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Mathew S. Mckenzie

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Mar 15, 1994, 7:19:01 PM3/15/94
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What a great group! I have a question I think is relevant that I have been
wondering for a long time.

When Texas was admitted to the union, my grandmother insists, certain
concessions were made to the then independent Republic in return for
sovereignty. These included the right to fly the Texas flag on the same
level as the Stars and Stripes, the right to divide into five states
whenever it decided it wanted to (a concession pushed by American slave
state representatives) and the right to secede whenever it wanted to. I
have confirmed that the first two were awarded, but have never found
anything one way or the other on the last point. Of course, at the time,
the issue of the legality of secession was not at all settled, so the issue
may have been intentionally avoided.
If secession really was explicitly allowed the Republic of Texas, then it
was the only state to (clearly) legally secede before the Civil War. Did
it lose that right afterwards? If I remember properly, the Confederate
states were allowed to return to the United States; they were not treated
as conquered territory. Did Texas waive their right to secession at that
point?

My grandmother still says that Texas retains the right to secede to this
day. I find this hard to believe, but I am stunning factless on the
subject. And did it give up its other special priviledges on re-entry to
the Union?

Thanks for any help!

--Brian


ne...@cc.rochester.edu

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Mar 16, 1994, 3:26:08 PM3/16/94
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I remember hearing something to that effect in my TX history class. Then
again, that was 6 years ago.
I do know that Texas still has the right to divide itself into 4 separate
states, and fly the flag at the same height as the US flag. I think the
secession part was ruled unconstitutional by the TX and US governments. I'm
not sure, I could be completely wrong


>

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Mar 16, 1994, 3:26:30 PM3/16/94
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>In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu> you wrote:
>
>: When Texas was admitted to the union, my grandmother insists, certain

>: concessions were made to the then independent Republic in return for
>: sovereignty. These included the right to fly the Texas flag on the same
>: level as the Stars and Stripes,

I believe that such things are a matter of custom, not law. If Texas wanted
to break custom and do such a thing, they're free to do so anyway. Do they
fly it that way in Texas?

the right to divide into five states
>: whenever it decided it wanted to (a concession pushed by American slave
>: state representatives)

U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Sec. 3: "New states may be admitted by the
Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected
within the jurisdiction of any other state . . . without the Consent of the
Legislatures of the States concerned as well as that of the Congress."

All states are admitted subject to all provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
The only way to make an exception for Texas would be to make an amendment
to the Constitution. So the answer is no, this isn't true. It's conceivable
that Congress could try to give such permission in advance, but I think
that such a vague, advance "Consent" would not satisfy the spirit of this
section.

>: and the right to secede whenever it wanted to.

At the time, that was an unsettled Constitutional issue. However, the
Civil War settled it, and after the war I believe a Supreme Court decision
upheld the answer that Lincoln arrived at: no state can secede on its own
authority.

Someone also mentioned Texas being allowed its own navy. Congress could
allow this under Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution, but I don't
know if they have.


Ken kbul...@acpub.duke.edu

Catherine Hampton

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Mar 17, 1994, 2:24:05 AM3/17/94
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gar...@nyx10.cs.du.eduTueMar1523:57:591994 wrote:
: In soc.history.moderated you write:
: >My grandmother still says that Texas retains the right to secede to this

: >day. I find this hard to believe, but I am stunning factless on the
: >subject. And did it give up its other special priviledges on re-entry to
: >the Union?

: I have heard the same thing from multiple sources, but it was
: purely anecdotal evidence at the time. If you receive any information
: via e-mail, would you be so kind as to forward it to me?

This right is in writing somewhere in either the Texas constitution or some
legal document associated with Texas becoming a state. I grew up in Texas,
and remember reading this in my history class in junior high. I think I
have a copy of the Texas constitution somewhere adn will try to find the
reference.

Catherine Hampton
=========================================================
Compuserve: 71601,3130 Internet: ar...@netcom.com
---------------------------------------------------------
Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders
than by the arguments of its opponents.
=========================================================


Dave Nelson

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Mar 17, 1994, 2:25:35 AM3/17/94
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In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu>, mcke...@phoenix.cs.uga.edu (Mathew S. Mckenzie) writes:

|> If I remember properly, the Confederate
|> states were allowed to return to the United States; they were not treated
|> as conquered territory. Did Texas waive their right to secession at that
|> point?

A minor nit to pick: The confederate states did not "return" to the
United States - they never left it. They were in a state of rebellion -
a distinction that becomes particularly important WRT foreign
relations as well as the domestic policy issues of taxes, raising
armies, and sustaining political support for the cause.

I don't know if Texas was different. Be interesting to find out tho.

Dave Nelson
___________________________________________________________
Hewlett Packard email: da...@dtc.hp.com
ICBD fax: (415) 852-8312
1501 Page Mill Rd. phone: (415) 857-2902
Palo Alto CA. 94304
___________________________________________________________

System Janitor

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Mar 17, 1994, 11:19:18 AM3/17/94
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da...@dtc.hp.com (Dave Nelson ) writes:
>In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu>, mcke...@phoenix.cs.uga.edu (Mathew S. Mckenzie) writes:
>|> If I remember properly, the Confederate
>|> states were allowed to return to the United States; they were not treated
>|> as conquered territory. Did Texas waive their right to secession at that
>|> point?
>A minor nit to pick: The confederate states did not "return" to the
>United States - they never left it.

The Confederacy was made up of states that most certainly did leave the
Union. And they were not allowed to return, but rather dragged back, kicking
and screaming through 10 hard years of ``reconstruction''. Virgina was
Military District 1. Columbia, SC, was occupied by Federal Soldiers. The
United States, as envisioned by the framers, split off from the Union
in 1860, and was destroyed in 1865.

-Mike

Chr_st_n_ _uror_

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Mar 17, 1994, 1:09:19 PM3/17/94
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In article <2m7q1m$i...@athena.cs.uga.edu>,

kbul...@acpub.duke.edu <Ken> wrote:
>>In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu> you wrote:
>>
....

>
>the right to divide into five states
>>: whenever it decided it wanted to (a concession pushed by American slave
>>: state representatives)
>
>U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Sec. 3: "New states may be admitted by the
>Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected
>within the jurisdiction of any other state . . . without the Consent of the
>Legislatures of the States concerned as well as that of the Congress."
>
>All states are admitted subject to all provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
>The only way to make an exception for Texas would be to make an amendment
>to the Constitution. So the answer is no, this isn't true. It's conceivable
>that Congress could try to give such permission in advance, but I think
>that such a vague, advance "Consent" would not satisfy the spirit of this
>section.
>
....

Of course, if you look at the territory claimed by the Republic of
Texas, and the boundaries of the state as admitted to the union, Texas
*was* divided among five territorial units at the conclusion of
the Mexican-American War--into the State of Texas, and pieces of the
New Mexico, Utah, Indian (Oklahoma), and Unorganized Territories
(organized after the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854). Perhaps this
division of the Republic of Texas into five discrete sections satisfied
that clause in the terms of admission to statehood.

-CA

--
*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*
As no one who has ever known me will ever admit it to anyone, it consequently
seems safe to say that the above verbiage does not represent the views of any
of my employers, associates, acquaintances, or blood-sworn enemies. *#*#*#*#*

Mark Anthony Young

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Mar 17, 1994, 1:23:38 PM3/17/94
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Mathew S. Mckenzie:

> When Texas was admitted to the union, my grandmother insists, certain
> concessions were made to the then independent Republic in return for
> sovereignty. These included the right to fly the Texas flag on the same
> level as the Stars and Stripes, the right to divide into five states
> whenever it decided it wanted to (a concession pushed by American slave
> state representatives) and the right to secede whenever it wanted to.[...]

Most of the responses to this have been pretty vague, and even the ones
that weren't vague only addressed themselves to articles of the Constitution
or acts of Congress.

My question is: isn't there a _Texas Act_ or _Terms of Union Treaty (Texas)_
that would answer questions like this?

Or are U.S. scholars reduced to searching old diaries:

Sam Houston, Washington, June 24 1845: "(Writing June 25.) Came in v.
late last night. Out drinking with John [Tyler, 10th Pres. U.S.] and the
boys. Drank far too much, home and collapsed. Vague memories of losing
big at poker, J. saying he'd be by later today to collect. On up side,
Santa Anna's hangover remedy quite effective."

...mark young


Charles Ten Brink

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Mar 17, 1994, 5:47:15 PM3/17/94
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In article <2ma77a$p...@news.u.washington.edu> ma...@engin.umich.edu (Mark Anthony Young) writes:
>Most of the responses to this have been pretty vague, and even the ones
>that weren't vague only addressed themselves to articles of the Constitution
>or acts of Congress.
>
>My question is: isn't there a _Texas Act_ or _Terms of Union Treaty (Texas)_
>that would answer questions like this?
>
For the sense of humor you so ably illustrated in this post, you should
be rewarded with citations to actual documents. Texas was admitted to
the Union by a joint resolution of Congress dated March 1, 1845. The
text can be found in volume 5 of the United States Statutes at Large,
at page 797 (that's 5 Stat. 797). This document is the basis for the
conclusion that Congress has already given its permission for Texas
to split into five states. That may, of course, be subject to
interpretation.

This invitation to dance was accepted by a joint resolution of the
Congress of the Republic of Texas, dated June 23, 1845. This
document does not exact any further conditions on the admission of
Texas to the Union, but merely accepts the terms of the Congressional
resolution. I found the text of this resolution in Sayles, <The
Constitutions of the State of Texas> 4th ed. 1893.

>Or are U.S. scholars reduced to searching old diaries:
>
> Sam Houston, Washington, June 24 1845: "(Writing June 25.) Came in v.
> late last night. Out drinking with John [Tyler, 10th Pres. U.S.] and the
> boys. Drank far too much, home and collapsed. Vague memories of losing
> big at poker, J. saying he'd be by later today to collect. On up side,
> Santa Anna's hangover remedy quite effective."
>

Thanks, I needed that.
Your servant,
Chuck Ten Brink
--
D'Angelo Law Library | In darkness dwells the people
University of Chicago | that knows its annals not.
cj...@midway.uchicago.edu |


John Grimes

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Mar 18, 1994, 2:02:48 AM3/18/94
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kbul...@acpub.duke.edu <Ken> writes:

>>the right to divide into five states

>All states are admitted subject to all provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

>The only way to make an exception for Texas would be to make an amendment
>to the Constitution. So the answer is no, this isn't true. It's conceivable
>that Congress could try to give such permission in advance, but I think
>that such a vague, advance "Consent" would not satisfy the spirit of this
>section.

Actually, I believe the controlling provisions would be those underwhich
Texas was admitted to the Union. I believe that you will find that Texas
does posess such a right. Whether it could be enforced may be
questionable, but there was a semi-serious movement in Texas several
years ago to divide.

>>: and the right to secede whenever it wanted to.

>At the time, that was an unsettled Constitutional issue. However, the
>Civil War settled it, and after the war I believe a Supreme Court decision
>upheld the answer that Lincoln arrived at: no state can secede on its own
>authority.

Again, I believe that you presume that the right of secession was not
directly addressed in the admittance of Texas to the United States.
While it may be of questionable legalilty, it still exists.

>Someone also mentioned Texas being allowed its own navy. Congress could
>allow this under Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution, but I don't
>know if they have.

Texas does posses the right to form it own navy. In fact, the state
issues appointments to Admirals in the Texas Navy that have actual force
of law.

--
John Grimes Grimes Consulting Group
Forensic Toxicology Dallas, Texas
jgr...@netcom.com 214-230-2455


John Grimes

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Mar 18, 1994, 11:18:18 AM3/18/94
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da...@dtc.hp.com (Dave Nelson ) writes:
>A minor nit to pick: The confederate states did not "return" to the
>United States - they never left it. They were in a state of rebellion -
>a distinction that becomes particularly important WRT foreign
>relations as well as the domestic policy issues of taxes, raising
>armies, and sustaining political support for the cause.

>I don't know if Texas was different. Be interesting to find out tho.

Texas was different in that it was an independent nation when admitted to
the United States and thus has a different legal position than territories.

John

Steve Wildstrom

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Mar 18, 1994, 11:18:24 AM3/18/94
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mcke...@phoenix.cs.uga.edu (Mathew S. Mckenzie) writes:

If there was one issue settled by the Civil War, it was that the compact
entered into by ratification of the Constitution (for the original 13
states) or by the petition to Congress for statehood for the others was
irrevocable. Whatever the terms of Texas' original admission to the
Union, if any, were superceded by Reconstruction.


--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Wildstrom Business Week Washington Bureau wi...@access.digex.net
"These opinions aren't necessarily mine or anyone else's."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Kenneth Bullock

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Mar 18, 1994, 5:04:25 PM3/18/94
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In article <2mck9g$l...@gazette.bcm.tmc.edu>,

John Grimes <jgr...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>Actually, I believe the controlling provisions would be those under which
>Texas was admitted to the Union. I believe that you will find that Texas
>does posess such a right.

Nope. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. See Article VI
and Marbury v. Madison. Even if the Congressional act admitting Texas
included these conditions, the Constitution would supercede them.

No one has yet answered my question from my first post: in Texas, _do_ they
fly the state flag at the same height as the Stars and Stripes?


Ken kbul...@acpub.duke.edu

Bruce Toor

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Mar 18, 1994, 7:56:03 PM3/18/94
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As I recall from my reading, the Confederate states were indeed treated
as conquered territory. At first, the Reconstruction Congress
established Military Districts in the south in lieu of states.
Seems to me that this lasted for a few years. Someone with a book could
answer all of this in short order.

Bruce Toor
bat...@netcom.com

Dave Nelson

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Mar 18, 1994, 8:26:33 PM3/18/94
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Beg to differ Mike. To the best of my knowledge no government in the
world recognized the confederacy as a separate and distinct nation-state.
Most certainly the U.S. Federal Government went to great pains to
always refer to the confederacy as U.S. States in a condition of
rebellion.

The distinction is very significant - the real essence of sovereignty
was missing in the eyes of all other sovereign states. And without
that kind of recognition you don't have an independant nation-state.

As Lincoln himself said: Calling a dog's tail a leg doesn't make
it one - the confederacy was simply 11 states in rebellion.

Kerry Hotopp

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Mar 19, 1994, 1:40:36 AM3/19/94
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In <lhbCMs...@netcom.com> da...@dtc.hp.com (Dave Nelson ) writes:
>In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu>, mcke...@phoenix.cs.uga.edu (Mathew S. Mckenzie) writes:

>|> If I remember properly, the Confederate
>|> states were allowed to return to the United States; they were not treated
>|> as conquered territory. Did Texas waive their right to secession at that
>|> point?

>A minor nit to pick: The confederate states did not "return" to the
>United States - they never left it. They were in a state of rebellion -
>a distinction that becomes particularly important WRT foreign
>relations as well as the domestic policy issues of taxes, raising
>armies, and sustaining political support for the cause.

>I don't know if Texas was different. Be interesting to find out tho.

On April 2, 1866, President Johnson "proclaimed the insurrection ended
in all the former Confederate States except Texas. This was
his recognition of the legitimacy of the governments formed
under his Reconstruction proclamation."
Late in August, he proclaimed that the insurrection was over in Texas after
Texas had decided to comply with the Reconstruction proclamation.


Kerry
--
I know I am not the only one who wishes for more and more planets to come
under the ruthless domination of our solar system.

PAUL L. COWAN, ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY

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Mar 21, 1994, 1:02:53 PM3/21/94
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[Moderator note: please remember to keep things civil. Paul's response
is close to the line. sg]

hub...@hubcap.clemson.edu (System Janitor) writes:
[deletions]


> The
> United States, as envisioned by the framers, split off from the Union
> in 1860, and was destroyed in 1865.
>
> -Mike

Yes, as Mike implies the United States created by the Founding Fathers
was seriously flawed in that it sanctioned the deplorable institution
of chattle slavery. This old, guilt-riden US was effectively destroyed
in 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment, and the nation
was given a "new birth of freedom". The demise of the original
slavery-tolerent government is morned by few in this world.

--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Cowan co...@anl.gov CO...@ANLPHY.BITNET or co...@ssrl01.slac.stanford.edu
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
A. Lincoln
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


PAUL L. COWAN, ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY

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Mar 21, 1994, 1:04:13 PM3/21/94
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jgr...@netcom.com (John Grimes) writes:
> kbul...@acpub.duke.edu <Ken> writes:
[Somebody else wrote: Texas has]
>>>: the right to secede whenever it wanted to.
>
>>At the time, that was an unsettled Constitutional issue. However, the
>>Civil War settled it, and after the war I believe a Supreme Court decision
>>upheld the answer that Lincoln arrived at: no state can secede on its own
>>authority.
>
> Again, I believe that you presume that the right of secession was not
> directly addressed in the admittance of Texas to the United States.
> While it may be of questionable legalilty, it still exists.

I would say that presumption, vis-a-vis the recognition by the US
Congress of the right of secession, is pretty sound. It may be that
Texas passed some resolutions or acts asserting the right to secede,
but if they were not agreed to by Congress I doubt their legal
relavance. In its act ratifying thre US Constitution, Virginia stated
that its ratification was conditional upon the reservation of the
right to secede, but since the Constitution had all ready been put
into force by its ratification by 9 other states, I do not believe
that any conditions desired by Virginia had any validity.

If I am wrong, and Congress explicily recognised the right of Texas
to secede, I would like to see the document quoted chapter and verse.

Kenneth Bullock

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Mar 22, 1994, 12:44:57 PM3/22/94
to
To perhaps settle this issue, or at least to get us to talk about facts and
not speculation, here are the relevant portions of Act of Congress, March 1,
1845, 5 Stat. 797 (thanks to the person who provided the cite):

* * *
And be it further resolved, that the foregoing consent of Congress [to
the admission of Texas as a new State] is given upon the following conditions,
and with the following guarantees, to wit:

First, [subject to settlement of boundary disputes with "other governments" and
that the state's constitution be approved by the people of the Republic of
Texas and transmitted to the President].

Second, [Texas shall cede all military and naval facilities and other public
edifices pertaining to public defense, but Texas shall retain all unclaimed
land and outstanding debts to settle its liabilities. The U.S. shall not
assume any outstanding debts of the Republic of Texas.]

Third. New States, of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in
addition to said State of Texas, and having sufficient population, may
hereafter by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory
thereof, WHICH SHALL BE ENTITLED TO ADMISSION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE
FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. [emphasis mine] And such States as may be formed
out of that portion of said territory lying south of thirty-six degrees
thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri Compromise
line, shall be admitted into the Union with or without slavery, as the people
of each State asking admission may desire. And in such State or States
as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri compromise
line, slavery, or involuntary servitude, (except for crime,) shall be
prohibited.

[remainder deleted--nothing about allowing Texas to maintain a Navy or
fly its flag in any special manner].

* * *

This is not a guarantee that any states formed out of the territory of
Texas will be admitted into the Union. Note the phrases "under the provisions
of the federal constitution" and "as the people asking admission may desire."

The purpose of this condition seems to be to regulate the political
consequences of a division of Texas as they might affect the balance of slave
and free states in
the union. Since that controversy is long over, I'd say that this
provision has no relevance today whatsoever. Texas, like any other state,
can decide to split itself into multiple states, but such an action is
subject to Congressional approval under the Constitution.

If anyone has more info on the historical background behind this curious
provision, please speak up. I don't know much about it. Was there some
kind of severe, territorial divisiveness within Texas that made the prospect
of a division seem likely? Was there a controversy between slaveholders
and abolitionists within Texas?

Note also that this is an ordinary act of Congress, not a treaty. There is
no basis for Texas to claim any special status among states. In fact, the
final paragraph of the act explains that the new state ". . . shall be
admitted into the Union, by virtue of this act, on an equal footing with
the existing States . . . ."


Ken kbul...@acpub.duke.edu

Michael Kalen Smith

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Mar 22, 1994, 1:10:19 PM3/22/94
to
In article <2m7q1m$i...@athena.cs.uga.edu>,
kbul...@acpub.duke.edu <Ken> wrote:
>>In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu> you wrote:
>>
>>: When Texas was admitted to the union, my grandmother insists, certain

>>: concessions were made to the then independent Republic in return for
>>: sovereignty. These included the right to fly the Texas flag on the same
>>: level as the Stars and Stripes,
>
>I believe that such things are a matter of custom, not law. If Texas wanted
>to break custom and do such a thing, they're free to do so anyway. Do they
>fly it that way in Texas?

According to standard flag ettiquette, you can ALWAYS fly another flag at the
same height as the U.S. flag ... as long as the U.S. flag has place of honor,
to the 'right' of all the others (the "flag's own right," if that makes sense
to you). Looking out the window of my office, I see three flagpoles, all the
same height, in front of the Dallas City Hall: U.S. flag, Texas flag, Dallas
city flag, right-to-left. It's very common....

>the right to divide into five states
>>: whenever it decided it wanted to (a concession pushed by American slave
>>: state representatives)
>

>U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Sec. 3: "New states may be admitted by the
>Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected
>within the jurisdiction of any other state . . . without the Consent of the
>Legislatures of the States concerned as well as that of the Congress."
>

>All states are admitted subject to all provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
>The only way to make an exception for Texas would be to make an amendment
>to the Constitution. So the answer is no, this isn't true. It's conceivable
>that Congress could try to give such permission in advance, but I think
>that such a vague, advance "Consent" would not satisfy the spirit of this
>section.

I'm afraid I don't see anything in that article/section that would disallow
the provision in the joint resolution by which Texas joined the Union. One
could argue that if Congress passed the item of division into five states as
part of the resolution knowing in advance that such a provision was
unconstitutional, then the contract was void because of fraud....

>Someone also mentioned Texas being allowed its own navy. Congress could

>allow this under Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution, but I don't
>know if they have.

The *Republic* of Texas did, in fact, have its own navy for a number of
years (read Jim Dan Hill's _Texas Navy_, 1937, and also _Texas Navy_ by
the U.S. Naval History Division, 1968), but the *state* has never had one.
The Governor creates visiting VIPs "Admirals of the Texas Navy" on occasion,
the same way the Kentucky Gov. creates "Colonels," but that's a meaningless
piece of paper.

Michael K. Smith mks...@metronet.com
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It doesn't TAKE all kinds, we just HAVE all kinds

Michael Kalen Smith

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Mar 22, 1994, 1:10:28 PM3/22/94
to
In article <lhbCMs...@netcom.com>, Dave Nelson <da...@dtc.hp.com> wrote:
>
>In article <2m5j9l$s...@athena.cs.uga.edu>, mcke...@phoenix.cs.uga.edu (Mathew S. Mckenzie) writes:
>
>|> If I remember properly, the Confederate
>|> states were allowed to return to the United States; they were not treated
>|> as conquered territory. Did Texas waive their right to secession at that
>|> point?
>
>A minor nit to pick: The confederate states did not "return" to the
>United States - they never left it. They were in a state of rebellion -
>a distinction that becomes particularly important WRT foreign
>relations as well as the domestic policy issues of taxes, raising
>armies, and sustaining political support for the cause.

If the seceded/defeated Southern states never left the Union, then how could
Congress legally decide they were not entitled to representation in Congress
until they had ratified the three key Amendments? I have to argue that they
did actually secede, as evidenced by Great Britain doing business with the CSA
as if it were a sovereign nation (though the Brits were coppering their bets
by denying diplomatic recognition until they were sure which side was
going to win).

It's just another case of "History is written by the winners."

Michael Kalen Smith

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Mar 22, 1994, 1:10:36 PM3/22/94
to
In article <2mck8g$l...@news.u.washington.edu>,

Steve Wildstrom <wi...@access.digex.net> wrote:
>>If secession really was explicitly allowed the Republic of Texas, then it
>>was the only state to (clearly) legally secede before the Civil War. Did
>>it lose that right afterwards? If I remember properly, the Confederate

>>states were allowed to return to the United States; they were not treated
>>as conquered territory. Did Texas waive their right to secession at that
>>point?
>
>>My grandmother still says that Texas retains the right to secede to this
>>day. I find this hard to believe, but I am stunning factless on the
>>subject. And did it give up its other special priviledges on re-entry to
>>the Union?

This subject was rather beaten to death in [that other history group...]. No
state that has ever entered the Union, by whatever means, has ever been given
the explicit right to secede. In 1860-61, the Southern states argued
(correctly, in my own never-humble opinion) that since they had ENTERED the
Union freely, they could DEPART just as freely; it was a contract that had
been broken and was therefore void....

>If there was one issue settled by the Civil War, it was that the compact
>entered into by ratification of the Constitution (for the original 13
>states) or by the petition to Congress for statehood for the others was
>irrevocable. Whatever the terms of Texas' original admission to the
>Union, if any, were superceded by Reconstruction.

What was settled by the War Between the States was that *that* particular
attempt to dis-unite the U.S. was certainly unsuccessful. But there's no
irrevocability or supercession about it. If NYC or Calif (or Texas, in my
case) were to declare secession tomorrow *AND MAKE IT STICK* then it would
be entirely "legal."

Secession is not inherently unconstitutional or illegal in this country,
or in any other. Remember that Biafra tried to secede from Nigeria and failed.
Bosnia, Croatia, etc., have seceded from Yugoslavia and the U.S. seems to be
supporting that one. What is now Panama seceded from Colombia -- and the U.S.
actively assisted because the new nation of Panama was willing to let us dig
the canal.

As far as Texas's original terms of entry to the Union being voided by
Reconstruction: Show me where it says anything like that in any of the
Reconstruction Acts. Since Lincoln maintained that the Union could NOT be
split (on what grounds, I've never figured out...) and that the departing
states were therefore still in the Union though in a state of rebellion, then
Texas is still a state under the original agreement, right? If Texas decided
to divide into five separate states (it'll never happen!), the U.S. Congress
and the Supreme Court might object, but that's a different matter.

Congressional Reconstruction was the occupation of conquered territory by the
victors in the War. That wasn't what Lincoln had proposed at all. Congress
changed the official interpretation and decided, in effect, that the Southern
States actually *had* left the Union and had to meet certain criteria before
they could be readmitted (though they were never asked if they *wanted* to be
readmitted). And if that's the case, then the Confederacy was a foreign
country that was overcome and occupied by military force, just as was the
northern provinces of Mexico nearly 20 years earlier and as were Cuba and the
Philippines in 1898-99.

>Steve Wildstrom Business Week Washington Bureau wi...@access.digex.net
> "These opinions aren't necessarily mine or anyone else's."

Don Hayward

unread,
Mar 22, 1994, 2:05:42 PM3/22/94
to
In article <mccombtmC...@netcom.com>,

Kenneth Bullock <kbul...@acpub.duke.edu> wrote:
>
>In article <2mck9g$l...@gazette.bcm.tmc.edu>,
>John Grimes <jgr...@netcom.com> wrote:
>>
>>Actually, I believe the controlling provisions would be those under which
>>Texas was admitted to the Union. I believe that you will find that Texas
>>does posess such a right.
>
>Nope. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. See Article VI
>and Marbury v. Madison. Even if the Congressional act admitting Texas
>included these conditions, the Constitution would supercede them.

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the
land, but I don't think it mentions secession anywhere. Th original Texas
Constitution mentioned secession, but there have been many newer versions
of it since that I believe do not.

>
>No one has yet answered my question from my first post: in Texas, _do_ they
>fly the state flag at the same height as the Stars and Stripes?

I have seen them flown side by side right here in Austin. I know on the UT
campus there are two flagpoles of equal hight and the State flag is flown
on one, and the U.S. flag is flown on the other. I also think I remember
this identical arrangement at the capitol.

--
Don Hayward * "...for there is nothing either good or bad
dhay...@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu * but thinking makes it so." Hamlet II.ii.253-4

Justin M. Sanders

unread,
Mar 22, 1994, 10:05:56 PM3/22/94
to
In article <2mncak$q...@news.u.washington.edu> Michael Kalen Smith
<mks...@metronet.com> writes:
>If the seceded/defeated Southern states never left the Union, then how could
>Congress legally decide they were not entitled to representation in Congress
>until they had ratified the three key Amendments?

>From the alt.war.civil.usa FAQ:

Q3.2: If the rebel states were never considered legally out of the
Union, how was Reconstruction justified?
Although the states remained part of the U.S., they had no
loyal governments, and the authority for the federal government
to provide mechanisms to erect loyal state governments was derived
from Article IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution. That section provides
that the United States shall guarantee to each state a republican
form of government.
Another provision of the Constitution which is important was
Article I, Sec. 5 which provides that each House of Congress shall
be the judge of the qualifications of its members. This allowed
the Congress to refuse to seat delegations from former rebel states
until the states had met the conditions of the Reconstruction Acts.
The authoritative constitutional justification for reconstruction
can be found in the Supreme Court's decision in Texas v. White
(74 U.S. 227-243) delivered 12 Apr 1869.

The Supreme Court's decision in _Texas v. White_ also plainly states that
Texas had no right to secede-- the Constitution contemplates "an indestructable
Union of indestructable states."
--
Justin M. Sanders "Nothing is more unfamiliar or
Research Associate uncongenial to the human mind than
Physics Division, ORNL thinking correctly about probabilities."
jsan...@orph01.phy.ornl.gov --S.J. Gould, "Eight Little Piggies"

PAUL L. COWAN, ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY

unread,
Mar 22, 1994, 10:20:56 PM3/22/94
to
Michael Kalen Smith <mks...@metronet.com> writes:
> Steve Wildstrom <wi...@access.digex.net> wrote:
[deletions]

>>If there was one issue settled by the Civil War, it was that the compact
>>entered into by ratification of the Constitution (for the original 13
>>states) or by the petition to Congress for statehood for the others was
>>irrevocable. Whatever the terms of Texas' original admission to the
>>Union, if any, were superceded by Reconstruction.
>
> What was settled by the War Between the States was that *that* particular
> attempt to dis-unite the U.S. was certainly unsuccessful. But there's no
> irrevocability or supercession about it. If NYC or Calif (or Texas, in my
> case) were to declare secession tomorrow *AND MAKE IT STICK* then it would
> be entirely "legal."
>
> Secession is not inherently unconstitutional or illegal in this country,
> or in any other.
[deletions]

> As far as Texas's original terms of entry to the Union being voided by
> Reconstruction: Show me where it says anything like that in any of the
> Reconstruction Acts. Since Lincoln maintained that the Union could NOT be
> split (on what grounds, I've never figured out...) and that the departing
> states were therefore still in the Union though in a state of rebellion, then
> Texas is still a state under the original agreement, right?
[deletions]

I believe the legality of secession was addressed in at least one
Supreme Court decission after the war. I believe the logic used (in
finding it illegal) was also used previously by Lincoln (and may date
from someone earlier). The arguement goes that the seminal document
of the United States, namely the Articles of Confederation, created
"a perpetual Union" (the phrase appears no less than 5 times). While
the AoC were effectively superceded by the U.S. Constitution, the
latter document said (in reference to the former) that its purpose
was "to form a more perfect Union". The Supreme Court reasoned that a
Union which was "more perfect" than one which was already "perpetual"
must logically also be perpetual. Secession is clearly incompatible
with a perpetual Union, therefore it was (and still is) unconstitutional.
QED

Al Sparks

unread,
Mar 24, 1994, 1:34:12 PM3/24/94
to
In article <2mnuil$7...@gazette.bcm.tmc.edu> dhay...@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Don Hayward) writes:

> >
> >No one has yet answered my question from my first post: in Texas, _do_ they
> >fly the state flag at the same height as the Stars and Stripes?
>
> I have seen them flown side by side right here in Austin. I know on the UT
> campus there are two flagpoles of equal hight and the State flag is flown
> on one, and the U.S. flag is flown on the other. I also think I remember
> this identical arrangement at the capitol.

That's allowed by the flag code. All states can fly the flag at the
same height as their state flag. It's a superflous question.
=== Al

Justin M. Sanders

unread,
Mar 25, 1994, 4:12:19 PM3/25/94
to
In article <mccombtmC...@netcom.com> jc...@herbie.unl.edu
(JAMES COOK) writes:
>: The Supreme Court's decision in _Texas v. White_ also plainly states that

>: Texas had no right to secede-- the Constitution contemplates "an indestructable
>: Union of indestructable states."
>: --
>
> But is this a valid interpretation of a Constitution that was clearly
>inspired by Locke's "Second Treaty on Government".

It is authoritative in the sense that the Supreme Court's interpretation is
on the one that is binding in the United States.

> Jefferson himself
>even said, "A little revolution every now and then is a good thing."
>An idea echoed by John Adams, George Washington and Ben Franklin. If
>their concept of government was spawned by Locke's ideas, how can our
>Constitution possibly be interpreted as forbidding the right to revolt
>and secede if the state (i.e. the people) disagree with the
>government?

Secession was not understood to be the same thing as revolution-- everyone
has the right of revolution (i.e. to fight to change the government--- but
you have to fight to see if you can achieve your goal). Secession was the
theory that a state had the right to *peacefully* leave the Union. And
Locke says nothing about that. This distinction between the "right of
secession" and the "right of revolution" was plainly recognized by
Tennessee in 1861-- it explicitly rejected any claim to a right to secede,
and instead declared itself to be independent of the U.S. by right of
revolution.

Ron

unread,
Mar 25, 1994, 4:27:49 PM3/25/94
to
co...@anl.gov (Paul Cowan) writes:
>"a perpetual Union" (the phrase appears no less than 5 times). While
>the AoC were effectively superceded by the U.S. Constitution, the
>latter document said (in reference to the former) that its purpose
>was "to form a more perfect Union". The Supreme Court reasoned that a
>Union which was "more perfect" than one which was already "perpetual"
>must logically also be perpetual. Secession is clearly incompatible
>with a perpetual Union, therefore it was (and still is) unconstitutional.
>QED

intriguing. by this conceptualization, then, could rebellion, ie
overthrow of the previous government, be considered constitutional? if
you are seeking to create a "more perfect Union" that is "perpetual"...

--
(ron) rm9...@meibm10.cen.uiuc.edu


Hatton Greer

unread,
Mar 30, 1994, 3:57:52 PM3/30/94
to

>> I have to argue that they
>>did actually secede, as evidenced by Great Britain doing business with the CSA
>>as if it were a sovereign nation (though the Brits were coppering their bets
>>by denying diplomatic recognition until they were sure which side was
>>going to win).
>>

> They certainly *attempted* to secede, but you must stretch the definition
> of the word to say that they actually seceded.

Well, the U.S.A. never acknowledged that they seceded, but it did declare that
it would BLOCKADE their ports. You can only blockade the ports of a foreign
government; what Lincoln should have done was to declare the ports closed to
trade like Britain did to Boston before and I believe during the Revolutionary
War.


--
Hatton Greer
fs...@aurora.alaska.edu
Thunderbird Freedom Society

Charles Ten Brink

unread,
Mar 31, 1994, 6:09:07 PM3/31/94
to
In article <Mar.31.09.21...@clam.rutgers.edu> fs...@aurora.alaska.edu (Hatton Greer) writes:
[Chuck Ten Brink wrote:]

>> They certainly *attempted* to secede, but you must stretch the definition
>> of the word to say that they actually seceded.
>
>
>Well, the U.S.A. never acknowledged that they seceded, but it did declare that
>it would BLOCKADE their ports. You can only blockade the ports of a foreign
>government; what Lincoln should have done was to declare the ports closed to
>trade like Britain did to Boston before and I believe during the Revolutionary
>War.
>
You are correct about the course Lincoln should have followed, but not
that it is only possible to blockade the ports of a foreign government.
A blockade only implies that you recognize that these ports are held
by a belligerent, a status that Great Britain was quick to recognize.
This did not convey diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy as
a nation.
--Chuck Ten Brink
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