Reply To: Did the states REALLY have the right to secede?


Also, since it is another secession-related, compact theory question, I will post here again. Brion McClanahan mentions an argument for secession based on the co-equality of states. Tom Woods brings this up in his PIG to American History as well. I feel like it’s an extremely strong argument when we consider that Virginia specifically said they had this right when ratifying and people did not object.

However, the rest of the argument seems to rest on the doctrine of co-equality of states with regards to rights and dignity. What is the best way to support this doctrine?

Brion mentions Article 7 of the Constitution in passing (“States so ratifying the same”) but does not elaborate. Since the word order of that sentence seems kind of outdated, I really don’t understand what it means. Also can we look to the ratifying conventions to support the doctrine of co-equal states?

I know Tom has made reference to Jefferson with regard to Missouri, but if we had additional evidence then people would be less likely to write the argument off as “radical anti-federalist propaganda.”