The statement “they had no legal claim to leave and it was an implicit declaration of war” is nonsensical. That statement would justify the East German policy of shooting their citizens (slaves) for trying to escape. Even southern slave owners would not shoot their slaves for trying to escape. Mises007’s friend implicitly believes that if your ancestors decided to join a federation because the “they were duped” you are a slave to that fraudulent contract. I think Mises007’s friend is disingenuous, as well as, a poor lawyer. The usual legal remedy for a beach of contract is to sue for beach of contract and monetary damages to set things right. It is not a criminal offense to break contract. Of course fraud in establishing a contract would void the contract.