Did Virginia and New York include exit clauses?

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  • #14820
    carsongross
    Member

    I swear I remember reading at one point that New York and Virginia both included exit clauses when they ratified the Constitution, but I’m finding it impossible to source on the internet.

    If that was indeed the case, and not the lunatic fantasy/false memory of a sleep-deprived-by-two-young-children libertarian, it seems like it would be a bombshell fact in debates regarding the sovereignty of those states (and their people).

    #14821
    gutzmank
    Participant

    You omitted Rhode Island.

    For a detailed account of the Virginia story, see chapter 5 of my new JAMES MADISON AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA.

    #14822
    carsongross
    Member

    Thanks Kevin, I’ll check out your book.

    Are there documents online I can reference?

    #14823
    gutzmank
    Participant

    Not that I’m aware.

    #14824
    woods
    Participant

    I have seen these statements quoted in H. Newcomb Morse, “The Foundations and Meaning of Secession,” Stetson Law Review 15, 2 (1986), 419-36. If you’re at a university you should be able to get this article via interlibrary loan. Wish I could point you to a more convenient source.

    Now opponents of secession will claim that these statements by these states amount simply to an acknowledgment of the right of revolution. This is the way the Straussians deal with these passages. This isn’t secession, they say, which in their view is an absurdity. It is simply a restatement of the Lockean principle that people may overthrow oppressive governments,

    #14825
    gutzmank
    Participant

    I show in JMMA that this WASN’T a reference to a right of revolution, but an obvious deduction from common principles of the law of treaties and contracts.

    #14826
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