Confederate States Secede from the Union (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The beginning of the American Civil War marks one of the darkest periods of the Union’s history.
Summary of Event
On December 20, 1860, the delegates of the Convention of the People of South Carolina voted 160 to 0 to adopt an ordinance of secession dissolving the “union now subsisting between South Carolina and the other States under the name of ‘United States of America.’ ” The South Carolinians, wishing to maintain their radical leadership of the South, had moved quickly to take the initiative in the secession movement. News of Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency of the United States had reached South Carolina by November 7, and on November 13, the legislature authorized the calling of a state convention. Delegates were quickly chosen in special elections, and the convention met on December 17. Three days later, South Carolina seceded.
Secession was justified, according to members of the 1860 convention, under the ancient “compact theory” of states’ rights. According to this concept, individual states were sovereign. They had voluntarily entered into the Union, and they could leave lawfully whenever they chose or whenever they believed the terms of the compact or agreement under which they were united (the Constitution) were violated. This action could be taken by a specially elected state convention representing the sovereign power of a state.
(The entire section is 1241 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!