Sunday, November 8, 2015
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Shoot, Who Needed the Fourteenth Amendment? There Had Always Been the Guarantee Clause to Subjugate the States
In October 1861, Sumner stated publicly at the Massachusetts’ Republican Convention that the Civil War’s sole cause was slavery and the primary objective of the Union government was to destroy it. It’s not entirely clear to me if he meant the reason we revolted against mother England was to end slavery (you know that old civil right’s deflection that our guiding document is the Declaration of Independence vice the Constitution) or if he’d narrowed the time frame to his contemporary period and continent. But the Declaration did not a Republic make, the Constitution did, and even then that agreed-upon union was conditional on the will of sovereign states except where the Constitution specified otherwise.
Citing governor-elect Walker’s promises during his campaign against his Radical opponent, Sumner stated the new governor of Virginia would break down the proposed public school system. “How can you organize Reconstruction,” Sumner railed, “except on the everlasting foundation of education?” Sumner stated the Virginia election was a fraud and carried by an appeal to the “rebel people throughout the state that they should take the control of the state and in that way nullify the constitution and trample out the system of common schools.” I do think the constitution to which he refers is the new state constitution—after all, the only people nullifying the United States Constitution were Charles Sumner and those of his ilk. And the everlasting foundation of education? Education is only as valuable as what’s being taught. Am I the only one seeing “evil” here?
I’m sorry? In Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, it is the state being discussed—the state’s guarantee for a republican form of government, right? If the state brought suit against Congress for abusing the clause, doesn’t that make the state the plaintiff and Congress is indeed hurting the state, for all intents and purposes, by terminating its sovereignty? Couple that with a horse’s behind making a comment that the Guarantee Clause “is without limitation.” What those traitors had done was taken a benign clause in the Constitution, twisted it into a lie, then made that lie omnipotent. Giddy with the possibilities, they intended to use it at their will, forever. No one who knows anything about the history of the Constitutional Convention and the states’ subsequent ratification of the Constitution could possibly believe that clause was intended to be used in the manner that group of fanatics were using it. There would have been no reason for a Tenth Amendment, because the states (those thirteen original) would have never ratified the Constitution. What hogwash spouted by despicable men!
[Recall, too, that Salmon P. Chase is Chief Justice at this time, so I doubt the good guys would have found any satisfaction with the Supreme Court. It was the Northern states that needed to act, and they failed to do so.]
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Enter the senior senator from Massachusetts, Charles Sumner. He’ll tell him, by George! [A little play on George Boutwell, Sumner’s House colleague from Massassachusetts and by then, Grant’s Treasury Secretary.]
Sunday, September 27, 2015
It’s my personal belief that a detailed history of the carpetbag-scalawag dichotomy in every state undergoing “Reconstruction” during this period and some that, technically speaking, were not (Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and even Maryland) would make a compelling study in tandem with the struggle between the so-called conservative and regular (the euphemistic term the Radicals used to describe themselves) Republicans at the national level. The issues would be somewhat skewed depending on region, of course, just as the interests between the political parties had been skewed in the decades leading up to the war.
The Republican Party was a regional party—a Northern Party, the demon child of Northern Whigs spawned from the disintegration of the Whig party artfully (or not so artfully) orchestrated by the Democrats’ Stephen Douglas (Illinois) with his tactfully masterminding the nullification of the Missouri Compromise fracturing the already strained union of Northern and Southern Whigs over the expansion of slavery. The Whig party had strong enclaves in the South. In Mississippi, her legislature was never more than a third Whig, but North Carolina’s assembly was roughly split 50-50 between Whigs and Democrats in the years leading up to the war, and Georgia was a predominantly Whig state. Perhaps that helps explain the number of “Southern-minded” Republicans that ended up in Georgia’s Republican Party. Certainly the platform for those men would have been more palatable to that of the hated Democratic Party, but as in days of old, when the Whig Party ruled the roost, interests took on a decidedly pro-Southern flavor, Northerners neither desired nor in many instances even required. When allied with the Democrats, the conservative Republicans were in a position to neutralize the “superior Northerner” who had come south to teach Southerners how states should be governed and ensure their proper place vis-a-vis the national authority. The Republican conservatives could also ally with those same Carpetbag “colleagues” should the conservative stance veer greatly from the Democrats. No matter what, they weren’t under Radical control and that was problematic.
and perhaps that was what the Georgia Democrats/conservatives were banking their argument on.]
Sunday, September 13, 2015
The provocative statements were modus operandi of the Radicals across the South. Today they are accepted as gospel. Fraud and intimidation occurred on both sides, but given the skewed population at the time and the overwhelming presence of Federal troops and registrars at the polls (and the countryside where trouble was reported), I believe that much of what the Democrats/Conservatives were accused was fabricated, a prevailing thought often alluded to in the Democratic papers at the time. But no matter what the committee of five attempted to hatch, the rejected constitution left Mississippi under military rule. At home, General Gillem was in charge and the case of the rejected constitution, along with allegations of tyranny and fraud against it, were in the hands of a Radical Congress.
**Yes, the man who started this series long ago is now a “card-carrying” Radical Republican, at least, in the official sense.
Doubtless the Democratic newspapers put the word out, too, with fiesty comments, but doubt they sent them to the Reconstruction Committee—to Democratic Representatives in the “loyal states”, perhaps, who did have their seats?
Sunday, August 30, 2015
I will continue the efforts of the committee of five in my next post.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Really? No one fit to call themselves American should have supported the patently unconstitutional Reconstruction Acts. This disqualification is the “odious” portion of the constitution that Alcorn would shortly after say, while stumping in favor of this thing, “we can change that part later.”
Before adjourning, this convention made elaborate provisions for the upcoming election (the first one. The delegates hadn’t expected the need for a second one):