What were South Carolina’s stated reasons for seceding from the United States in December, 1860?

What were South Carolina’s stated reasons for seceding

 

 

What were South Carolina’s stated reasons for seceding from the United States in December, 1860? Do you believe that the stated reasons were the complete explanation for South Carolina’s secession? Was South Carolina justified in seceding?

Explain your answer in a well-organized essay that demonstrates your understanding of the
documents and your knowledge of the time period.
–It doesn’t matter to me which side is taken in the essay.–

 

Excerpt 1

Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.

 

Excerpt 2

…an amendment was added [to the United States Constitution], which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.

 

Excerpt 3

…in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.

 

Excerpt 4

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions.

 

Excerpt 5

…a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

 

Excerpt 6

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina … solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved…

 

Document B

Source: Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address, February 8, 1861

 

“Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

 

Document C

Source: Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address, March 4 1861

 

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property, and their peace, and personal security, are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed, and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this, and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them.”

 

Source: Confederate States of America Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union; adopted December 24, 1860

 

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