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 If it was law and common sense in 1804, why was it not law and common sense in 1861? John Quincy Adams, in a speech made in 1839, said: ‘It would be far better for the disunited States to part in friendship from each other than to be held together by constraint.’ In the House of Representatives (1842) Mr. Adams presented a petition from Haverhill, Mass., praying that Congress will immediately adopt measures to peaceably dissolve the Union of these States: “First, because no union can be agreeable and permanent which does not present prospects of reciprocal benefit. Second, because a vast proportion of the revenue of one section of the Union is annually drained to sustain the views and course of another section without any adequate return.” The above states very well the position of the Southern States only nineteen years later. Massachusetts adopted the following resolutions in 1844: ‘That the project of the annexation of Texas, unless arrested on the threshold, may drive these States into a dissolution of the Union. That such an Act would have no binding force whatever on the people of Massachusetts.’ That is a strong assertion of the doctrine and the rights both of nullification and secession. Those doctrines became odious to the Northern and Eastern States only when used by the Southern States to protect their constitutional rights.
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