previous next


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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Massachusetts (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Haverhill (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Quincy Adams (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (1)
1844 AD (1)
1842 AD (1)
1839 AD (1)
1804 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: