The Right Of State Secession Is Historically Defensible
by Al Benson Jr.
FEBRUARY 28, 2010
My good friend and co-author with me of “Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists” Donnie Kennedy just returned from a secession and nullification conference in Atlanta on February 25, 26. He noted that there was a very good crowd; the conference room they met in was packed, and there were folks there from all over the country, from California to New England and points in between.
Several years ago the topic of secession was looked upon as only fit for members of the flat earth society. No sensible (politically correct) person would stoop to even discuss such a taboo topic. Today, secession isn’t out of bounds anymore, thanks to a runaway Marxist regime in Washington that is obviously hell-bent on repeating the benign “reforms” of such world luminaries as Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse Tung.
Many have argued over the years that the Southern states did not have the right to secede before Lincoln commenced the War of Northern Aggression. Some with extreme tunnel vision have even taken the position of “once in the Union always in the Union.”
Others, with a better grasp of historical context, have said that if the states that ratified the Constitution had not had the right to secede then they never would have entered the Union to begin with. Most court historians today take the standard Unionist position–once in the Union always in. And, being the “historians” they are (and I use that term loosely) they studiously bury any opposing viewpoints under tons of their bovine fertilizer so no one will be tempted to look too far. The right of state secession and also of nullification, is something they get paid to make sure you don’t dig too deeply into. But let’s sweep a little of their fertilizer out of the way with the broom of more accurate history and see what we find.
For starters, let’s go back all the way to the Declaration of Independence. Look at the opening sentence. It states “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them to another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal status to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” What else is being addressed here but secession? That’s not my opinion solely. Others, more astute than I, have voiced the same thoughts. In the book “Liberty, Order and Justice” by James McClellan (Center for Judicial Studies, Washington, D.C.) the author, on page 65, in referring to the colonists, stated: “…they turned in the final stages of resistance to thoughts about the nature of free government. In the end, they came reluctantly to the conclusion that secession was their only recourse.” Remember, Mr. McClellan was writing about 1776, not 1861. He has labeled what the colonies did in regard to Great Britain as secession. In effect, the thirteen colonies seceded from Great Britain. If, then, secession was wrong, we should go back, hat in hand, to Britain and beg to again take up the status of colonies!