is virtually a dissolution of the Union
; that it will free the States from their moral obligations, and, as it will be the right of all, so it will be the duty of some definitely to prepare for a separation amicably, if they can—violently, if they must.
A Southern delegate, mark you, called him to order.
The point of order was sustained by the Speaker
of the House
From this decision an appeal was taken, and the Speaker
Here was an open contention of the right of secession by a Massachusetts representative, and a decision by the House
that it was a lawful matter for discussion.
The Hartford Convention of 1814, consisting of delegates from the States of Massachusetts
, Rhode Island
, New Hampshire
, discussed the question, and although they did not decide to secede at that time, declared as follows: ‘If the Union
be destined to dissolution by reason of the multiplied abuses of bad administration, it should, if possible, be the work of peaceable times and deliberate consent.
Some new form of Confederacy should be substituted among the States which shall intend to maintain a Federal relation to each other.
Events may prove that the causes of our calamities are deep and permanent.
They may be found to proceed not merely from blindness of prejudice, pride or opinion, violence of party spirit, or the confusion of the times, but they may be traced to implacable combinations of individuals, or of States, to monopolize power and office and to trample without remorse upon the rights and interests of commercial sections of the Union
Whenever it shall appear that the causes are radical and permanent a separation, by equitable arrangement will be preferable to an alliance by constraint among nominal friends, but real enemies.’
The New England
States in 1844 threatened a dissolution of the Union
In that year the Legislature of Massachusetts adopted this resolution:
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
, faithful to the compact between the people of the United States
, according to the plain meaning and intent in which it was understood by them, is sincerely anxious for its preservation; but that it is determined, as it doubts not that the other States are, to submit to undelegated powers in no body of men on earth.”
It further declared that ‘ the project ’