Tag Archives: secession

The War of 1861

The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the war between the colonies and Great Britain. Its first article declared the 13 colonies “to be free, sovereign and independent states.” These 13 sovereign nations came together in 1787 as principals and created the federal government as their agent. Principals have always held the right to fire agents. In other words, states held a right to withdraw from the pact — secede. Continue reading

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Carts, Horses, and Secession

The Founders provide a good model; so too, do Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. They showed the power of non-violent tactics. They were also incremental. They began small and slowly escalated, as needed. This requires patience. You will likely lose at each step. But this does not mean you can skip the steps. Suffering will expand in the short term. The political class may use brute force if it feels threatened. Some will be injured. But you will lose if you respond with violence. Please understand — violence is The State’s strength and your weakness. You must not oppose strength with weakness. Continue reading

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Secession: A Specifically American Principle

It is no exaggeration to say that the unique contribution of the eighteenth-century American Enlightenment to political thought is not federalism but the principle that a people, under certain conditions, have a moral right to secede from an established political authority and to govern themselves. Continue reading

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The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions: Guideposts of Limited Government

For true change to take place, Americans must once again conceive of their history as a struggle to create and maintain real freedom. Part of that reconceptualization would entail making a place for the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions in the pantheon of American charters. The resolutions articulate the fundamental principles of our government in an eloquent yet logical manner; in their import, they rank second only to the Constitution. For Americans who would recreate a limited federal government of enumerated powers — the government created by the Founders ­— the resolutions can serve as an enduring inspiration. Continue reading

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Secession, Sovereignty, and Salvation: Jefferson Lives!

We are a Rule of Law nation, born of the Enlightenment. We formed our federal government to work at the pleasure of Rule of Law States. We must remind ourselves (and the neo-federalists) that these laws were devised to protect a Sovereign People — by prohibiting the rule of unscrupulous men.

We must learn how to leverage our supreme laws and unalienable rights, effectively and enduringly. Learn to embrace State electoral politics. Learn to engage our State legislators, governors, and attorneys general. Learn how to petition through the courts, properly, and with critical mass. Continue reading

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Scalia vs. Thomas Jefferson on Secession

Contemporary opinion, including that of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, says a state’s right to secede died with the hundreds of thousands of bloodied victims of the Civil War and that the sentiment behind the dozens of petitions on the White House website seeking permission for most of the 50 individual governments to leave the union will be fruitless.

But historians would note that Thomas Jefferson, a “pole star among political philosophers because he based his politics on the eternal, self-evident, fundamental truths that all men are created free and equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” believed states have a right to leave the U.S. Continue reading

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