You Can Never Leave

Perhaps the civil war was about slavery after all. From Lincoln's first Inaugural Address:

"I hold that, in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever--it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it--break it, so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And, finally, in 1787 one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was ?to form a more perfect union.?

But if the destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that Resolves and Ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will Constitutionally defend and maintain itself. "

::singing to the tune "Hotel California":: "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

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I've got a draft chapter on

I've got a draft chapter on the issue of state sovereignty on my website. It examines the nationalist arguments of Lincoln, Webster, Story, etc., in light of the history from 1774-1789.

Chapter 1: The Ultimate Source of Sovereignty

While the Constitution

While the Constitution doesn't forbid secession (and therefore, under the 9th and 10th Amendments, indeed permits secession), it also grants the Federal Government the authority to wage war upon any foreign state for any reason - including foreign states that were once part of the Union.

The invasion and conquest of the Confederacy was just as permissible as the invasion and conquest of northern Mexico.

As a denizen of that region, I'm quite glad there was a "regime change" in Richmond. The Confederacy was not exactly a bastion of liberty, and then Yankee invaders really improved the place, even though it took them an awfully long time and they made their share of blunders (e.g., affirmative action).

I'm not partial to the

I'm not partial to the confederacy, but the union wasn't any better. I'm from Georgia and thus I cannot share your sentiment about yankee's "improving the place" in the south. Georgia was devasted by Sherman's march to the sea, and later by decades of corruption by the so called "reconstruction."

In any case the union did not consider the southern states a "seperate country" and would not have waged the war if they had (since their reason for waging the war was to "preserve the union.") Furthermore while the constitution may permit warfare there are checks in the system to limit it's use. For example the prohibition of having a standing army in peacetime for more than 2 years, and the requirement that congress declare war, and appropriate funds to the military, while the executive branch is responsible for commanding the military.