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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The US Civil War Legalized Slavery

A lot of people know that the primary issue in the Civil war was slavery. Most people don't know is that the North's victory meant that slavery was fully legalized.

The US Constitution was a contract among several sovereign state governments. Does a state have the right to say "This Federal government arrangement isn't working for us. We don't want to participate anymore."?

If the US Constitution was a voluntary contract, then people should have the right to withdraw their support. After all, the original signers of the Constitution were long-dead in 1861. What right do they have to impose such a contract on their children?

The southern states walked out of Congress. Even though Congress no longer had a quorum, President Lincoln issued an executive order to get the Federal government going again. This was the first executive order! Technically, the US has been under marshal/martial law since 1861. (I've seen "marshal law" and "martial law" in different sources.)

There was no careful reasoned debate of this issue. It was settled the way most important political debates have been settled: with violence.

The North won the Civil War and slavery was fully legalized. I already wrote about how the 14th amendment actually legalized slavery. The issue was settled: a state does not have the right to withdraw its consent to the Federal government.

Do individuals have the right to withdraw their consent for the Federal government? This is the hope of the agorist. If you want to declare your independence, you should attempt to do useful and productive work without reporting it to the government for taxation and regulation.

1 comment:

David_Z said...

Nice post, as usual!

You mentioned seeing both "marshal" and "martial" law --- "martial" is the proper spelling.

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