Category Secession

Our Acting Attorney General is a Constitutional Moron

According to this article, Matthew Whitaker, the unconstitutionally named acting Attorney General, believes it is possible for a state to nullify a Federal law. “Whitaker, whom President Donald Trump announced as acting attorney general on Wednesday after he fired Jeff Sessions, made the comments during a failed 2014 run for the Republican Senate nomination in […]

The Divided South, Democracy’s Limitations, and the Causes of the Peculiarly North American Civil War

This is another essay from the book, Why the Civil War Came, edited by Professor Gabor Boritt. William W. Freehling wrote this essay. Like the previous essay, I felt this was important enough to have its own blog post. Professor Freehling makes a comparison between ending slavery in the United States with ending slavery in other […]

The Political System and the Coming of the Civil War

This essay, “The Crisis of American Democracy: The Political System and the Coming of the Civil War,” comes to us from Professor William E. Gienapp and is part of a book of essays edited by Professor Gabor Boritt called Why the Civil War Came. I felt this essay deserved its own separate post because it has […]

One Nation Indivisible

This book by Professor Paul Nagel is more of a discussion about the belief in the Union rather than a history of the Union itself. In its earliest years, “The Union was no more sure than the tactics the United States used to defend itself. Union was, in fact, a stratagem for the occasion, as […]

U.S. Constitution and Secession

Here’s historian Dwight Pitcaithley, the former chief historian of the National Park Service, on his new book, The U.S. Constitution and Secession. This is a pretty good presentation. The introduction, by the way, is by my friend and blogging colleague, Nick Sacco of the U.S. Grant National Historic Site. The video’s description reads, “Dwight Pitcaithley is […]

Southern Moderates and Secession: Senator Robert M. T. Hunter’s Call for Union

This is an article by William S. Hitchcock in The Journal of American History, Vol. LIX, No. 4, March, 1973, pp. 871-884. The article looks at the writings and beliefs of Senator Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter of Virginia, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, a man many historians refer to as a moderate in the […]

The Ultimatum of Virginia Unionists: ‘Security for Slavery or Disunion’

This is an article by Dean A. Arnold in the Journal of Negro History, Vol.XLVIII, No. 2, April, 1963, pp. 115-129. I’ve previously quoted from this article here. Arnold tells us, “In reality, the Virginia Unionists, as well as other Southern conservatives, were definitely ‘conditional Unionists’ who felt strongly that Negro slavery was more important than […]