Customer Discussions > History forum

Was Lincoln's invasion of the South Constitutional?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 10, 2012 6:32:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 9:18:14 AM PDT
Ataraxia says:
I was asked this question the other day, and it left me stumped:

When the South seceded from the Union, was it Constitutional for the North to invade and force them back? In a Constitutional democracy, the legitimacy of the government rests on consent of the people. That was the reason, after all, that the Colonies seceded from England. This is the reason they gave:

"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 Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

The Southerners declared their causes in 1861, and seceded. No matter how righteous the cause of the North, wasn't it really unconstitutional to invade and force them back under a government and laws they did not want?

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 8:55:26 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
After the shelling of Ft. Sumter the point was moot.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:05:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 9:09:40 AM PDT
Ataraxia says:
Ft. Sumter was foreign troops on their land.

That's like saying after the Boston Tea Party the point was moot: England had every right to invade the colonies and force them back under a government and laws they did not want. Is that OK to do that to a people?

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:09:03 AM PDT
reply to Ataraxia's post:

of course not

but as with all wars the winner gets to rewrite history and the laws that would have applied so as to become right

Posted on May 10, 2012 9:23:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 9:24:16 AM PDT
Ft. Sumpter was *NOT* foreign troops on their land as it was a federal facility before S.C. seceeded.
It was not land belonging to the rebel state of South Carolina any more than Parris Island Marine Corps
Recruit Depot belongs to the current state of S.C. today.

Lincoln knew he had no pretext to invade the South over secession alone. But he would not withdraw from Sumpter.
He knew those Southern Hot-Heads couldn't wait to fire off their guns and sure enough, they did.
Lincoln was a slick Backwoodsman and he played the South well.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:24:47 AM PDT
S. Kessler says:
No, because from the Union's point of view, what the South did was an act of rebellion. The Southern states had signed a pact of union and could not simply abrogate their responsibilities to all the other states that also had signed the pact (I.e. The Constitution). This was a principle that needed to be upheld, otherwise the Constitution wasn't worth the parchment it was written on. Anyway, South Carolina fired the first shot, so the responsibility for starting the war was theirs.

Despite the high falutin' words of the Declaration of Independence, it was a document of ideas that wouldn't have meant bupkis in reality if Great Britain had won the Revolutionary War.

So no, the Union's choice of action was not unconstutional as there is nothing about unilateral secession contained within. The Declaration does not have the force of law. The Constitution does.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:26:24 AM PDT
reply to S. Kessler's post:

nonsense

the north abrogated the contract tersm
south had every right to nullify it

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:27:36 AM PDT
S. Kessler says:
From the point of view of Great Beitain, of course it was. No country just gives up sovereignty because part of its population or subjects decides to leave. There will always be a fight over the territory because there is always a great deal at stake: territory, commerce, resources, population. It is the way of nations.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:28:29 AM PDT
reply to S. Kessler's post:

so its okay for mexico to attack the usa to get the SW back ?

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:28:42 AM PDT
S. Kessler says:
How, exactly, did the North abrogate the contract terms?

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:30:55 AM PDT
S. Kessler says:
I think statute of limitations would cover that, Whomper. International law would consider it a violation, especially if there was a treaty in place at the end of the Mexican War which officially ceded the territory. I assume there was (Guadalupe Hidalgo?) Besides, they know they couldn't win. So no.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:31:27 AM PDT
reply to S. Kessler's post:

they nullified states rights

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:33:24 AM PDT
S. Kessler says:
What exactly do you think that means, Whomper? I'm sure you don't even know.

Besides, they didn't.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 9:37:51 AM PDT
reply to S. Kessler's post:

the south knew they did
the north knew the south new
and werent going to let them out cause they wanted to keep screwing them over

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 11:02:27 AM PDT
Joe Hill says:
"Ft. Sumter was foreign troops on their land."

How so? Ft. Sumter was FEDERAL land, not SC land. So, based on your assumption that the creation of the confederacy was legal and therefore constituted a foreign power (it wasn't, but that's a different discussion), this means that the shelling of Ft. Sumter represented an unprovoked attack on the United States by a foreign power, more akin to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor than anything else.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 11:04:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 11:08:49 AM PDT
Joe Hill says:
"the north abrogated the contract tersm"

Which legal scholar are you citing in defense of this assertion?

And please cite me the legal justification for secession and attacking the United States based on the abrogation of a contract? Because I'm sure that (among other issues, including Honda hybrid owners) there are quite a lot of American former homeowners who would love to physically attack banks and bankers based on a legal justification for assault in the event of abrogated contracts.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 11:30:27 AM PDT
reply to Joe Hill's post:

not federal land anymore after the south said amf to the north

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 11:43:27 AM PDT
Ataraxia says:
S. Carolina had already seceded. They saw Ft. Sumter as foreign troops on their land.

From Wiki:

"On December 26, 1860, six days after South Carolina declared its secession, U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson abandoned the indefensible Fort Moultrie and secretly relocated companies E and H (127 men, 13 of them musicians) of the 1st U.S. Artillery to Fort Sumter on his own initiative, without orders from Washington.[5][6][7][8][9] He thought that providing a stronger defense would delay an attack by South Carolina militia...

Over the next few months repeated calls for evacuation of Fort Sumter[10] from the government of South Carolina and then from Confederate Brigadier General P. G. T. Beauregard were ignored. Union attempts to resupply and reinforce the garrison were repulsed on January 9, 1861 when the first shots of the war, fired by cadets from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, prevented the steamer Star of the West, hired to transport troops and supplies to Fort Sumter, from completing the task."

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 11:47:09 AM PDT
Joe Hill says:
"not federal land anymore after the south said amf to the north"

By your statement I take it that you're okay with the legal theory of conversion. Wouldn't surprise me.

Federal land (Ft. Sumter was built on a tidal sand bar, using 70,000-odd tons of granite shipped in by the US government) didn't magically become cornfederate land simply by wishing it so...

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 11:52:07 AM PDT
Joe Hill says:
"S. Carolina had already seceded. They saw Ft. Sumter as foreign troops on their land."

So what. Matters not a whit what the cornfederates "saw". I still await your citation of -any- legal justifications for either the conversion of FEDERAL LAND, or for the so-called CSA to launch an unprovoked attack on another nation.

And exactly in what way does your extract from Wiki bolster your -opinion-. There's no legal justifications there, only an accounting of rebellious blustering, which the Federal government rightfully ignored, just as I would ignore your coming up to my property line and shouting for me to evacuate my office because it now belonged to you.

Posted on May 10, 2012 11:55:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 12:09:53 PM PDT
Ku says:
I think both the creation of the Union and any secession needs to be based on the consent of all concerned.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 12:07:36 PM PDT
Joe,
By that logic, the British barracks in Colonial cities were royal property after the secession of the colonys from the British Empire. All governmental property in the South became the property of either the Confederate or State governments upon secession.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 12:12:04 PM PDT
Ataraxia says:
"just as I would ignore your coming up to my property line and shouting for me to evacuate my office because it now belonged to you. "

Well, the difference is this: if you are claiming to be a government "of the people, by the people, for the people", and the people are telling you to get out, I would imagine that makes it some kind of justification.

In a democratic system of government, the legitimacy of the government comes from the consent of the governed. It's the same justification the American rebels used against the British to throw them out.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 12:12:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 12:23:22 PM PDT
Ataraxia says:
"Federal land (Ft. Sumter was built on a tidal sand bar, using 70,000-odd tons of granite shipped in by the US government) didn't magically become cornfederate land simply by wishing it so... "

The entire rest of the state of S. Carolina did. I am sure there was alot of federal property on it at the time of the secession. What is the difference?

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 12:22:59 PM PDT
Joe Hill says:
"Well, the difference is this: if you are claiming to be a government "of the people, by the people, for the people", and the people are telling you to get out, I would imagine that makes it some kind of justification."

"the people"? The people of Massachusette didn't tell them to get out. Ohhhh, you mean any people who -agree- with your position. That "people".

"It's the same justification the American rebels used against the British to throw them out."

You really do know less about the colonies and the -revolution- than you do about the civil war.
That -may- constitute a self-justifying conceit, but it isn't a legal position.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 81 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the History forum

 

This discussion

Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  104
Total posts:  2009
Initial post:  May 10, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 7, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 11 customers

Search Customer Discussions