In his rather convoluted thinking, Abraham Lincoln stated that: The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774.” Some historians have noted that this association of the colonies before the Articles of Confederation was adopted, was a body that could only suggest certain courses of action, none of which had the force of law–a deliberative body–nothing more. Such facts made no difference whatever to Abraham Lincoln. They didn't fit his agenda and so he ignored them. As far as he was concerned, it was all “the Union” even though his ethereal version of it existed in his mind before the documents that founded the Union existed. Walter Kennedy and I noted in Lincoln’s Marxists on page 109 and following, which is chapter 5 entitled Lincoln’s Mystical View of the Union that this was Lincoln’s mindset.
Sad to say, this seems to be a rather strong tack in the Yankee/Marxist mindset in general. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Salmon P. Chase also seemed to lean strongly in this direction with his view of the Union.
John Niven, in his book Salmon P. Chase–a biography also noted: Had the Confederate States by their secession from the Union given up their former identity as Sumner, Stevens and other radical politicians argued? If they had, then it would logically follow that secession was a lawful act and the Union had existed only at the sufferance of the states, an argument Lincoln dismissed as an abstraction…
It has been argued that “The South never really understood the Union.” That may be true–at least they never understood it in the sense that the Yankee did. Had they truly done so, I would submit that the Southern states never should have ratified the Constitution to begin with. Christian statesman Patrick Henry warned his fellow Virginians with common sense arguments and logic of the dangers of Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution. Virginians did not heed his words. They should have. And yet, maybe some of the mud stuck against the wall, for in Virginia’s ratification ordinances it was stated: We the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected…do, in the name and behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whenever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression. New York’s ratification statement pretty much says the same thing. And their ratification ordinances were accepted with this language included in them.
In other words, some states ratified the Constitution with the proviso that, should things not work out in this new union, they had the right to leave. That was the Southern understanding of this new Constitution, and it would seem that some Northern folks had the same understanding. I agree with them. Yet, suffice it to say, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, after the War of Northern Aggression (or could we call it the War of Marxist Revolution?) took a view totally opposed to that truth, as had Lincoln. Should anyone really be surprised? After all, the winners always get to redefine the “history.”
Chase noted, in 1869, that the Constitution in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States. He felt that once a state or territory got into the Union, that was it. It was there for eternity unless its status was determined by a revolution, or “consent of the states.” Chase noted the language in the Articles of Confederation about a “perpetual Union.” That term, “perpetual” did not appear in the new Constitution, but rather the new document referred to a “more perfect Union.” Chase apparently took that to mean “more perpetually perfect.” If Chase was aware or either Virginia’s nor New York’s ratification terminology he kept silent about it. After all, those ratification ordinances contradicted his “indestructible Union” tomfoolery.
And Chase was, apparently, more than ready to accept more broad, sweeping powers for the federal government. In 1866 he observed: That the war had changed the government and the powers of government were essentially different from what they were before the war. Now there was an understatement if ever I saw one, and yet a revelation as well. He’s telling you, right flat out, that the war gave the federal government more and expanded powers–probably not constitutional ones–but not to worry, Chase’s Supreme Court would remedy that little problem.
So Chase followed in the same vein that Lincoln had–the Union existed before the states and it was indestructible and irrevocable. And once you were in, you were still in, even if you seceded–in fact you really didn't secede, you only thought you did. Of course, then, to get back into this “Union” you had never really been out of, you had to ratify certain amendments. At this point, the logic (and I use that term loosely) of the Yankee/Marxist absolutely defies description.
You have to wonder where these people got their notion of an “indestructible” Union. Did it have anything to do with what they were smoking? When the group assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 gave us the Constitution (when it was really beyond their instructions to do so) what they did, in effect, was to secede from the Articles of Confederation and give us a whole new government–one that did not use the words “perpetual union” and one that did not forbid secession, even though I have been informed that it really did.
When the New England states sent delegates to Hartford, Connecticut in 1814 to consider the secession of the New England states no one said anything. Admittedly, they ended up not seceding because the War of 1812 which had New England merchants so stirred up ended. However, they were strongly considering it, as they did two other times. In those days you didn't take trips like that just to engage in political chit-chat. Yet no one complained. No one told the New Englanders that their secession was illegal or that the supremacy clause in the Constitution forbid them from ever seceding at any time unless all the other states were willing to let them go. The right of a state to secede was accepted. Remember the secession language in the New York and Virginia ratification ordinances? But some inform us that this was all meaningless, that once you were in you could never get out unless all the states were willing to let you go. You almost wonder if there was a slight double standard in operation here–it would have been okay if the New England states did it but not if the Southern states did it.
Contrary to Chase’s “indestructible Union” theory, Professor Donald W. Livingston has written in Secession, State & Liberty that “There was a time, however, when talk about secession was a part of American politics. Indeed, the very concept of secession and self-determination of peoples, in the form being discussed today, is largely an American invention. It is no exaggeration to say that the unique contribution of the eighteenth-century American Enlightenment 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.” Livingston further wrote that: “The Constitution of the United States was founded as a federative compact between the states, marking out the authority of a central government, having enumerated powers delegated to it by sovereign states which reserved for themselves the vast domain of un-enumerated powers. By an act of philosophical alchemy, the Lincoln tradition has transmuted this essentially federative document into a consolidated nationalist regime…In this version, the reserved powers of the states vanish, and the states themselves are transformed into resources for and administrative units of a nationalist political project…” That is exactly where we find ourselves today, thanks to the views of men like Lincoln and Chase, who, in a political sense, “Changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator…” (Romans 1).
The Southern states, and some Northern ones, always considered the Constitution to be a compact between sovereign states. Had it been understood by them as anything but that, it is highly doubtful that many of these states, a mere thirteen years after the end of our War for Independence, would have entangled themselves in the clutches of an indissoluble union from which they could never withdraw. The Declaration of Independence was, after all, a secession document.
The Kennedy Brothers, in their groundbreaking work The South Was Right stated, on page 162: “In her act of ratification, Virginia drew a protective shield around the sovereign community and declared that sovereignty is derived from the people…The states did not intend to establish a supreme judge to rule over them. Before entering into the proposed constitutional contract, the state of Virginia (along with several other states, both north and south) declared the legal right of the sovereign community (the people of the state) to recall any delegated power if it is used in an act of oppression or injury against the people. The fact that the other states accepted the Virginia Act of Ratification without question is reason enough to maintain the assertion that they were in agreement with Virginia.”
If the Constitution is looked to as a document that forms an “indestructible” Union, then the states that ratified it have been lied to–sold a bill of goods, bought a political “gold brick’ as it were–a brick made not of gold, but of iron–that iron to forge the chains of those states that may finally realize they have been lied to and so they want out!
Secession was not illegal, was not rebellion as the Northern politicians claimed, and, as author James Street said: “The South got a raw deal.” And the Lincoln/Chase concept of “perpetual Union” is what is taught in the government schools in this country–to make sure no one ever again concludes that secession might be the answer to the problems of an ever-expanding socialist regime in Washington.