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29

The United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession NOTE: The Supreme Court ruling was after the Civil War Legality: The principle of legality is the legal ideal that requires all law to be clear, ascertainable and ...


23

As far as Union states go, this table seems to provide accurate information. However, the info on Confederate army is very incomplete. You can find statements that North Carolina supplied the most soldiers (125,000) to the Confederate army all over the Internet. The original source seems to be a speech from 1904 by Hon. Theodore F. Davidson in Raleigh: ...


21

Its not quite that simple. Since the process typically relies on evaporating out water from pools, it turns out you either need a somewhat reliably sunny climate to do this, or you have to set up a lot of extra large boilers. So some places are much better than others to set up shop. That being said, the South did in fact have large-scale salterns they ...


14

Besides the battle losses, the period around the battle of Gettysburg had two important strategic effects. 1) It established the winner, George G. Meade, as the General of the army of the Potomac. 2) More to the point, it established U.S. Grant, who captured Vicksburg at about the same time as Meade's boss. The Army of the Potomac began the 1864 campaign ...


12

Reconstruction was dead in some states almost as soon as it started, and it was completely undone nationwide by the compromise that led to the election of Rutherford B. Hayes as President in 1876. The lasting social damage that the song talks about should more accurately be associated with the demise of Reconstruction. Here are some legacies of the time ...


12

Gettysburg was pretty much a last ditch effort by Lee and Jefferson Davis to save the Confederacy or at least give it some credibility. There were different objectives that led to the attack in the first place. For one thing, the war in the West was going against the Confederates, and if the West fell, and more importantly access to the Mississippi River, ...


9

Probably this or a similar action. After the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, there was increasing reluctance by the Northern states to help enforce this Federal Law, since no trial was held in the state where the purported slave had fled to. They saw it as a violation of states rights. This varied in extremity from time to time and place to place but ...


8

Nobody was interested in a court case. Those who thought it was undoable had no reason for a suit, and those who wanted secession needed it as a bold stroke to rally the more undecided Southern factions to their banner. Secession had failed in 1832 and 1850 once people took the time to consider the matter. Secessionists in 1860 needed for it to be a ...


7

There's nothing in the Constitution specifically allowing it. The closest any part really comes to addressing seccession is the following (from Article 4, Section 3): Section. 3.New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by ...


7

In 2 court rulings this century the pre civil war secession situation was described as either unresolved or unsettled, not illegal nor unconstitutional. In 2004 the SCOTUS observed that inclusion of the word “indivisible” in the Pledge of Allegiance was significant because “the question whether a State could secede from the Union had been intensely ...


7

Chickamauga in September, 1863 was also a major tactial victory for the Confederates, although due to inadequate resources and command controversies they were unable to sustain the campaign and change the strategic outcome in the western theater. Interestingly, James Longstreet, the commander of Picket's charge, was sent west with his troops after Gettysburg ...


7

Without seeing data on salt imports versus domestic production before the war, I'm suspicious of the assertion that Wales was the primary source. If that was indeed the case, it was presumably because Welsh salt was much cheaper and/or of different quality then the salt produced domestically, for whatever reason. A lot of salt produced in the United States ...


6

My cynical reasoning is that it's illegal because the pro-union side won. Laws are often changed and legal justification can be found for most things after or before the fact. Legal experts are rarely 100% in agreement in everything (even now, supreme court judgement have various different opinions). Sometimes people ask these questions because they equate ...


6

In June 1864, as General (later President) Ulysses S. Grant was leading the Army of the Potomac against Richmond, Lee DID order an offensive by one of his better remaining subordinates, General Jubal Early. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubal_Early Early debouched from the Shenandoah Valley, cut a swath across Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, and ...


5

Consider the strategic situation. The South was losing. The Mississippi was Union-controlled except around Vicksburg (until Grant took it too), cutting off a good chunk of the Confederacy. The Union blockade was in effect, making it very difficult for the Confederacy to trade abroad. The Emancipation Proclamation had made it politically impossible for ...


5

My answer is similar to E1Suave's, but my interpretation is different. Texas v. White, 1869, explicitly addressed this issue. The US Supreme Court ruled that the Texas secession of 1861 was unconstitutional, and had never been valid. The ruling was based on the US Constitution (not on any amendments ratified after 1861). According to the ruling, ...


4

The secession of the southern states was a violation of Section 10 of the US Constitution, to which all of those states had agreed. That part of the Constitution reads: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; .. By creating the Confederacy, they obviously were breaking this clause of the constitution to which they had ...


4

The main problem that secessionists would have faced in court is that the question had been settled over 40 years before the Civil War: secession was illegal. The only argument that supports unilateral secession, where a state just decides to leave and that's sufficient, is called "Compact Theory". The theory is that the US is not a single nation, but a ...


3

No, they did not use peaceful or legal means. Often the secession commissions used did not even fully represent the population of the state seceding. Southerners only started worrying about supposed legality after they lost the war and wanted to look better after the fact.


3

We can go into these long winded discussions on Supreme Court decisions and the law about secession. A document that is more important than the Constitution is being overlooked. The Declaration of Independence. Does this not give a state the right to break away from a government that has become destructive to the people. What did we do when be declared ...


3

Just to back up Wladimir's post of the inaccuracy of the numbers. Josh Howard a North Carolina Historian stated in this article "The time has come to get it right," said Josh Howard, a research historian with the Office of Archives and History in Raleigh. "Nobody has gone through man by man looking for the deaths." North Carolina is only believed to ...


3

After Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the Confederacy had little hope of an ultimate military victory over the Union army. Their best remaining hope was for a political victory. They nearly achieved it. Grant's Overland campaign was very bloody, and closely covered by journalists (who had some antipathy toward General Meade). The subsequent siege of Petersburg ...


2

One would think that the answer was Virginia (the most populous Confederate state), but the answer apparently was North Carolina on both counts (contribution and casualties). http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090929211811AA1fKYQ


2

After forces were drawn off in the autumn for 1863 for Chickamauga and Chattanooga - Longstreet's corps for the south, and the XI and XII corps for the north, Lee again tried to turn the Army of the Potomac and win a victory. Meade was too deft, and after Lee suffered a severe check at Bristoe Station the two stood back at the Bull Run battlefield. Lee ...


2

I had originally answered yes; then I discovered the force bill. Section 5 of the force bill permits the President to use whatever force is necessary to preserve the Union. The US Congress had considered seccession, and explicitly authorized the preservation of the Union by military force. UPDATE: @Garrett Albright asks a pertinent question. I grant you ...


2

It is simple, secession was and is legal. Look to the ratification documents from Rhode Island, New York and Virginia, three of the last four to ratify the Constitution. They state specifically, that the State can reassume the powers delegated through the ratified Constitution by the State in cases where they feel they are being injured or abused. This is ...


2

The poster wanted to know about the negative effects of Reconstruction, so I am answering that question. The only direct long term negative effect of Reconstruction era policy I know of is that the South still pays exploitative railway fees to ship goods to other sections of the nation. Following the Civil War, the US was divided into 5 freight rate ...


2

First I will acknowledge it is difficult to write on this topic neutrally, even 150 years later, as the scar of the Civil War still runs through the country. I'll do my best to remain factual. Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the Union, prior to 1861, through an act of Congress? I cannot find any record of a serious attempt, no. ...


1

No, they didn't. From their point of view there was now a hostile anti-South majority in Congress. Any attempt by themselves to do things to protect slavery through US Congressional action was doomed to failure. So there was no reason to bother trying. The closest thing they had was allied Copperheads, Northern Democrats who felt the issue wasn't worth ...


1

JimZipCode wrote a long and passionate answer which tries to debunk many of the other answers here and claim that the law was settled before the Confederate states seceded. He brings up some interesting points that should be debated. However, he also clearly goes too far. His choice of quotations is selective: I could just as easily come up with dozens of ...



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