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Customer Discussions > History forum

Was Lincoln's invasion of the South Constitutional?


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Showing 76-100 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 12:09:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 12:12:46 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
And that would be right. The ultimate decision was made on the battlefield. As it often is. The union literally fought for the principle that secession was illegal. And they won.

In contrast, the British lost their argument by losing the war and conceding the independence of their now former colonies. They would have happily reclaimed some semblance of sovereignty over the infant U.S. had they won the War of 1812, but Napolean kept them occupied elsewhere and they decided the fight with is was no longer worth the trouble. So that actually, finally, settled the sovereignty issue.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 12:14:31 PM PDT
Ataraxia:
There's a thread called "Did the American Colonists Have Justifiable Grievances?" It hasn't been active for about 2 weeks now, but it deals with some of your questions.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 12:25:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 12:39:21 PM PDT
Ataraxia says:
I really really hope that never happens. We will all be the lesser for it.

I think one reason why there is this sense of rancor and dysfunction in our country today is lack of basic social skills: whenever any group of individuals form a social group, there is a certain degree of give-and-take that becomes necessary- or at least there has to be for it to remain functional. That is true of families, as well as workplaces, neighborhood associations, and also of countries (and maybe even the international community?)

When one individual or group of individuals start to see anything they don't like in the group as an infringement on their rights, or a violation of basic principles, when they feel their freedom trumps all considerations and sense of solidarity, rather than just the process of give-and-take and compromise always necessary in a civil society, that society becomes dysfunctional and disintegrates. Unbridled freedom never works well in any social group. . It becomes all about "me". There remains no more "we" left to speak of. No one owes me anything, and I sure as heck will not owe anyone anything. If I see you suffering and hurting, I will just shrug, because it's not my problem. I got enough of my own.

I worry about this trend of excessive polarization, myopic selfishness, loss of a sense of solidarity and collective identiy, and inability and unwillingness to compromise positions in our society as a very worrisome trend.

I hope we will learn to overcome this. Freedom is a wonderful ideal. But I worry that it is becoming misunderstood at a very fundamental level and confused with unrestricted license.

Some quotes from the historian/philosopher Will Durant:

"When liberty becomes license, dictatorship is near. "
"As soon as liberty is complete it dies in anarchy. "
"Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle."

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 12:36:14 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
Ataraxia: I worry about this trend of excessive polarization and inability and unwillingness to compromise positions in our society as a very worrisome trend

SK: Yup. So do I. Very much so.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 1:48:08 PM PDT
R. Largess says:
SK and Ataraxia - I fear that polarization, rancor, and inability to compromise are part of the American character - certainly as far as our politics go - you see it throughout our history. It's not all there is to it - look at the generosity of spirit and boundless optimism of Emerson or Walt Whitman, for example. But they were poets, not politicians - and when Emerson started to talk about the South, he started to fume. In American politics, it's a rare and great man who can be generous to his enemies - and his rivals - like Lincoln. Hey - John Adams and Thomas Jefferson couldn't do it with each other! But you know, I think this interesting conversation/debate must be very much like the one that was going on everywhere at the beginning of the Civil War. That is, the pro-secession-is -constitutional view gets the better of the argument, from a purely rational standpoint, largely because of the Lockean principles to which the Declaration of Independence appeals. But it leaves out the emotional element; I doubt if many people took the sides they did for theoretical reasons. Remember, the United States had existed as long as most people could remember; it was their country. They loved it, and to Union men, the rebels were trying to destroy it. At the beginning, Lincoln hoped and expected that most or many southerners would feel the pull of this love, would not support their secessionist leaders, and the rebellion would be over quickly. But of course when he raised an army to put down the rebellion, every southerner, pro-secession or not, was filled with hatred and anger - he was attacking THEM and their states, their homes. Ideas and legality are great, but human motivations rise from the murky sphere of feeling. To us Americans, court cases, legislation, and elections are a way of battling out our disputes without actually resorting to bloodshed - sort of like fake wars. And it might be that the reason they're so hostile and polarizing is because they're a substitute for war.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:19:54 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
whomper says: it means the winners get to decide who gets shot for treason and to rewrite the history books

f4a: In the case of the South, Lincoln new better. That is why he told Grant to 'let'm up easy.' A real war of rebellion and insurrection would could not be won without 10 times the troops the Union had in uniform in 1865.

Rewriting the history was much easier. Booth's stupidity gave the North its martyr. The Shrines in stone and words required little effort after that.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:23:02 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
Dan says: I was answering about what people and governments actually do not what they should do.

f4a: OK I see your point. That bring to light the fact that majority government do not always do what is moral or what is right. Majority governments do comment evil acts and deeds.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:32:22 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
SK: on the basis of what law?

f4a: On the legitimately of the same means they joined the Union and the basis that legislative entrenchment cannot be valid in any democracy or republic. That the present legislature of a jurisdiction of people have the right to repeal or void any act, treaty or law by a preceding legislature.

Any existing peoples cannot take away the rights and freedoms of a future generation. To say State cannot hold the same conventions as they did in 1788-9 to vote to join the Union, is the very same as same present generation can take these right away from future generations.

This right of self determination was recognized by Wilson's 14 points and the UN Charter, 58 and 82 years later. Why not 1860?

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:33:27 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
S. Kessler says: The British didn't lose their sovereignty just because the Continental Congress said so. They lost it because they lost the war.

f4a: So your conclusion is that might makes right.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:34:47 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
S. Kessler's post: It would be anarchy.

"The German philosopher Immanuel Kant defined "Anarchy" in his article about anthropology in the chapter "Freiheit und Gesetz" (http://korpora.zim.uni-duisburg-essen.de/kant/aa07/330.html) as follows:
A. Law And Freedom without Violence (Anarchy)
B. Law And Violence without Freedom (Despotism)
C. Violence without Freedom And Law (Barbarism)
D. Violence with Freedom And Law (Republic)"
-----http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:35:07 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
Um, yeah. It usually does just that. Realpolitik, f4.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:35:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 2:38:08 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
That is one very limited view of anarchy. In practical terms, anarchy leads to chaos and tyranny. It becomes the ultimate situation of "might makes right" because every individual would be jockeying for position and trying to get "theirs". I've been over this with you a hundred times by now. I I'm rather tired of always pointing out the same thing.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:36:58 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
A. Locher says:
<<f4a: What if one called a Constitution Convention like they did in 1788-9? If they were legal then, why would they not be legal now?>>

AL: When it happens, let me know.

f4a: A dodge of the question.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:38:42 PM PDT
S. Kessler says:
No, f4. Reality.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:44:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 2:44:47 PM PDT
Ku says:
Have you read that wiki entry on anarcho-capitalism he refers to?

They'd want to privatize the courts, law and order in general, and the security services.

They also believe that the only use of force legitimized is in defense of property and person. They classify taxation as an assault on property.

The most serious problem from my perspective is that they regard the individual as the bearer of sovereignty. Not the state.

If somebody asked me for a proposal best suited to dissolve civilization as it's been known since the dawn of history, this would be it.

The law of the jungle.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:59:48 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
Ku says: If the states joined together as a joint decision, they should break up as a joint decision.

f4a: Good point Ku. Each Sovereign State (as recognized by GB and France) vote in 13 separate ratification conventions held in each Sovereign State to join the Union that was proposed in the new Constitution.

If a Sovereign State had voted not to join, it would not have been part of the Union. New York vote was very close. The new Constitution called for approval of 9 Sovereign State joining. This left 4 Sovereign States out, until each voted to join.

The Sovereign States New York and Virgina joined after the Constitution became effective.

Washington was was inaugurated on April 30, 1789 before the Sovereign States of North Carolina, Rhode Island voted to join.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:02:53 PM PDT
"The people of the south themselves overwhelmingly wanted to dissove the union and compact with the federal government. "

There was a massive body of people in the South whose opinions on secession were never consulted: the black slaves and freemen. To characterize secession as 'democratic' is to completely ignore those people.

Never forget, this was Treason in Defense of Slavery. Indefensible then, and now.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:19:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2012 3:20:09 PM PDT
Ku says:
What's your point?

The main event was the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

Rhode Island was the only one not to send delegates.

They signed up after they were threatened with having their exports taxed as coming from a foreign country.

The SCOTUS has declared unilateral secession illegal, btw. And that's the only sane solution.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:44:45 PM PDT
reply to Ataraxia's post:

it will happen by 2050 at the latest
2020 earliest

best guesses by experts say 5 regions will result

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:45:30 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:46:12 PM PDT
Ku says:
The most powerful and prosperous nation the world has ever known broken up?

So the Chinese can dominate the planet?

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:51:27 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 3:54:09 PM PDT
Ku says:
The kind of people who think the USA should be broken up are usually Russians sore about the break-up of the Soviet Union.

They'd like to see the same happen to their rivals.

One can only be thankful that the internet wasn't around for the general public during the Cold War.

Americans would've been under constant disinformation attack.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 4:00:47 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
SK, All politics is force. Most of the time force on those who do not use force.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 4:02:38 PM PDT
freedom4all says:
SK, right and I point out humanity has not reached it zenith in our form of government.
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Discussion in:  History forum
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Initial post:  May 10, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 20, 2015

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