Home » History » Independence, yes; secession, no?

Independence, yes; secession, no?

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The above meme was apparently from Tumblr, but I found it here.

The point it makes is obvious, and it was on my mind the other day, in the midst of the annual Independence Day hoopla. This year I confess I wasn’t feeling very festive about celebrating our evanescent ‘freedoms’, and I was also feeling the irony of so many comments on various blogs, condemning the idea of secession as ‘treasonous’ or at best, wrongheaded.

The point has been made by many people that our forefathers’ decision to declare independence from the British crown was secession, regardless of whether it was labeled as such. Our forefathers were subjects of Great Britain and they chose unilaterally to remove themselves from that political body and to become an independent, sovereign people.

Somehow, though, by 1863, the powers-that-be in this new nation ‘of, by, and for the people’ discovered a new principle: that for a constituent state of the Union to depart peacefully was ‘treason’ and that it must be punished by armed invasion and open warfare on the people who were, the day before, fellow Americans and who were stil kinsmen.

And the dogmatic, rigid Unionists of today, most of them Northerners, still insist that the South committed treason and that they had to be brought back into subjection by armed force — and taught a harsh lesson under the Orwellian-named Reconstruction.

To add more irony to irony, many of the same ‘conservative’ Americans who cheered the Brexit result, and applauded our British cousins for choosing to leave, rejected talk of ‘Texit’ or any secession movements in this country.

And ‘we’ think only liberals are a bundle of contradictions.

 

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