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Breakaway states

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posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 05:39 PM
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Could someone with knowledge on this please answer this question,

The United states of America is a country made up of states who are united, right, what in the way of law would stop a state pulling out of the union? Could a state claim independance? similar to the devolution of the united kingdom where scotland could be pulling out of their 300 year old union with England.

Thanks, this subject has intrigued me alot recently.




posted on Jan, 17 2007 @ 06:01 PM
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It is relatively clear that the founders originally intended for the states to be inseparable. The Articles of Confederation, in full, were actually the Articles of Confederation and perpetual union.

The Constitution was written in the context of an amending convention for the articles, however they ended up completely throwing out the articles, including the provisions for amendment established therein.

This creates the first point of controversy. For the sake of ease, I will give the benefit of the doubt to secession, which leaves us with the Constitution as a guide (leaving aside for the moment the declaration of independence, which really leaves little question in the matter if given legal standing). Note that although I have summarily dismissed the articles, they may have some weight. Article 6 of the constitution recognizes not only debts but engagements made prior to the constitution, which might still include perpetual union, which was not explicitly superceded by any clause that I can see in the Constitution.

Texas versus White in 1869 held that the constitution creates a permanent union under the promise that the federal government shall ensure to the states a republican form of government, and in allusion to Article 4's test for the creation of new states out of the territory of existing states, suggested that short of revolution, the consent of the states (all concerned) would be necessary.

For the most part, it seems likely that the union cannot be unilaterally disolved, both as a legal and a practical manner. Only if preventing it were not in the interest of the rest of the union would a secession movement, either legally or militarily, be likely to prevail.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 03:51 AM
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I see no basis for the argument given by The Vagabond - the States established their constitutions before the Articles and several Southern States had seceded from Britain before the "Congress" formally did on July 2nd 1776.

Also, the secession from Britain was in no way "legal" the US made it leagal and the secession of the republics of the Soviet Empire were also "made" legal when again they were not.

So again, no basis for this argument.


df1

posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 09:31 AM
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The most likely candidate for secession seems to be New Hampshire. It is the state that was selected by the Free State Project:


The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire. We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people's rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.


It seems to me that the takeover state government would be a necessary precondition for secession of a state to occur.

A case for California could also be made based on heavy immigration and the states global economic strength which would allow it to function as an independent country. Other border states may also fit into this category.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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If a state were to declare its independence from the United States then that would be seen as a treasonous act as show during the civil war. What would then make it legal would be that state's recognition as an independent nation by either the UN or another nation. Of course if the United States then invaded this breakaway state and conquered it the federal government would probably try the state's leadership as traitors. In short if the state succeeds in becoming independent that it is legal if it does not succeed that it is illegal.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by Confederate_Officer
I see no basis for the argument given by The Vagabond

Look harder.


the States established their constitutions before the Articles and several Southern States had seceded from Britain before the "Congress" formally did on July 2nd 1776.


How does that matter if the states subsequently pledged perpetual union through the articles of confederation and then reaffirmed it in Article 6 of the US Constitution?


Also, the secession from Britain was in no way "legal" the US made it legal

That was by force however. Barring the ability of a state to forcibly suspend the power of law, legality will matter in this case. As I said before:

For the most part, it seems likely that the union cannot be unilaterally disolved, both as a legal and a practical manner. Only if preventing it were not in the interest of the rest of the union would a secession movement, either legally or militarily, be likely to prevail.


My argument is fairly clear. Since the traditional forceful means of throwing off government are unlikely to be successful under current circumstances, only a lack of will on the part of the federal government to prevent a legal seccession would likely result in a successful separation.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 04:38 PM
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Secession is a tricky one as others are realizing, it depends on who you are and if you win or not. Heres the catch: if your try and seceed from the union, make DARN sure you win, or face being hung as is the verdict for those convicted of treason, that or firing squad. Right now the only reason any state would suceed from the union is because they have had enough of the federals stomping on them and using them as cannon fodder for whatever they are doing, economic or otherwise. Ironically, the state would be the LAST to suceed from the union, the PEOPLE of the state would be FIRST then the state last AFTER the populace takes over. Thus there is a time gap for all heck to break loose.
If a state tried to suceed from the union it would take a popular vote or the support of the masses, and believe me, the US army would be WELL on its way before the state even had the papers signed. Also they would need an army of their own or else they would lose before it even started.
Revolution or civil war is the more logical response since it is a "from the ground up" approach rather than the more risky "Lets just cross our fingers and pray the national guard defects to our side along with the navy and air force" approach.



posted on Jan, 18 2007 @ 08:20 PM
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posted by Jimmy1880

Could someone with knowledge on this please answer this question. The United states of America is a country made up of states who are united, right, what in the way of law would stop a state pulling out of the union? [The US Army] Could a state claim independence? [No] Similar to the devolution of the United Kingdom where Scotland could be pulling out of their 300 year old union with England. [I’m unfamiliar with the Scotland matter.] Thanks, this subject has intrigued me a lot recently. [Edited by Don W]



United States History 101.
Each of the original 13 colonies were independent. Each had its own charter or grant from the English. The first permanent English settlement was at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1609. The money crop was tobacco. (Cotton replaced tobacco as the south's money crop after Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in the 1780s.) Slaves were sold to the colonists in 1619, by Dutch ship captains. The southern tobacco growing colonies were Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Slaves however, were owned in every colony but in much fewer numbers and were mostly engaged in household chores and light manufacturing. Life as a slave in the south on a tobacco farm was harsh, demanding and life shortening.

The southern colonies passed many laws intended to destroy the culture of the slaves. It was a crime to teach a slave to read or write. Slaves could not congregate except for church services on Sunday and those were often monitored by the slave owners or his overseers. Slaves owned nothing, not even the clothes on their backs. They had no civil rights. They could not testify in court against a white person. They could not bring criminal charges when they were raped, beaten or otherwise abused by their owners. Their children were not their own, and were often sold to others.

In several instances slaves who had escaped and been captured, were beaten to death, and the other slaves were compelled to witness the beating. In still other instances, slaves who had escaped serval times would have the front half of his right foot chopped off by an ax. Again, the other slaves of every age were forced to be witnesses. Brutality was the rule of slave masters. Life expectancy of slaves was short. I cannot think of anything good about slavery as practiced in the southern colonies.

The Revolutionary War began in April, 1775, at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill, in Massachusetts. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, then the largest city in the colonies. The last battle of the war was at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. I like to remind by fellow Americans that half the soldiers at Yorktown on our side were French. And the French fleet had overpowered the mighty British Navy which had sailed to rescue Lord Cornwallis. The French had loaned us money, sent us arms and supplies, without which, I believe the Revolution would have failed. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 ended the war.

Flashback. In 1775, the 13 colonies meeting in Philadelphia had composed the Articles of Confederation under which the Continental Army of Gen. George Washington was finally victorious. The Articles had many glaring deficiencies. It had no power to tax. Instead, it had to call on the colonies to send money, supplies, and soldiers. Which the colonies ignored more often than not. It had no single executive. When in session it made all executive decisions. When out of session, a committee of 1 man from each colony, 13 men, made executive decisions, on a majority vote basis. The unicameral legislative body set colonial delegation size by the population of the colony, but in the voting process, each state had 1 vote, regardless of population. By 1787, the weaknesses of the Articles were insurmountable and urgent changes were needed to save the Revolution.

A second convention was held in Philadelphia - it was also centrally located - in 1787. The new Constitution of the United States was circulated and by its terms, 9 states had to ratify before it became effective but only between the ratifying states. No state was forced in. It was not majority rule. It was every state for itself. Oh, the name, United States of America, was assigned by the 1775 Articles. The first election under the new document was held, late, in 1789. It had been planned for 1788. The second presidential election was in 1792. On track. Only 10 states voted in the first election .

By the second election, the last 3 original states had signed on and Vermont and Kentucky had been added, making 15 states. To gain an appreciation of what the founding fathers (FFs) one need only read the Preamble to the Constitution. “We the people of the United States, to form a more perfect union . . “

Further, there is no provision in the Constitution for any state (colony) to exit or opt out of the newly formed Union. In 1791, the new government imposed a tax on whiskey. Many farmers relied on converting their corn crops into whiskey because it was easier to ship, stored well, and had a constant demand. George Washington, then sitting as president, led an army into the backwoods of Pennsylvania to enforce the tax collectors. Another more dramatic episode occurred later, when perhaps the issue of secession was more relevant than my first example.

Andrew Jackson was the first non-founding father to be elected president, in 1828. John C. Calhoun, a prominent senator from South Carolina, became angered over the taxing of imports on which South Carolina was especially dependant. (Personal income tax was not allowed until 1913.) Calhoun led the South Carolina delegation to Congress in threatening to secede from the Union if the tax was not repealed. President Jackson - he carried 2 bullets in him from duels and had killed one man in a duel - warned John Calhoun and his associate that if they tried to secede, he would personably lead the US Army to Charleston and hang each of them by the neck till dead! That ended talk of secession until 1860.

The greatest possible rejection of the theory of secession is of course, our own War of the Rebellion, popularly called the Civil War. Before it ended 11 states joined the Confederation States of America, the CSA. A dastardly band of traders in human flesh, who fought their best to save and to extend the most disgusting institution know to humankind, slavery. 620,000 died on both sides. The Civil War stands as a terrible example of how to win the war but to lose the peace. Hooliganism and thuggery prevailed in the South, in such terrorist organizations as the Ku Klux Klan. These unreconstructed whites took back the south from law and order, especially after the 1876 presidential election.

Between 1876 and 1964, more than 3.000 black men were lynched. That is hung by the neck until strangled to death. More than 15,000 black men were so severely beaten they never recovered their health. Over the years of terror, more than 50,000 burn-outs were perpetrated on poor blacks as terrorism reigned in the American south. To heap insult upon injury, this reign of terror was legalized in 1896 by the US Supreme Court in a case called Plessey v. Ferguson. Separate but equal. This ensconced Jim Crow in the law. Until 1954 when the Earl Warren Supreme Court overruled that case in the famous Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case. And racism is alive and well in America in 2007.

No, Jimmy1880, secession was not an option to the Founding Fathers. Then or now. Or ever.


[edit on 1/18/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Jan, 19 2007 @ 12:53 AM
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Originally posted by Jimmy1880
The United states of America is a country made up of states who are united, right, what in the way of law would stop a state pulling out of the union? Could a state claim independance?

No. That was settled in the civil war, and possibly also in the failed secession attempt at the Hartford Convention.

A state can not, via the constitution, leave the constitution, anymore than a person can individually declare themself independant of the law. The only way to leave is to fight and win.



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