L – 1st – I
Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was “to form a more perfect Union.”
Lincoln is giving us poetry here and not reason and he depended upon the poetry to create a sentiment that was not examined by rationality.
Looked at closely Lincoln is arguing here that the whole (the Union) is older than the document that gave birth to the whole. Lincoln ignores that the Unions formed by each successive document was a different Union then the Union that preceded it. The Union shaped by the Articles of Association was a different Union as birthed by the Declaration of Independence was different than the Union formed by the Articles of Confederation was different from the Union formed in 1787. The fact that these were different Unions is established by the fact that different bylaws governed each Union. Each document gave birth to a different Union even though the parties might have been the same.
If the same 13 people enter into different contracts several times the Union of those 13 people is a different Union each time as dependent upon the new contract they enter into each time. Each new Union obviates the previous one and creates a new Union.
Lincoln is clearly in error when he says that the Union preceded the Constitution. He may have been correct if he had said, “a series of Unions preceded the Constitution.” For Lincoln the same mystical presence was always present to inhabit whatever new union was struck upon. He needed this idea to advance his duplicitous purposes.
The Union was not older than the Constitution that formed it.
2.) Even the idea of forming “a more perfect Union,” implies that there was a previous Union that this new and different Union supplants that was less perfect than this new and different Union now newly and uniquely formed by the Constitution.
Major Kudos for Lincoln’s ability to take an absurd idea and turn it into a poetry that still convinces people. If I am ever to be judged by a jury of my peers I’d want someone with Lincoln’s ability with the use of language to conceal to represent me.
L – 1st – I
But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
1.) Of course the first paragraph depends upon Lincoln’s idea that “The Union” preceded the Constitution and that has already been dismissed as unfounded and novel. Remember “The Union” is Lincoln’s mystical poetic entity. There was no “The Union.” There was only a series of Unions. Lincoln assumes what he has not proven except by magical linguistic hocus pocus.
2.) No where in any of the documents mentioned is there any idea that eternal perpetuity is a mark of approaching perfection.
3.) Touching the second paragraph above,
Once again, that the South was in insurrection and revolution was only true if one assumes that Lincoln was correct. On the contrary, if one assumes that secession is legal (as we have demonstrated) then insurrection and revolution is what that which Lincoln and the North were guilty. The North was guilty of insurrection and revolution against the Constitution.
4.) Keep in mind that Lincoln here is saying that the authority of the United States is pre-eminent over the authority of the States which created the Federal Government in keeping with very precise delegated and enumerated powers. This is like saying a co-op, created by a group of 13 pair of parents, delegated only with the task of litter clean up has the authority to tell certain parents they can’t opt out of the co-op once the co-op has determined that the co-op is responsible, without amendment of the original co-op agreement, the role of telling the parents how to raise their children.
5.) We would not that in that second paragraph above Lincoln is putting the case as emphatically as George III and his ministers formulated the law when dealing with the original thirteen colonies. If Lincoln is right here then the original thirteen colonies were in insurrection and revolution when they departed England.
L -1st – I
I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.
1.) Obviously, the “Laws of the Union” can not extend to those who no longer were in the Union.
2.) Lincoln’s implied threat here is that he will pin the Union together by bayonet if the South does not come to heel. Lincoln indeed was good on his threat but the nation he saved from disunion was a different nation then before he “saved” it.