The Right Opinion

Parting Company

By Walter E. Williams · Nov. 28, 2012

For decades, it has been obvious that there are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone. Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company? In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution. Similarly, our constitutional and human rights have been increasingly violated by a government instituted to protect them. Americans who support constitutional abrogation have no intention of mending their ways.

Since Barack Obama's re-election, hundreds of thousands of petitions for secession have reached the White House. Some people have argued that secession is unconstitutional, but there's absolutely nothing in the Constitution that prohibits it. What stops secession is the prospect of brute force by a mighty federal government, as witnessed by the costly War of 1861. Let's look at the secession issue.

At the 1787 constitutional convention, a proposal was made to allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, rejected it, saying: “A Union of the States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a State would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.”

On March 2, 1861, after seven states had seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln's inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that said, “No State or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the Union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States.”

Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here's my no-brainer question: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?

On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the Union between the States of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty.”

The Northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace. Just about every major Northern newspaper editorialized in favor of the South's right to secede. New York Tribune (Feb. 5, 1860): “If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861.” Detroit Free Press (Feb. 19, 1861): “An attempt to subjugate the seceded States, even if successful, could produce nothing but evil – evil unmitigated in character and appalling in content.” The New York Times (March 21, 1861): “There is growing sentiment throughout the North in favor of letting the Gulf States go.”

There's more evidence seen at the time our Constitution was ratified. The ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said that they held the right to resume powers delegated, should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution would have never been ratified if states thought that they could not maintain their sovereignty.

The War of 1861 settled the issue of secession through brute force that cost 600,000 American lives. Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech, “It is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense.” Lincoln said that the soldiers sacrificed their lives “to the cause of self-determination – that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth.” Mencken says: “It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves.”

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30 Comments

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia said:

Thank you Dr.Williams for pointing out that what we in the South once knew to be true, is so still today. We are a Union of sovereign states, joined together for common defense, with a Constitution of limited federal powers.

As we witness continued abuses by our Federal Government against the people, particularly by the executive branch, we find ourselves facing a decision similar to that before a young U.S military officer, Robert E. Lee.

Not wishing to raise his sword against his country, the United States, Robert E. Lee was tormented by the choice before him. His decision to defend his home - his State of Virginia - reflected a broad understanding in the 1860's, that we were in fact a "Union" of sovereign states, and that those States remained the source of our individual greatness.

Today, we must ask ourselves at what point in time we will demand that our Federal officers comply with the Constitution. I am compelled as an American to defend the Constitution against threats - including the domestic threats posed by an elected, but unrestrained and over-reaching, government. Or in the alternative, perhaps simply aligning myself with my sovereign home, my State in secession, and thus seek a restoration of liberty and perhaps a new "Union" of "States" willing to uphold the principles a limited constitutional federal government.

As an American I am willing to do all possible to help restore Constitutional Limited government. But failing that, we must recognize that States can in fact secede, and if mine goes, I will go with her.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:09 AM

TruthInAction in TX said:

Points well made regarding self-determination, still, the Civil War boiled down to unalienable rights, which slavery denied to human beings. Just as politicians "kick the can down the road", the Constitution intended for the slave owners end that horrible episode in our history by 1808, but it never happened, thus, the bloodiest war in US history. Misguided thinking, politicians thought the importation of slaves would end the torture of others.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:07 AM

Doc Neaves in Richardson Texas replied:

Slavery, while a major component of the reasons, was actually not the reason if you look at it logically. There were two issues. One, the Southern states didn't like being told what they could do with their "property". If you change the slave for a barrel of rum or an ox, then suddenly, everyone supports the side of the South. The second issue was simply whether or not the Federal Government could decide things, or if the States' decisions superceded Federal power. While the Feds claimed to have won this power in the Civil War, I don't believe they legally hold it, that their claim is one of might, not right.

Slavery was around for thousands of years. To think we fought a war to free black men who were detested in the cities of the North AND South over the feelings of a bunch of abolitionists (a serious minority) is ludicrous. Those in the South fought because the North had declared economic warfare against them for over seventy years, since the formation of our country. If it were about slavery, why were the divisions in the South and North? Slavery was both legal and common in both places. The answer is because it was about power. The north was worried that slaves would get the right to vote, and suddenly the south would outnumber them. They were also worried that the size of the land area of the southern states meant that one day, their populations would be bigger anyway, giving them total power in the legislature for everyone. The irony that the NORTH actually held that position, that of almost total power over the south, is lost on just about everyone.

In short, every cause of the civil war was about who gets to decide, not what was decided. Slavery just happened to be ONE of those issues, and in today's politically charged environment, the ONLY one that the racists want to see.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 12:00 PM

RJE in Atlanta, GA replied:

I totally get your point, however, my point of contention that leads me to a different conclusion comes from the "Cornerstone Speech" given by Alexander H. Stephens, VP of the Confederate States of America that outlines many reasons for the creation of the Confederate States including the primary reason.

What are your thoughts on the speech especially around paragraphs nine and ten?

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=76

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

I spent 22 years in the US Army defending what I thought was the greatest country in the world. Unfortunately, that country no longer exists. I'm not a big fan of secession but I would never turn against my fellow Georgians. We have the right to except our government to abide by the Constitution and the rule of law. Careful reading of the Declaration of Independence clearly shows that the Colonists broke away from Great Britian because they had no representation in Parliment. While we supposedly have representation in Congress they no longer uphold the ideals laid down by our Founding Fathers. It is more important to get reelected than to do the right thing for the country as a whole and not just for those who view the government as a sugar daddy who will take care of them. Robin Hood in reverse. Take from those who work and give it to those who don't.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:37 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Robin Hood took from the king, who had stolen it from the people, and gave it back. Our government is no Robin Hood, just a hood that steals from the producers and gives to the leaches and moochers, in other words, marxism.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Before we secede, let the blind sheep see the TYRANNY OF SOCIALISM that they voted for. They have selected govmint failure ,rather than wise business principles, of our once- free market.The pain will be magnified B4 it mitgates. Somehow, this is God's plan, that blind Bartelmaeus leads the blind sheep off a cliff! The Divider-in-chief sure wishes he could part company with 21 failed green energies, but He & DR. Chu, OWN THEM---FOREVER!!! FOWARD BLIND SHEEP!! LOL W.W.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:51 AM

John Work in CO said:

I'm currently reading a novel "A State of Disobedience" by Tom Kratman. It's about a 2nd American Revolution started in Texas due to the policies of a Democrat President that sounds an awful lot like a cross between Hilrod and the Obamanation. The offenses are so outrageous and the people in general are so slow to respond. Both the Revolution and the Civil War started over much, much less provocation. We have truly become the sheeple.

When I see any politician on TV I feel a sense of shame. For myself and for what was my country. That we bow down to such second-rate non-entities. But bow down we do - all of us. We meekly pay our taxes, obey the "laws", and for the productive minority, continue to work to pay the way of those who don't work and those who rule us through the clueless and the unproductive. We bleat like sheep, but continue to allow ourselves to be sheered. We, all of us, are a disgrace to those who founded this great country. Since we don't have the courage to resist, I'm beginning to think that we deserve to be slaves. Certainly our rulers think so.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 8:48 AM

David Thompson in Bellville, TX said:

Mr. Williams forgets the "Living Constitution." That creation of liberalists tells us that just because secession was not unconstitutional at the Constitutional Convention and during the "War of 1861," we cannot be sure that the "Living Constitution" hasn't metamorphosed* to say that secession is unconstitutional today.
*METAMORPHOSE: to change into a different physical form especially by supernatural means.
The leftist Supreme Court Justices prefer to use the term "penumbra" ("something that covers, surrounds, or obscures"). That's certainly changing the real Constitution by "supernatural means."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:28 AM

CA Conservative in Red Dot, Blue State said:

Williams makes great arguments for the secession right of states. I will add a quote we are al familiar with and ask everyone if it is clear what the authors of it felt about secesion.
"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."
Just a reminder.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

Mr. Williams selects a few passages and dates to make his thoughts seem credible but his article is stunted by omitting other, more relevant issues.

Elections resolve leadership contests not morality issues. Our Constitution was created as an attempt to balance the desire of people for liberty and self determination against the necessary requirements of government process.

Democracy isn't perfect but it is democracy. You win some, you lose some. Your side's argument was rejected for a variety of reasons. That doesn't mean you are wrong on every count but it does show you haven't made your case in a believable way. Reason and credibility are key. Romney had neither.

I know you have a laundry list of what you believe are encroachments against the constitution. The final arbiter is the Supreme Court not a declaration of war against your fellow citizens. You're more likely to be charged with treason or domestic terrorism than leaders of liberty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Diane in Tx replied:

You sir, along with millions of others forget, this country is not a "Democracy". It is a representative republic. And when the representatives forget who they are representing we have tyranny. “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

ToddMac in The Great Northwest replied:

Diane- I've always admired Heinlein. My favorite quote attributed to him is- "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 4:04 PM

John Work in CO replied:

Our nation wasn't founded as a Democracy. It was a Constitutional Republic. It is no more. The Left has succeeded in making us a Democracy, a thing the Founders abhorred. The Obamacare ruling was just the final nail in the coffin of the Constitution, now a meaningless document in the governance of our country. Democracies always fail, and this one is failing quickly. With the Left's perfection of fraudulent voting, it isn't even a Democracy. Those on the Left count on the productive to continue to be sheeple. But what if some of us are sheep dogs? Traitors or domestic terrorists to our "fellow citizens" (or TWANLOCs, Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen to those of us who don't worship at the altar of the Left).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas replied:

The Unites States is not a democracy, so nothing you wrote is relevant. You compounded your error when you wrote, "The final arbiter is the Supreme Court..." Democracies have no need of a Supreme Court - they have no need for courts at all - in a democracy winners are chosen by ballots, not judges.

And furthermore, the secessionists are not advocating, "a declaration of war against [their] fellow citizens." They are advocating secession. Even a guy educated in "pubblick skuulz" should know that the words "secession" and "war" are not synonyms. (I'll spare you the trouble of looking up the word "synonym" - it means words that mean the same thing.)

You really should spend more time reading and less time typing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

p3orion in Midland, Georgia replied:

Quite right, Army. Secession now would be no more a declaration of war than it was in 1861. However, now as then, the seceding states could expect a war of aggression from the remaining states.

I imagine that history would repeat itself also in the division of our military officer corps, many of whom would have to take a long hard look at their oaths they swear, not to the United States itself, but to "support and defend the CONSTITUTION of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

Could there be a greater domestic enemy to the Constitution than the leadership of the modern Democrat party? No wonder obama and Janet Napolitano consider returning veterans to be potential sources of unrest, and threats to their ambitions. If only they really were...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 3:59 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

That attitude of Obama & JNap you refer to, is the reason I susdpect That when the $#!+ hits the fan here & Obama declares Rtial Law He will use the security forces of Foreign Embassies & visiting Armed Forces training at various domestic US Base to secure his power grab, & leave our troops overseas unsupplied in the midst of our enemies, to fend for themselves, see How our troops had to withdraw from Modadishu in "Black Hawk Down".

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 1:28 AM

Doc Neaves in Richardson Texas replied:

Don't forget the Obama army. Trained to arrest and shoot civilians in a social unreast situation. For instance, gun confiscation I believe is one of their training scenarios.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

billy396 in ohio replied:

This recent election didn't "resolve" any leadership issues. Furthermore, we have a flawed system when a candidate can win the popular vote but lose to the electoral vote. Any system where 1 vote can decide who gets ALL of the electoral votes for a particular state are NOT representative of the votes of the people. The electoral votes of each state should be split up along the exact lines of the actual vote count, not a winner take all system. Your quote about what we "believe" are encroachments on our Constitution is laughable. The Constitution is crystal clear and easily understood by anyone who cares to research the document. The fact that we have a large number of activist judges who have no problem ignoring the Constituton doesn't change the FACT that the Constitution, AS WRITTEN, is still the law of the land, until and unless it's amended by the lawful process. "Reason and credibility are key. Romney had neither." You obviously are one of the useful idiots that Obozo relies on. I suppose that quote means that you think Obozo had "reason and credibility"? Only to the blind. Fact are stubborn things, and the facts show that Obozo has ZERO credibility. He lies too often and reliably to have any credibility to anyone who pays attention to the facts. Do us all a favor and wake up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Rod in USA replied:

Your points about Romney ignore the fact that Obamao never presented a concrete plan of any kind. His slick marketing schtick is comprised of race baiting, sexist class warfare. Romney did present a plan, its just that today, the majority of voters are idiots who lack the necessary intelligence to admit to themselves that they were sold a placebo in 2008 and they bought another one this year. Why? Again, too stupid to think logically and critically, and motivated by greed to vote themselevs another helping of the fruits of someone else's labor.

You cannot be charged with treason for talking about succession: We are not discussing destruction of the USA, but rather we are discussing the right of the states to leave it. I personally feel it would be sad. But Mr. Williams' arguments cannot be broken: Forcing people to stay in the states is slavery, bondage, marxism.... whatever you want to call it.

Socialism: ideas so good, they have to be made mandatory.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

ToddMac in The Great Northwest replied:

I trust absolutely no decisions that come from the Supreme(ly stupid) Court since Obamacare was upheld. It doesn't help when that whack job Ginsburg says that was is needed is an all-female Supreme Court. We are so screwed...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Tad Petrie in Westerville, OH said:

The current secessionist movement in America will most likely fail, not because of a lack of will or a question of "Legality"; if history has taught us anything, when Americans get angry enough, few things can stop us. Secession is unlikely to suceed in today's America simply because the people who support it are too far apart geographically. In 1861, the Mason-Dixon Line was a convenient divider between the 2 factions in the Civil War; that kind of thing doesn't exist today. I do NOT want my state, (Ohio), to secede, but like millions of other Americans, I am angry and frustrated beyond what I thought was possible because of what has happened to our country! Millions of Americans have bought into the HEINOUS LIES of Liberal/Progressive/Socialist ideology and I am at a loss to understand why! I have been fascinated by history since childhood and I just do not understand how someone can look at the undeniable evidence of the destruction and sufferings caused by Liberal/Progressive/Socialist ideology and continue to support it! As a country, we have lost our way and at the moment, I am afraid that something truly horrific will have to happen in order for us to get back on track again! Over 600,000 Americans died during The Civil War, millions more suffered for decades afterward because of fear, hatred, and mistrust left over from the war. I do NOT want to see something like that happen again! Liberal/Progressive/Socialist ideology is the true threat to our future and apparently, the majority of our people just do not seem to care!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas replied:

Chin up, Tad! Ohio won't secede from the Union - Ohio will be part of the Union that other states secede FROM. You'll just have to relocate to the other side of the line - wherever it is.

You're correct that the Mason-Dixon line is no longer what it was (the single dividing line between two nations), but there are other potential fracture lines. And nobody is saying that the nation will split into TWO parts like last time. I could potentially see as many as five sovereignties once the ball gets rolling.

Country #1) The old Union: bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the old Mason-Dixon Line to the south, the Mississippi River to the west, and the Canadian border to the north. What happens to the Canadian Maritime Provinces if Canada comes unglued by the Quebecois finally quitting THEIR union is anyone's guess.

Country #2) The old Confederacy plus the Midwest: basically everything east of the Pacific coast states minus the old Union. Possibly including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta if Canada dissolves.

Country #3) The Pacific Coast: California, Oregon, and Washington, although the resulting socialist basket case would likely lose much of Southern California to Mexico. They could be joined by British Columbia.

Country #4) Alaska: possibly joined by the northern tier of Canadian provinces.

Country #5) Hawaii: which might align itself with one of the Asian powers.

Personally, I'd prefer to stay here in Country #2, as long as we don't get sucked into bailing out #1 and #3 constantly. It would contain the breadbasket states, an ocean of oil just beginning to be tapped, and access to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and possibly Hudson Bay. Assuming the breakup was amicable it could also pay Country #1 for access to the St. Lawrence Seaway. There's a lot of high tech industry already here, too - not to mention most of the people with common sense.

There would be no need for violence, although it's certainly possible that the liberal states would balk at losing the ability to ride the coattails of the states that are not all screwed up (California needs mid-west a LOT more than the mid-west needs California). All this would cause a fair amount of internal migration as people moved to those places that embraced their political philosophy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Doc Neaves in Richardson Texas replied:

If only.....

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA said:

Most times divorce can be a very messy afair.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Richard J. Abbate (formerly "of CT" in Cheshire, CT said:

I will be entering my full name from now on. No more 'screen name'. If "THEY" are gonna come for us, I might as well let 'them' know who to look for and where to find me.
I still believe we can save this Republic of ours. Not withstanding those who didn't bother to vote (for whatever reason), clearly nearly half our population is fed up with the current leadership, and wishes to see us return to our roots in Liberty and Freedom.
The error of our Founders, in not seriously confronting and creating a solution leading to the end of slavery, led to secession and the costliest war in our history. That 600,000 of our civilian soldiers, blue and butternut, gave their lives in that conflict speaks to the strongly held beliefs each clung to. As strongly held and clung to, as we who post here, hold and cling to our beliefs.
The botched Reconstruction which followed that war, and the subsequent era of Jim Crow, KKK and segregation, which grew out of that, continue to echo in our political environment to this day.
The current 'question' of secession, is in fact moot. We have less reason to think we would be successful than those who trod that path 150 years ago did. And whether or not our Constitution allows for secession is an interesting subject for discussion, but Obama is no more likely to accept it or permit it then Lincoln did.
Perhaps our military would not take arms against us, but do we really wish to test that? As another writer pointed out, we do not have the geographic cohesiveness that existed in the days of the Confederacy. We, the Freedom and Liberty Patriots, are spread across the length and breadth of this land, from those like Bert Prelutsky on the left coast, to others like myself on the right coast, and countless of you in cities, towns and villages in between. We have few if any regional or state leaders like Lee and Jackson, who could organize, train and command our numbers.
(to be continued)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Richard J. Abbate (formerly "of CT" in Cheshire, CT replied:

(continued and concluded)
Today we are faced with a profound and real threat to our heritage of Freedom and Liberty. There are those in power in today's America, would turn most of us into serfs, peons and slaves once again. That so many Americans do not see this, revolt against it at the ballot box, and cling to the farcical notion that those who would seek to control them are their benefactors, proves that the forces of evil and tyranny are deeply imbedded in our culture.
We have allowed 60 years of brain washing to take place in our schools, lost control over our 'free press', abandoned our moral imperatives, and squandered trillions of dollars on fantasies of 'equality', while we passed the buck, and slept through this invasion from within.
I have very few answers, and the road back to the America we sing of in our patriotic songs, is going to be long and difficult. America can still be "Beautiful." It can still (and more perfectly) be "crowned with brotherhood." We must accept that this noble experiment, inspired by God, is a modern "Jerusalem", and just as subject to His wrath as that land of antiquity was. Our Federal Republic must be effectively explained to those who do not understand, and must be renewed through their efforts joined with ours. Unless we accomplish that, I fear humanity will soon suffer a new Dark Age, and our children, and our children's children will live out their lives as chattels of those who seek (and succeed for now) to gather unto themselves the ownership of our very lives. RJA

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 5:46 PM

michael ysrael in Guam said:

Excellent article. In the same note, we need to also look at the roots of the Civil War (the rebels, lost, so it is a civil war). The US started as a country of 13 sovereign states, voluntarily joined. However, Thomas Jefferson, through James Madison, approached Napoleon to purchase the City of New Orleans in order to secure America's "back door". In the process the Fed purchased the Territory of Louisiana. This set the stage for Civil War due to the "shift" in the balance of power among the original 13 States. It was the State's resources that were used to purchase Louisiana, maybe they it should have been split up and given to the States as additional territory. Instead, it went on to create the imbalance of power that eventually led to the Civil War.

As to a "right of succession", the original 13 States, Texas, Hawaii and I believe parts of California "joined" as a sovereign, but States created as purchased or otherwise "acquired" by the Fed would have a hard time arguing that they are "sovereign". Without an original claim of sovereignty, hard to argue that they can "return" to a sovereign. That is why such large areas of the West are "retained" by the Feds, and are not even a part of the "State", which was a creation of the Fed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

"Bitter Clinger" in Kansas said:

I have to ask...why in the world would anyone leaning toward secession give a hoot whether or not the other side considered it unconstitutional? Your breaking away from that government, and will probably ignite a war anyway, so why the concern? Besides, the mother government in this instance considers NOTHING sacred...especially the law (i.e., Constitution).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia replied:

That is the point. There should be no war necessary. The only reason there was a so called "civil war" was because Lincoln could not bear to lose the cheap labor and produce of the Agrarian south. The South had every right to secede and it was the Union that used force to hold the land. The Constitution of the Confederacy outlawed the importation of slaves, and slavery was on the way out. Lincoln could have freed all slaves with his "proclamation", but chose not to declare the slaves in the north to be free. Instead he sought to instigate the southern slaves to revolt, and some did. He left slavery in place in the north and proposed a period of graduated emancipation to minimize the economic trauma to northern slave owners. The importation of slaves had been a big business for northern shipping magnates who profiteered off the sale of slaves to the south.

I suggest a great book by a university of Texas professor, McWhiney called "Cracker Culture: Celtic ways of the old south, highlighting Scots-Irish Immigration to North America. In short, the southern catholic and protestant immigrants of Scots-Irish origin, and their sons and grandsons, saw the same northern English puritan pilgrims bastards telling them what to do -- just like the old days. The cultural differences were astounding. We were two separate cultures - and to some extent still are today. After two generations of abuse by the transplanted English - the south had seen enough and decided to do what their grandparents had done -- leave. But Lincoln said no. So will Obama. And there will be a fight, although an unnecessary one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 8:17 PM