, the results would have been quite different.
states where whites were strongly desirous of secession, like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina, whites were a minority of the population.
Partially true. I believe slaves were a majority only in MS and SC, although the numbers were close in most of the Deep South states. Given the large numbers of free blacks in LA, it may have had a black, though not slave, majority.
Dr. Paul is CORRECT. State’s rights were what the Founding Fathers planned for America. Yes slavery is wrong but denying states the right to secede is the reason socialism has finally come to America’s shores.
“If you wrote a legally binding business agreement between two parties and there was nothing in the original agreement that allowed for one or the other party to opt out of the agreement. Would one party be allowed to simply opt out? No, it would have to go to court, be adjudicated and a settlement arranged.”
In most jurisdictions breach of contract (i.e., breaking a contract) can void that contract. Oh, the aggrieved party can sue for specific performance, but he can also walk away from it if the other party has broken the contract by some action or inaction, taking the argument that the breach voided the contract.
It’s funny, but all you “no right to secede” folks always overlook one thing: If Lincoln were so sure secession was illegal, why didn’t he just seek a ruling from the Supreme Court to put the stamp of law to it? He didn’t, because he was probably terrified to find out what that ruling would be (especially with Taney on the court).
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
Reread your history. Slavery was indeed in the midst of a slow decline when the cotton gin came along and made it wildly profitable. Slave prices, the best market indicator of the economic value of the institution, reached their peak in 1860.
The cotton gin saved slavery by making upland short fiber, and therefore harder to gin, cotton economically viable for the first time.
In an extremely bizarre coincidence, the song was actually originally about an entirely different and totally non-famous John Brown, although when it became popular as a marching song during the early days of the war doubtless few of the singers realized this.
LOL. See Texas v. White
Its funny, but all you right to secede folks always overlook one thing: If the south was so sure secession was legal, why didnt they just seek a ruling from the Supreme Court to put the stamp of law to it?
“Its funny, but all you ‘right to secede’ folks always overlook one thing: If the south was so sure secession was legal, why didnt they just seek a ruling from the Supreme Court to put the stamp of law to it?”
They didn’t have to. They had already seceded, and thus were not under the jurisdiction of SCOTUS, and therefore any SCOTUS ruling would be inapplicable to the Confederate States of America. Besides, they believed that while they were still part of the Union, the 10th Amendment allowed for secession; and afterwards (i.e., after secession), it didn’t matter.
“LOL. See Texas v. White.”
Oh, I am very aware of Texas v. White, and that was a ruling that came several years AFTER the War (it was handed down in 1869). Thus, it is wholly inapplicable to the events of 1860-1865, except as an after-the-fact opinion.
That’s right - instead of seeking the rule of law they cut & ran. Look how that worked out...
“Thats right - instead of seeking the rule of law they cut & ran. Look how that worked out...”
I see. So, if a woman is in an abusive marriage, and is threatened on a regular basis by her husband, if the court does not grant her a divorce she must stay with her husband until he maims or kills her. I don’t think so.
The south is an abused woman now?! There’s some Lost Causers that are gonna be upset to know that ;-)
The constitution is the supreme law of the land. You can play “what if” all you want but it won’t change that fact.\
Any human institution can become fallible that is why the means of changing it is included in the instrument.
If the wife wants to leave her husband and, rather than going to court, she shoots him, the odds are she will be spending jail time.
States’ Rights were to be subordinated to the Union by the Constitution. Hence, you will find a long list of things States are not allowed to do.
St. George Tucker was not the constitutional expert that Madison and Hamilton were and his opinion is worthless up against theirs. And the constitution was a creation of the whole American People not of states. States were DIRECTED by Congress to create conventions of the People gathered in states to consider ratification. This was for administrative convenience and to avoid the political expression of the states, the legislatures.
I care not about your spelling just the truth within your post of which there is very little.
The point is that even if every convention attendee was a member of a legislature he does not speak for the legislature when not in session. Nor does the legislative stamp of approval mean anything in this context.
This method was adopted to register the voice of the whole people not as states but merely gathered IN states. The adoption of the constitution was through the general Will of the American people not state approval.
George Washington agrees with me that there was no right to secede. There was no legitimate government in 1776 because it had not received our consent as was the case in 1861. We were not represented in Parliament which was the rights other Englishmen shared.
The first argument for independence was precisely that we were not allowed representation and our native governments were dissolved by the Crown.
Washington’s Farewell Address (written by Hamilton) was primarily directed against those men who would delude Americans into secession. The typical description that it was a call for isolationism is utterly false. It was a broadside against secessionists.
Here is New York’s ratification document — Pertinent line at beggining of fourth paragraph:
We, the delegates of the people of the state of New York, duly elected and met in Convention, having maturely considered the Constitution for the United States of America, agreed to on the 17th day of September, in the year 1787, by the Convention then assembled at Philadelphia, in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, (a copy whereof precedes these presents,) and having also seriously and deliberately considered the present situation of the United States, Do declare and make known,
That all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, and that government is instituted by them for their common interest, protection, and security.
That the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are essential rights, which every government ought to respect and preserve.
That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness; that every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the government thereof, remains to the people of the several states, or to their respective state governments, to whom they may have granted the same; and that those clauses in the said Constitution, which declare that Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers, do not imply that Congress is entitled to any powers not given by the said Constitution; but such clauses are to be construed either as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.
You refer continually to “government” as if it were some entity that is ABOVE and MORE POWERFUL than the people! That is the exact opposite of what the founders built - government is BELOW and SUBSERVIANT to the people.
It is from the CONSENT of the governed that the government derives it’s power and failing that consent - the government ceases to exist as a legitimate entity (and then often resorts to various forms of force to remain in power).
Theoretically, each and every citizen is a sovereign entity. Each of us could declare our independence from the Nation and our state. Of course, if I were to do so, the state and the nation would have no requirement to deal with me and could even forbid the passage of myself or my goods through thier territory and forbid that others trade with me - so my independence would likely be rather short lived.
If we ALL declared individual independance - this would indeed be anarchy and the founders nightmare - something they argued AGAINST in the federalist papers as the union of the parts is better able to protect the rights of the whole!
Oh - and another example of being prevented from “leaving” - try leaving the US with your mobile property to see how much the US lets you take with you ....
As to “the vote” - the southern states did what they did with the consent of the people of the south - the north with the conesnt of the north - this in and of itself does not prove that one side or the other was correct.
We are discussing secession and whether it is/was constitutional. Not slavery. So leave that crap for another thread.
Show me that list! The only one I am aware of is the one in the Tenth Amendment which doesn't seem all that long ;D.
You are so right and "those people" are so wrong, even so called FR conservatives who seem to totally misunderstand what the USC is all about. One day "those people" are going to get a real history lesson.
Where do you live geographically? North or South? Perhaps you were educated in a Northern public schools? I could be wrong here but I am just curious as to who caused your head to be rectally inverted at a young age....
When setting up an analogy aren't you supposed to use a hypothetical argument?
On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded itall sought to avert it. While the inaugeral [sic] address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without warseeking to dissole [sic] the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.
To be bluntly honest - I really would rather discuss this without refering to what the south did or didn’t do / should or shouldn’t have done / whether the south was justified , etc ... as I am NOT defending the south / slavery / or what have you ...
It is a purely theoretical debate whether states / the people can seceed from the union.
The state (as a political entity - e.g. any government) is NOT more powerful than the people because the people can ultimately disband the government at any time they so choose.
The government DOES act on behalf of the people - that is it’s entire reason for being - and should generally act in the people’s best interest! It is a general principle that a duly elected representative government is considered to reflect the will of the people.
You state that the founders were against a state leaving the union once they entered - and I would agree that they did not like the idea! However, I find no wording from them that actually indicates that it was forbidden to do so. Maybe I missed it ... OTOH it would seem to go against the very principles the nation was founded on and just about all writings of the founders regarding how the constitution was designed.
IMHO the founders dreaded the idea of secession as they KNEW it would ultimately lead to armed conflict as no nation ever voluntarily accepts the loss of a part and it would have meant the destruction of the very thing they held dear. But they were apparently UNWILLING to actually codifiy this as a prohibition as it would have scared the people / the states - no one at the time wanted a return to tyranny (excepting the odd torie or two ...). They knew that the MUST leave that option open in order to soothe the naysayers who contended that the Federalists wanted nothing less than a new monarchy.
This is WHY Madision is so obtuse in his writings about Factions - instead of stating the logical conclusion, that when the confederation of states FAILS to protect the rights of a minority, that the minority has retained the right to dissolve the bonds!
The people, acting on thier own, can never stand against a coordinated power. Instead, they exert thier rights through representatives who speak on thier behalf. Thus, when the people of a region decide that “enough is enough” - they express this through thier regional representatives. That is where a “State” derives it’s power to secede.
It is my contention that the constitution spells out plainly what sovereign powers the federal government was granted AND what sovereign powers the several States where prohibited in excersising. The Constitution does NOT specifically prohibit the power to secede to the several states (although several other sovereign powers are prohibited), nor does it grant the federal government the power to prohibit it! That alone - even without the 10th Amendment provisions, is sufficient to justify my contention that secession is “legal” (but I don’t want to be around when it happens!)
The Grady McWhiney collection at McMurry University could
settle the question. Here is a link to their site. It is one of the largest collections of period documents in existence.
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