Can a State Secede?: Sovereignty in Its Bearing Upon Secession and State Rights

Dakin and Metcalf, 1865 - 36 pages

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Page 21 - RESOLVED, That the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States, in Congress assembled, and that it is the opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its Legislature, for their assent and ratification...
Page 15 - The Constitution of the United States was ordained and established, not by the States in their sovereign capacities, but emphatically, as the preamble of the Constitution declares, by "the people of the United States." There can be no doubt that it was competent to the people to invest the general government with all the powers which they might deem proper and necessary ; to extend or restrain these powers according to their own good pleasure, and to give them a paramount and supreme anthority.
Page 15 - ... powers according to their own good pleasure, and to give them a paramount and supreme authority. As little doubt can there be that the people had a right to prohibit to the States the exercise of any powers which were, in their judgment, incompatible with the objects of the general compact; to make the powers of the State governments, in given cases, subordinate to those of the nation, or to reserve to themselves those sovereign authorities which they might not choose to delegate to either. The...
Page 11 - The conclusion is inevitable, that the Constitution is the work of the people of the states, considered as separate and independent political communities ; that they are its authors — their power created it, their voice clothed it with authority...
Page 19 - The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other for their common defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.
Page 15 - The United States is a government, and, consequently, a body politic and corporate, capable of attaining the objects for which it was created, by the means which are necessary for their attainment. This great corporation was ordained and established by the American people, and endowed by them with great powers for important purposes.
Page 19 - This Convention therefore, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, doth ORDAIN, DETERMINE and DECLARE, that no authority shall on any pretence whatever be exercised over the people or members of this State, but such as shall be derived from and granted by them.
Page 5 - ... would supersede the Constitution itself: — that nullification is secession, — and would, consequently, place the State, as to the others, in the relation of a foreign state. Such, clearly, would be the effect of secession; but it is equally clear that it would place the State beyond the pale of all her federal relations, and, thereby, all control on the part of the other States over her. She would stand to them simply in the relation of a foreign state, divested of all federal connection,...
Page 18 - Independence, made in Congress the 4th of July, 1776. This admirable manifesto, which, for importance of matter and elegance of composition, stands unrivalled, sufficiently confutes the honorable gentleman's doctrine of the individual sovereignty and independence of the several states. In that Declaration the several states are not even enumerated; but after reciting, in nervous language, and with convincing arguments, our right to independence, and the tyranny which compelled us to assert it, the...
Page 16 - When we say, therefore, that a State of the Union is sovereign, we only mean that she possesses supreme political authority, except as to those matters over which such authority is delegated to the Federal government, ork prohibited to the States.

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