The Argument against Secession and its Justification

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When Abraham Lincoln spoke at his inauguration on March 1861, the nation’s mood was grim. It was a frigid day and the sky was grey. Even worse, nobody knew how the newly-elected President, a novice lawyer, would handle the nation’s biggest problem since its inception: Southern secession. The U.S., and its grandeur and resplendence were at stake and were now reduced to nothing more than the preposterous “Disunited States of America.” Americans were in a state of perplexity, and one question remained etched in the minds of Americans: “Did the South have a legal right to secede from the Union?” No, the South did not have a legal right to secede from the Union, due to the longevity of the Union, the solidarity between the states, and the menacing implications secession entails. The South seceded unlawfully for many reasons. Firstly, the thirteen original colonies, Texas, and Mexico all gave up their indigenous, sovereign status to enter the Union, in hopes of receiving the guaranteed benefits that the U.S. Constitution offers: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All other states that appealed to Congress for statehood, have no right to even think about the idea of sovereignty, as they never held the status and wanted to be a part of the glorious Union. Secondly, the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, states that one of the goals for the new nation was “to form a more perfect Union.” The statement “more perfect Union” encapsulates the ceaselessness and perpetuity of the Union, and implies the inseparability of its states. Another piece of evidence, found manifestly in the U.S. Constitution, is Article 1, Section 10, which states “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation.” Since the Confederate... ... middle of paper ... ...deration, and finally, the U.S. Constitution. However, a more philosophical analysis can be drawn about the Civil War. In essence, the War challenged the idea of whether self-government and democracy prevail over pandemonium. And in the words of James Buchanan “Our example for more than eighty years would not only be lost, but it would be quoted a conclusive proof that man is unfit for self-government.” The sheer legacy of the United States of America was imperiled and the Union was on a macrocosmic stage, with spectators seeing if the avant-garde idea of a democratic would draw to a close or perpetuate through onerous times. The Civil War was a test, and the tenuous America indeed passed it, knowing that more hurdles have been bound to come. But, there has been hope that success has always been possible and the American Dream has maintained for generations to come.

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