Secession Outlawed in 1833...

5fish

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I ask " Did Lincoln have the right to use armed forces against states breaking Federal laws and to enforce Federal law?"

I say "Yes !" because of a bill call the Force Bill 1833... It authorizes the President to use armed forces to ensure the collection custom tariffs. The Force Bill rejected the concept of individual states' rights to nullify federal law or to secede from the Union. A note : The Force Bill was later used by President Eisenhower when schools in Little Rock, Arkansas refused to integrate their schools.

President Lincoln and President Buchanan could have and should have threaten the southern states with the Force Bill and even used the Force Bill to keep the southern states in the union or at least by time for a compromise in the congress. The Force Bill was the hammer that should have been used from day one to keep the southern states in line.

The true importance of the Force Bill is that it is the first piece of legislation to publicly deny the right of secession to individual states. Its approval meant that the principle of secession was no longer in keeping with the idea of a national union.

So all these arguments about secession was legal or not was answered in the Force Bill 1833. The answer: secession is illegal and treasonous...

NOTE:

The Force Bill was a temporary statute and its enforcement provisions were limited:
"SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the several provisions contained in the first and fifth sections of this act, shall be in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer."

A Force Bill was introduced during February 1861, by Ohio congressman Benjamin Stanton but the 36th Congress adjourned March 4, 1861 without passing the bill. Lincoln of course was inaugurated on the same day and Congress would not reconvene until called back into emergency secession following the attack on Ft. Sumter. By then there was no reason to pass a Force Bill.


NOTE:

This is the argument in the proceeding years was enacted in the proceeding consecutive congresses some say it was. It was an ongoing discussion proceeding the civil war... I still looking into Pres. Eisenhower use of Force Bill. It was an executive order he used to send the troops to Arkansas. I wonder if the Force Bill was used to justify the executive order.
 

rittmeister

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President Lincoln and President Buchanan could have and should have threaten the southern states with the Force Bill and even used the Force Bill to keep the southern states in the union or at least by time for a compromise in the congress. The Force Bill was the hammer that should have been used from day one to keep the southern states in line.
i'm not a legal mind so i don't talk about the feasibility of that. but lincoln more or less had an armed rebellion in progress when he came into office. trying to coerce the south any further by implementing
the force bill looks counter productive to me. he tried a nicer way with his inaugural adress and failed.

but let's not forget that the confederates considered jeff davis their provisional president a month before licoln even took the oath.

the time for a legal hammer was over. i do agree that buchanan could have done more - a lot more.
 

5fish

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Break down of the Force Bill... Wiki..

The United States Force Bill, formally titled "An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports", 4 Stat. 632 (1833), refers to legislation enacted by the 22nd U.S. Congress on March 2, 1833, during the Nullification Crisis.

Passed by Congress at the urging of President Andrew Jackson, the Force Bill consisted of eight sections expanding presidential power and was designed to compel the state of South Carolina's compliance with a series of federal tariffs, opposed by John C. Calhoun and other leading South Carolinians. Among other things, the legislation stipulated that the president could, if he deemed it necessary, deploy the U.S. Army to force South Carolina to comply with the law.

The relevant sections of the Force Bill are:[1]

  • Section 1 deals with unlawful obstructions to the collections of import duties; by securing ports and harbors for the protection of duty collectors, allowing for the detention of vessels and cargoes to enforce revenue laws, and authorizes the president to use armed forces to protect customs officers and to prevent the unauthorized removal of untaxed vessels and cargo.
  • Section 2 expands the jurisdiction of federal courts to cases arising from revenue collections by the U.S. government and allows injured parties in revenue cases to sue in court. It deems property detained by customs officers to be in the custody of the law, subject to disposition by court order only, and criminalizes anyone who circumvents the legal process in regaining detained property as guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Section 5 deals with States, or portions within a state, who employ force, or any other unlawful means, to obstruct the execution of U.S. federal law, or interfere with the process of any federal court. This section authorizes the president to use whatever force necessary to suppress such insurrections, "and to cause the said laws or process to be duly executed".
  • Section 6 deals with states that refuse to jail persons imprisoned under federal law. It authorizes U.S. marshals to jail such persons in "other convenient places, within the limits of said state" and to make provisions for this purpose.
  • Section 8 is a sunset clause, stating that the "first and fifth sections of this act, shall be in force until the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer."
 

5fish

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Here is President Jackson Words... It a early draft of his "Proclamation to the People of South Carolina"

Seduced as you have been, my fellow countrymen by the delusion theories and misrepresentation of ambitious, deluded & designing men, I call upon you in the language of truth, and with the feelings of a Father to retrace your steps. As you value liberty and the blessings of peace blot out from the page of your history a record so fatal to their security as this ordinance will become if it be obeyed. Rally again under the banners of the union whose obligations you in common with all your countrymen have, with an appeal to heaven, sworn to support, and which must be indissoluble as long as we are capable of enjoying freedom. Recollect that the first act of resistance to the laws which have been denounced as void by those who abuse your confidence and falsify your hopes is Treason, and subjects you to all the pains and penalties that are provided for the highest offence against your country. Can (you)...consent to become Traitors? Forbid it Heaven![2]
 

5fish

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I am have a correction maybe ... Pres. Eisenhower used one of the Force Act of the 1870s ... instead of the Force Bill... I can not verify if he used either act or bill when he sent troops in...
 

5fish

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WE had laws on the books that lincoln and any other President could have used to stop the secession of states in 1860 & 1861... So all this whining about Lincoln inability to call up troops seem to be false... the Militia was still used even after the Insurrection was passed...

Here are three:

Force Bill 1833

Militia Acts 1792

The first Act (full text), passed May 2, 1792, provided for the authority of the president to call out the militias of the several states, "whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe".[3] The law also authorized the President to call the militias into Federal service "whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act".[4] This provision likely referred to uprisings such as Shays' Rebellion. The president's authority in both cases was to expire after two years.

Snip...

The second Act (full text), passed May 8, 1792, provided for the organization of the state militias. It conscripted every "free able-bodied white male citizen" between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company. (This was later expanded to all males, regardless of race, between the ages of 18 and 54 in 1862.)
Militia members, referred to as "every citizen, so enrolled and notified", "...shall within six months thereafter, provide himself..." with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a box able to contain not less than 24 suitable cartridges, and a knapsack. Alternatively, everyone enrolled was to provide himself with a rifle, a powder horn, ¼ pound of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, a shot-pouch, and a knapsack.[5] Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen.
The militias were divided into "divisions, brigades, regiments, battalions, and companies" as the state legislatures would direct.[6] The provisions of the first Act governing the calling up of the militia by the president in case of invasion or obstruction to law enforcement were continued in the second act.[7] Court martial proceedings were authorized by the statute against militia members who disobeyed orders
.[8]

And now the Insurrection Act of 1807...

The Act empowers the U.S. president to call into service the U.S. Armed Forces and the National Guard:
  • when requested by a state's legislature, or governor if the legislature cannot be convened, to address an insurrection against that state (§ 251),
  • to address an insurrection, in any state, which makes it impracticable to enforce the law (§ 252), or
  • to address an insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy, in any state, which results in the deprivation of Constitutionally-secured rights, and where the state is unable, fails, or refuses to protect said rights (§ 253).
The 1807 Act replaced the earlier Calling Forth Act of 1792, which had allowed for federalization of state militias, with similar language that allowed either for federalization of state militias or use of the regular armed forces in the case of rebellion against a state government.[2]:60
The 1807 Act has been modified twice. In 1861, a new section was added allowing the federal government to use the National Guard and armed forces against the will of the state government in the case of "rebellion against the authority of the government of the United States," in anticipation of continued unrest after the Civil War.[3] In 1871, the Third Enforcement Act revised this section (§ 253) to protect African Americans from attacks by the Ku Klux Klan. The language added at that time allows the federal government to use the act to enforce the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[2]:63-64 This section of the act was invoked during the Reconstruction era, and again during desegregation fights during the
Civil Rights Era
 

jgoodguy

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i'm not a legal mind so i don't talk about the feasibility of that. but lincoln more or less had an armed rebellion in progress when he came into office. trying to coerce the south any further by implementing
the force bill looks counter productive to me. he tried a nicer way with his inaugural adress and failed.

but let's not forget that the confederates considered jeff davis their provisional president a month before licoln even took the oath.

the time for a legal hammer was over. i do agree that buchanan could have done more - a lot more.
The biggest issue IMHO is the lack of armed force. Jackson had it, Lincoln did not.
 
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