Skip to comments.What did the Declaration of Independence Establish
Posted on 04/15/2012 5:31:13 AM PDT by mek1959
This Friday, April 13th is the birth day of Thomas Jefferson. In recognition of his birthday I thought wed revisit the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. On the surface the meaning of the Declaration may be self-evident, but the true meaning of many of the sentences and phrases escapes most people.
The Declaration of Independence stated to the world that the thirteen colonies were separating from Great Britain. In other words the colonies were seceding from Britain. The first paragraph says When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
(Excerpt) Read more at foundersrevolution.net ...
Yes, in cases of OPPRESSION, resorting to original rights, one can throw off the government.
That is not secession, that is revolution and Lincoln believed the same.
Now, you show me where the South was being oppressed!
They still held the Senate and House, where due to counting slaves as part of the population, they were overrepresented.
The slaveowners feared that restricting slavery would end it, as the Founders hoped it would.
Now, that is true history, not the nonsense you are trying to peddle.
And we still have the process of redress (through the voting booth).
What do you think is going to happen when the house of cards comes down?
The chaos that you appear to advocate...
How about counties seceding from States, or cities from counties?
If any Constitution would have contained the words 'secession' in it it would have been the Confederate constitution, and it didn't have it either.
Gee, who is 'cutting and pasting' now?
The military is subordinate to the civilians in the Federal Government as well.
What does that have to do with anything?
You are defending those who attempted to leave the Union to keep their slaves.
And they were very clear that they believed that the idea of the Declaration of Independence of all men being created equal was a false one.
The American People are ONE People that operate under a federal system of checks and balances.
Only when a government attacks individual freedom do the People have a right to throw off their government.
That was not the case for the South.
Jefferson explained why the colonies were revolting and appealed to those rights being violated, which many Englishmen such as Edmund Burke, agreed with.
The South was in rebellion, Lincoln had, as President, every constiutional right and indeed it was his duty, to put down the rebellion.
The ones who had a right to rebel based on the Declaration of Independence were the slaves.
But I bet you wouldn't be so supportive of that now would you?
My quip in response to your comment about chaos was just that, a quip. Don't read more into it than that.
And as far as "not as bad as you would have us to believe," well, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. I personally feel that $16 trillion in debt, arbitrary governance, and $105 Trillion of unfunded liabilities are "bad!" Maybe you don't...so be it. I guess we'll see. As for me, I'd prefer to be prepared while thinking of solutions.
Look up the history. Who fired first?
In 1860 secessionists were out to establish their own country, their own government, and they wanted it to lay claim to as much territory as they could (with the proviso of course, that states and territories that didn't allow slavery wouldn't be welcome).
Therefore, they weren't averse to subverting other state and territorial governments and beginning a war. And they did just that. Or did you miss that day in history class?
No, the vast majority of the Founders, Framers and Ratifiers (as well as Locke, Cicero, Plato, Augustine and Aristotle) understood the Inalienable Right to self determination and self governance.
So they believed that whenever you were dissatisfied you could simply throw off the rest of your country and declare yourself independent? Somehow I don't think so.
Self-determination and self-government take place in a context of law and responsibility and mutual obligations. Believing that any passing grievance justifies rebellion or secession isn't something wise men would agree with.
So far as I can see neither Plato, nor Aristotle, nor Cicero, nor St. Augustine justified unilateral secession from a representative republic. So far as I've been able to find out, we don't know how they would have reacted to a situation like that in America in the 1860s.
Take a minute if you will and read the Principles of 98 to see what two of them said they intended to do with the Aliens and Sedition Act.
Nothing too shocking or obscene, I hope (though with Jefferson I kind of wonder).
Take a minute to find out how Washington reacted to the Whiskey Rebellion, or Jefferson to Burr's conspiracy or violations of his embargo.
Politicians can talk a pretty "state's rights" game when they are out of power, but they behave very differently when they're actually in office.
If the US cannot interfere in any state without approval of its legislature or executive, how then can it guarantee each state a republican form of government? That would seem to require, by definition, the federal government being able to override a state government that attempted to set up a monarchy or oligarchy.
The part about application of the legislature or executive, is related to domestic violence within the state, not to the preceding clauses about guaranteeing a republican form of government, or protecting against invasion.
So funny how all my points are simply ignored. And, the term the founding generation used was “separation”. It is equivalent in meaning to secession. So, if it makes you feel better we absolutely have the right to separate. Just like joining the union was voluntary so is leaving. Just like a union between a man and a woman can end if only 1 of the parties wishes not to stay. But of course, following your logic the man or woman that doesn’t want to remain in the marriage has every right to beat into submission the one that wants to leave.
I’ll simply restate... you believe in unlimited submission to the federal government. You do not believe in “consent of the governed” which is the ideal of popular sovereignty. You believe the federal government is not the agent of the people and the states, that the federal government is not suppose to act as a fiduciary and public trustee. You believe the federal government is to act like a ruler, to subjugate citizens to whatever arbitrary whims it devises, to reduce them to subjects under despotism. And the citizens are suppose to simply take it... to say “Thank you sir, May I please have another”. Well you might like being bent over and smacked by the cabal in DC... but I do not.
And to those that say you cannot just throw off government... reread the Declaration of Independence. It is precisely that right that the people reserve. To alter or abolish it. Period. End of Story.
Why do so many people object to the idea that the people, the sovereign individuals can determine their own governance? Is that radical? Hardly. It is about the people ruling themselves, not 545 kings in DC. Are you simply afraid to take responsibility. Are you afraid of failing.
So funny how you forgot to address x in the “To:” line. No matter, I added him in for you.
Yes, you have the right to rebel against the government. You also have the right to feel the consequences of such rebellious acts.
In the main the Declaration of Independence said that a people were the judge of their own political destiny and that power derived from people consenting to be governed by rulers of their own choice.
The invaded state, instead of relying merely on its own strength for defence, and instead of gratifying its revenge by retaliation, may prudently call for and gratefully receive the strong arm of the Union to repel the invasion, and reduce the combatants to the equal level of suitors in the high tribunal provided for them. In this course, the political estimation of neither state could receive any degradation.
The purpose of the protection against invasion provision was primarily to insure the federal government would protect all the States equally in the event if invasion. Too bad there are no Constitutional instructions about what to do when the 'protector' is the one doing the invading.
The possibility of an undue partiality in the federal government in affording it's protection to one part of the union in preference to another, which may be invaded at the same time, seems to be provided against, by that part of this clause which guarantees such protection to each of them. So that every state which may be invaded must be protected by the united force of the confederacy.
St. George Tucker
Since all the States all have the Republican form guaranteed in their respective Constitutions, I find the conjecture that they would attempt to set up a monarchy or oligarchy both ridiculous and nonproductive.
Having the right to withdraw from your country anytime you wish for any reason or no reason would negate the entire concept of a country or nation or patriotism.
"Sovereignty" of states or regions or localities in your sense is a recipe for civil war. The idea that some part of a country can walk out on debts and obligations whenever it wants and take away as much territory as it dares is one that inevitably leads to armed conflict.
You make that statement as if it were some type of fact instead of merely your opinion.
The States, with the exception of a few enumerated powers delegated to the general government, were sovereign. That IS a fact.
Since the union of the sovereignty with the government, constitutes a state of absolute power, or tyranny, over the people, every attempt to effect such an union is treason against the sovereignty, in the actors; and every extension of the administrative authority beyond its just constitutional limits, is absolutely an act of usurpation in the government, of that sovereignty, which the people have reserved to themselves.
View of the Constitution of the United States
The idea that some part of a country can walk out on debts and obligations whenever it wants and take away as much territory as it dares is one that inevitably leads to armed conflict.
Oh, please. With millions in lost property and almost 3/4 of a million dead all to 'protect' a fort that had sat half built for over 20 years, that old 'they couldn't leave because they owed us' dog just won't hunt.
There is absolutely NO logical reason an ambassador from the Union could not have been sent to the Confederate government to discuss compensation.
It was never about the money, it was about the POWER..... nothing more.
No, that's an opinion, a interpretation. St. George Tucker wasn't the only interpreter of the Constitution and his reading wasn't the only one.
If federal law prevailed in those areas delegated to the federal government, it doesn't make much sense to say that the states were "sovereign" in the sense that independent nations are -- all the more so since admitting new states (and presumably de-admitting existing states or territories) was left up to the federal government.
There is absolutely NO logical reason an ambassador from the Union could not have been sent to the Confederate government to discuss compensation. It was never about the money, it was about the POWER..... nothing more.
It was about respect and dignity. If you can't see where that enters in, that's your problem.
St George Tucker was the FIRST interpreter of Constitutional Law. His View of the Constitution was an annotated version of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. He was appointed to the Virginia Supreme Court by President James Madison, and excerpts from his View of the Constitution was admitted as legal defense to the US Supreme Court in recent [and successful] RKBA case District of Columbia vs. Heller.
So I DO believe I'll be taking his word over yours.
It was about respect and dignity. If you can't see where that enters in, that's your problem.
No, It was about the Constitution....you know, the Rule of Law, not the rule of Men.
If you can't see where that enters in, that's your problem.
Mama Texan 1
X (big government serf) 0
Give up Mama Texan and bask in your victory, these are big-government conservatives who believe in unlimited submission to the national government. Sadly, when our view triumphs over the tyranny of this national government, they’ll be the first one’s claiming they were on the side of liberty all along...we just misunderstood them.
As I’m sure you know, big government conservatives are VERY similar to big government progressives...they just like their type of big government.
X (big government serf) 0
Give up Mama Texan and bask in your victory, these are big-government conservatives who believe in unlimited submission to the national government. Sadly, when our view triumphs over the tyranny of this national government, they'll be the first one's claiming they were on the side of liberty all along...we just misunderstood them.
As I'm sure you know, big government conservatives are VERY similar to big government progressives...they just like their type of big government.
You're right, the house of cards WILL fall.
Those who think a 250 year old and Constitutionally acknowledged institution was worth shredding the Founding documents over are the same who whine and fuss about government suppression of our Inalienable Rights. Just today, Pelosi said the 1st Amendment needs to be 'modified'.
They will never, EVER see that the previous disregard for Constitutional Law and precepts is EXACTLY why the federal government feels free to act as it does.
Maybe if they would have let us leave, they would have had somewhere to run too when it all hits the fan.
A Constitutional tidbit - the 2nd source most quoted by the Founders was the Spirit of the Laws treatise by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. Here's my favorite:
In republican governments, men are all equal; equal they are also in despotic governments:
in the former, because they are everything; in the latter, because they are nothing.
I've enjoyed myself immensely. Thanks again for starting the thread. It looks like it might even make it to 100 posts! :-)
And why can't a State withdraw? Because "X" believes they can't? Or because in "x's" opinion, it negates a concept...so what. Why does that make it wrong or unconstitutional?
Finally, the UNION is NOT owned by the people of the 50 states (though you probably believe it is), nor is it owned by the national government. It is OWNED by the people of that particular State, privately and corporately by their consent through their STATE constitutional form of government. Again, that you believe all the "territory" is communal or owned by the national government betrays a very unhealthy devotion you have to socialism (cure music "We are the World). So "x," the PEOPLE of that State can do whatever they want to do with the land within the boarders of that State. Though I doubt you believe that. You'd seem to prefer begging your masters in DC for permission.
Geez, and we wonder why the Constitution is no longer authoritative, or we're 15 Trillion in debt, or the EPA can come in a take property. It only takes serf think by people like "x" to give the thugs in DC what they want. You've been played like a fiddle "x" by the little kings in DC.
“You cannot reason someone out of something he has not been reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift
With all due respect to MamaTexan, who makes an effort to be both factual in presentation and somewhat neutral in tone...
I see our Neo-Confederates (dare I say, "Neo-Cons"?) are out in force, in full-throated defense of their false history, their bogus narratives, their misdirections of arguments, unfounded accusations, baseless claims and fanciful conclusions -- all wrapped in the self-righteousness of "true conservatism" and "strict construction Constitutionalism."
It's stuff and nonsense.
Here are some basic facts about the Civil War -- or as I like to say, the Secessionists' Declared War Against the United States:
Finally, our "Neo-Cons" often compare their secessionists of 1860 to our Founders in 1776.
The comparison is laughable, the contrasts are stark.