Part 2 of Revolution, Civil War, and Separation
In the past 154 years since the end of the Civil War, many Americans have been taught a dangerous partial truth about safeguarding American freedoms and constitutional republican government. That inadequate partial truth taught in most civics courses and widely repeated in education, media, and government establishments is that the separation of powers vested in the U.S. Federal Executive Presidency, Congress, and Judiciary adequately protect Americans from the abuses of tyrannical government. Most of America’s founding generation had far greater wisdom than this.
On July 4, 1776, thirteen British colonies announced their Secession from Great Britain. In the closing paragraph the signers declare that the colonies are “Free and Independent States.” The treaty with Great Britain ending the War for American Independence in 1783 actually recognized the independence of thirteen named former British colonies.
The Constitution of 1787 and the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791 are the official founding documents of the American Republic formed by the thirteen original colonies. The Constitution was made official by the approval of the people of each state acting independently in convention, not by the people of the United States in general. Nor did these states surrender their sovereignty to the United States. Only limited governmental powers were delegated to the Federal Government and every state reserved the right to withdraw these powers.
It was these thirteen independent states that ratified the Constitution and formed a Federal government. The Federal government did not form thirteen states. Subject to divine providence, it is the States that are the foremost and most powerful guarantors of American freedoms.
Note that the language of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibits Congress from abridging our most basic freedoms of religion, speech, publication, assembly, and petition.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
In truth, all three of the Federal Government’s branches—Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive, including its massive bureaucracies—have been guilty of serious overreach of power, oppression, and loss of common sense.
It was to guarantee the sovereignty of the states and their ability to check unwarranted federal power that the ninth and tenth amendments were added to the Bill of Rights.
The Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
It has been common to downplay and misrepresent the role of States Rights and their essential role in American freedom since the Civil War. A common and often politically loaded modern error has been to attribute the American Civil War only or mostly to the slavery issue. But there were several major issues, and the slavery issue has been greatly exaggerated to justify a war that killed over 850,000 Americans and concentrated political power in Washington at the expense of the states, traditions of local government autonomy, and the people.
“The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.”—Jefferson Davis
One word that now seldom appears in modern versions of American history is “sectionalism.” Sectionalism referred primarily to Northern majorities in Congress making laws that were good for the North but unfair to the South or West. States’ Rights were needed to prevent Congressional majorities from trampling the freedom and prosperity of Southern and sometimes Border States. An astonishing example is how the tariff system enriched Northern industrial states and heavily burdened Southern and other predominantly agriculture exporting states. This became grievous by 1824, unbearable by 1828, and came near causing armed conflict between Federal troops and South Carolina militias in 1833. The Morrill Tariff, introduced in1860, passed although receiving only one Southern vote in Congress. The South had less than one-third of the nation’s population but was already paying more than 80 percent of the nation’s taxes. Yet 80 percent of tax revenues were spent in Northern states. The Morrill Tariff of 1860 raised tariff revenues by 67 percent in the first year and would have more than doubled the burden within three years. This was sectionalism in its most blatant display of partisan power and greed. No one outside of a politically correct madhouse can believe this was not a major factor in the secession of South Carolina and the Gulf cotton-exporting states.
Even the radical abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, one of the most powerful Republican leaders in the U.S. House, speaking in support of Abraham Lincoln at a huge New York political rally in 1860, admitted that the tariff issue was more important than keeping slavery out of territories and new states.
Just before Lincoln’s election in November of 1860, the Charleston Mercury summed up its editorial view of Northern sectionalism and revolutionary despotism that threated to rend the national apart.
“The real causes of dissatisfaction in the South with the North, are in the unjust taxation and expenditure of the taxes by the Government of the United States, and in the revolution the North has effected in this government, from a confederated republic to a national sectional despotism.”
In the Southern view of 1860 to 1865, States’ Rights included many economic and constitutional issues as well as how to handle the slavery questions. There were also other powerful cultural issues. Southern Christianity was more solidly conservative in its Biblical orthodoxy, while many prominent Northern Protestant church leaders were espousing increasingly unbiblical doctrines. Many famous Northern pulpits raged with anti-Southern rhetoric. Both Northern economic sectionalism and radical abolitionist rhetoric in Northern pulpits caused many Southerners to doubt that staying in a Northern dominated Union was in their best interests. The Northern press was divided, but the more radical factions succeeded in increasing Southern distrust for Northern government.
In the past, the dismissal and misrepresentation of States’ Rights have often badly eroded our freedoms. Without a strong commitment to States’ Rights, the separation of powers vested in the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches of the Federal government have proven dangerously inadequate in preserving liberty.
It may be that States’ Rights is the only thing that can save our country from the corruption and despotic inclinations of the Biden Administration, the radicalized Democratic Party, and their captive media corps. The invasion of Texas and other Southern Border States by illegal immigrants urged on by the Biden regime threatens to make a lawless ruin of Texas first and then the others. The Democrat plan is that millions of new illegal immigrants will be made voters. This and the resultant Democratic monopoly of federal power will make fair elections impossible in the future. All this will also gravely wound the economy, cause raging inflation, and surrender public safety, national security, and national sovereignty to unlawful mobs, corrupt politicians, and rigged elections. Freedom and prosperity would be lost.
California is a painful example of the despotism, wokie insanity, and ruin that will be our common endurance, if we allow our rights to be trampled by the Biden-Sauron unconstitutional reign of tyranny.
“One [Ring] for the Dark Lord on the dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all,
and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie.”
--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Although the U.S. Supreme Court might be helpful in blocking this tyranny, it is already obvious the Biden Administration intends to ignore them or put them off until it is too late to save the country.
It is going to be up to the freedom loving States to save our country from tyranny. The Alabama State Motto is most compelling and relevant to our task and duty:
“We Dare Defend Our Rights.”
But for now, the center focus of States’ Rights for American survival is on Texas. Other freedom loving states must follow. If the Biden Administration does not immediately resume enforcing immigration laws, enforcing the borders, and setting up defensive walls and barriers, the Governor of Texas, supported by his cabinet and the Texas Legislature, must not delay in taking over the job and vigorously pursuing the task and defending the state’s right to do so. Further delay or legal negotiations will mean failure that overwhelms Texas and ultimately destroys the nation.
But do not dream that State Governors, Attorney Generals, and State Legislatures will be effective unless the people demand immediate affirmation of their States’ Rights demonstrated by strong and effective action to end the immigration and border crises. It is the duty of the people to communicate their concerns boldly and continuously.
“The day to resist the dark tyranny hanging over us has arrived.”
“For Liberty, cherished Liberty.”
“March on! March on!”
--borrowed inspirational lines from La Marseillaise, 1792.