Sunday, April 17, 2011

Virginia Secedes

After Lincoln called upon the states remaining in the Union to raise 75,000 soldiers to attack the South, Virginia immediately began making preparations to secede, which they did on April 17th. In their ordinance of secession, they said this to defend their right to secede:
The people of Virginia in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slave-holding States...
What the Virginians were referring to is that when they voted to ratify the Constitution, they specifically reserved the right to leave the Union when they wished. At the time the delegates, “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 whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will.”

In its secession Virginia was simply exercising its inherent right to secede which it had expressly reserved to itself when it joined the Union.

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