Civil War - Secession - Slavery
Information and Questions
Was Secession "legal" and "justified"?
1. If secession of a State from the United States was meant to be permitted by the Founders, why does the U.S. Constitution contain so many details about the procedures for States to join the United States, but not a word about procedures to leave it?
2. If each State should have the right to secede, why didn't those who wrote and adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America specifically include this in their new Constitution? Other "problems" of the old U.S. Constitution, such as the failure to specifically mention slavery, were fixed, so why not this one?
3. If people should have the right to break away from any government when they feel that is necessary (as the Confederate States said justified their action), why didn't the Confederate States of America permit eastern Tennessee, for example, to secede from the C.S.A., since the people there did not want to belong to the C.S.A.?
4. If a State could secede when its fundamental institutions were threatened, what actual threats were posed to the southern States' institutions by the election of Abraham Lincoln, who repeatedly said that he would not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it existed, and supported a Constitutional amendment to insure that? If there were no actual threats, other than the fact that slavery would not be permitted to expand into new territory -- but it would continue just as before in the States where it existed, what was the justification for any States to secede?
5. Let's assume, for the purpose of discussion, that the Southern people were
oppressed by the government of the United States and thus had the right to secede and
form their own government, even using violence. Let's assume that they had this right
because the North did not allow the Southerners to live as they wanted and to have the dignity to which all men are entitled.
Wasn't there another group of people who were not permitted to live as they wanted
and to have their dignity --- the slaves (by definition, a slave is not permitted to do what
he or she wants to do, or to have individual dignity and rights). If Southern people had
the "right" to secede, and use violence to defend their rights as human beings, didn't all
slaves have the same right to defend their rights and dignity as human beings, even
using violence? Would the Confederate States have agreed?
Was slavery the cause of the Civil War?
1. If slavery was not the cause of the Civil War (the cause of the Southern States
seceding), why did the States that seceded say, in their declarations of the reasons for
their secession from the United States, that they were doing so because they felt the
institution of slavery was threatened? And why did leaders of the Confederacy say the
same thing, over and over?
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