Contemporary opinions, including those of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, say the idea of a state’s right to secede died with the hundreds of thousands of bloodied victims of the Civil War, and that the sentiment behind the dozens of petitions on a White House website seeking permission for most of the 50 individual governments to leave the union will be fruitless.
But historians would note that even Thomas Jefferson, a “pole star among political philosophers because he based his politics on the eternal, self-evidence, fundamental truths that all men are created free and equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inherent and unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,”
might be remembered for his opinion about states leaving the U.S.
It was in a letter to William B. Giles on Dec. 26, 1825, when Jefferson, who already had seen the fight over the states’ separation from England, the rise of a new nation and the tribulations it faced in its first decades, that he addressed the issue.
In a letter marked “not intended for the public eye,” he wrote that states “should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.”
He continued, “Between these two evils, when we must make a choice, there can be no hesitation.”
Bob Unruh, WND 19 Comments
[11/19/2012 3:31:30 PM]
Fundie Index: 22
I can't find any original, reputable source for this Jefferson quote. Every search only leads me to far-right blogs & tabloids like WorldNetDaily. Can anyone verify this quote? If not, I'll have to assume it's another fake quote made up by the wannabe secessionists.
11/19/2012 4:22:56 PM
Filin De Blanc
Oh, get a grip. The world is not going to end because a black guy is President.
11/19/2012 4:35:45 PM
11/19/2012 5:16:32 PM
Rabbit of CaerbannogEat shit, traitor.
How does it feel now that the shoe is on the other foot?
11/19/2012 5:25:06 PM
And, so far, no state governing body has petitioned for secession. The only people raising that issue are repulitards.
11/19/2012 6:59:29 PM
Bye. Just leave corridor so we can get to Austin.
11/19/2012 8:15:22 PM
You do understand, Bob, that Jefferson would probably spit on your shoes if he ever met you, right? Because you're trying to ruin his life's work, that's why.
11/19/2012 8:28:51 PM
There's a significant difference between "a government without limitation of powers" and a government that wants you to buy health insurance and treat your fellow citizens with more respect.
11/19/2012 9:49:28 PM
Now that might mean something if we had a Jeffersonian republic.
But we don't. What we have is closer to a Hamiltonian system. Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were the key players in the drafting of the constitution, and they advocated from the start for a strong, central Federal government. They even explicity refused to add a clause giving states the right to secession, because they knew allowing states to leave the strong union they worked so hard to establish would be missing the point.
But hey, I'm not stopping you. If you want to secede, go ahead and convince your state to do so. If you aren't automatically laughed out of Anchorage and the state actually goes through with it, the other 49 might actually take you back once your economy collapses and you beg hard enough.
11/19/2012 10:09:38 PM
The key phrase there being the part about submission to a government without limitaion of powers, which is a hysterically funny line to use in reference to Obama, who's been blocked from doing nearly everything the people elected him to do by a filibustering Republican Congress.
But then of course, WND-ers have absolutely no knowledge of any actual facts about governmental goings-on, anyway, have they?.
11/20/2012 12:45:27 AM
Since neither is afoot, shut up.
11/20/2012 3:56:32 AM
Go ahead. North America needs a Somalia.
11/20/2012 4:00:36 AM
Well it's a good thing that we're not submitting to a government without limitation of powers then.
I swear, things are going to be no different Jan. 20th than they are now, but all these crazy right-wing teabaggers are going apeshit because they couldn't keep that dark-skinned man out of the white house and they can't find a less socialist country to move to, so they had to come up with this secession idea.
And funny how they like to quote Jefferson when it comes to ideas about tyrannical governments, but they never quote him when it comes to establishing religion in government.
11/20/2012 7:24:41 AM
Dear Bob Unruh, the Supreme Court trumps the President every time. If you want to secede, you might like to read the Constitution first, traitor.
11/20/2012 8:22:13 AM
How about this: Your state can secede, but only if it takes its share of the federal debt with it.
11/20/2012 5:47:00 PM
I once submitted a petition - signed by my entire family - that it be mandatory for every citizen to send me one dollar annually. I'm still waiting to hear.
11/20/2012 5:51:59 PM
Jefferson was also a slave owner.
Things have changed since his day.
11/20/2012 6:28:36 PM
They are so pathetic it's hilarious.
11/20/2012 9:23:57 PM
You know what? I support them in wanting to secede from the union. Why? Because then we can do what Congress did after the Civil War: whatever we want, and have no opposition. So we can fix the entire nation, and the proceed to wage war on the south, and win, because remind me, who wins: rednecks or fighter jets? Oh wait, the fighter jets. So, we can fix the nation and then destroy the idiots all in one fell swoop if they leave. Go ahead, leave, be our guest.
12/17/2012 4:09:41 AM