"The right to unite freely and to separate freely
is the first and most important of all political rights."
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Proposition Motivee, 1868
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I disagree and would have to say that the right to speak freely is the first and most important of all political rights.
 -- KS, Queensbury,NY.     
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    But few confederations live up to that promise -- eventually the sovereignty of the states within a confederation are considered lost to the federal 'state'. Just look at the US and Canada -- both systems were to guarantee the sovereignty of the individual member states, but once an unhappy state wishes to sever its political ties with the confederation, the other states compel the 'rogue' state to tow the line.
     -- Chicago     
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    Unless you're around the President speaking against the war, then you get quarantined...
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Nothing is that simple...
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    Confederation I believe leaves states the right to leave, federation does not. Confederation did not work for the 13 colonies or at least not very well. That is why the tried to form "a more perfect union". The Soviet Union fell apart at least legally because the Socialist Republics were soviet (soverign). The states of the union as harsh untasteful as it sounds are not soverign, do not have the absolute power to do anything they want especially leave. That at least is what the Civil War said.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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    Within the continental confines of the United States, there has been only one Civil War and, that is when the 13 Colonies separated themselves from the king. Later in the mid 1800's, there was a war between the States. 'Union' as in "a more perfect union" simply means a better 'relationship', not a new form of government. In the war between the States, the Southern States attempted to continue the original intent of the Constitution. The North took on the title 'Union" as a noun meaning the collective's superior as is contrary to the 9th and 10th amendments (thus the victor's alleged Civil War, and establishment of a new form of government). I believe that "The right to unite freely and to separate freely..." is a political right. I don't believe that it "...is the first and most important of all political rights."
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Well said Mike
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Mike and Chicago have it right. As to a "first and most important right" goes, rights are rights -- there are no first and foremost. They are absolutes. They are the foundations of a free republic.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Mike if you don't think that the Constitution was a new form of government over the Articles of Confederation you really got a few loose ones rattling around if you know what I mean.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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    A civil war to some observers is when relatives or friends are on different sides. Thus when army officers who went to school together and fought together in Mexico etcetera and considered each other to be the best of friends found themselves fighting each other it was tragedy at its "finest". And that is what civil war is. A little like fighting with your spouse. To my knowledge no state ever declared war on another state. A better term may be the war between North and South. The states all fought as members of a "union". The northern union or the southern union. The Revolution was much less a civil war. After 175 years not many Americans had relatives or friends in Red Coats, not to say that many did not consider the Brits and the Crown to be like distant cousins.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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     -- warren, olathe      
    Interesting idea.
     -- Anonymous     
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    Bruce, I do smile, but I have no idea what you're talking about. What did I say that would make you believe I didn't think the Constitution was sufficiently different, that in essence, the U.S. was a new form of government? And, you're right, even though many of the politicos and combatants were friends an families, there were 2 separate nations at war. It was not a war of political parties with in the same nation. Each nation freely associated with their republics of choice and were recognized independent bodies by most nations around the world. Here in this blog, I recently spoke of Bakunin and his relationship with Marx. He was the real author of the individual anarchist in collectivist format. The statement would ultimately mean, any one sovereign (person or state) has the inalienable right to associate with anyone of his/its choosing at any time.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Perhaps if "Honest Abe" and read this quote, and followed it, we would not have had the bloodiest war in our history.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    Not "the" most important right...but definately in the top 5.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    A joining (to unite) is the first thing that takes place before any action - the philosophy is as old as the hills. The union of cells produces life and so on and so on. This uniting, I believe, is number one - very little is done in isolation of each other. Your right to be free and have freedom of speech can only occur once there is that union between two people or a million. Bakunin is right on.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    I agree with Archer and Mike. Archer because all rights are absolute and Mike for showing the loss of the states power to sucede. Although rights are absolute the most important one is freedom of choice. In particular, the right of the individual to choose yes or no. This is the basis of our voluntary tax system, voluntary Social Security, voluntary military service etc. Without the unfettered (non-regulated) right to choose yes or no there are no other rights. If choice can be forced by anyone, including our constitutional administration, on anyone, absolute freedom does not exist.
     -- Anon     
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    RBESRQ - Good Point! :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    It all comes down to political posturing vs. reality: "On January 12, 1848, a first-term member of the U.S. Congress stood up in the House chamber to challenge the president’s conduct of the war with Mexico. Congressman Abraham Lincoln suggested that President James Polk had not been truthful about the war’s justification; that the United States had not intervened to support the independence of Texas from Mexico, but to take Mexican territory. Yet Lincoln also affirmed the right of Texans to self-determination, saying: 'Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right --a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is the right confined to cases which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.'" --Jan 12, 1848 (The War with Mexico: Speech in the United States House of Representatives) (Reprint from The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Summer 2006, Volume 30:2 (Medford, MA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University).
     -- Paul, Gig Harbor, WA     
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    To that first guy: You don't get it. You can speak freely where ever you are. No one can stop you (unless they kill you). You can even speak freely in a prison cell. When someone else can tell you where to go, you don't have freedom...no matter how often or how loud you speak. To everyone else...we all are gonna have to make a decision soon. Are we gonna live as slaves for the rest of our lives, or are we gonna live as free men (and women...don't forget the women;)
     -- nilesmc, boston, massachusetts     
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    These are old posts from a year or so ago. But I reread Mikes and his blatant errors or lack of knowing the truth of history must be answered now. No nation to my knowledge recognized the Confederate States of America as a nation. The Pope at the time had written a letter to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, such an act in diplomatic circles is considered recognition, so I guess it may be said that the Vatican recongized the Southern Confederacy. Now I like to check my facts and statements so I will now google to make sure that I am correct and will report back, please stay tuned.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    I report back to you and especially to you Mike "No foreign government recognized the existence of The Confederate States of America". This can be researched in the archives of the State Departmetn and elsewhere. The South assumed that the North and Europe would let them have their way because every one wanted their cotton. The south offered to give up slavery for recognition, their were no takers. So get some history Mike. Again it can be argued that the Vatican corresponded with Jefferson Davis and thus this was de facto recognition. Most Catholics in America lived along the gulf coast of the South at that time which may have been the Pope's motivation.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Lincoln offered to return runaway slaves to the south in an effort to compel the Confederacy to rejoin the Union. They were not compelled as the issue was not about slavery. The north had its fair share of slaves too. Waffler try and stay on track, difficult for a statist and propogandist I know..but do try would you...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Waffler, you again fail to grasp the whole of the history. Your assumption of the South's assumption is totally incongruent with the facts. Carolina first seceded on December 20, 1860 and from day one was at odds with the North. By February of 1861 The Confederate States were born with a provisional constitution that was hoped to be replaced in the future by a document that was more in tune with the original Constitution. Emissaries were sent out to Great Brittan, France, and other European countries as well as Mexico and Brazil to set up temporary embassies until full relations could be established. All countries accepted the individuals from the Confederate States and negotiations began for full recognition. If you understand how slow communications were and what was occupying the Confederations time, there were still commercial compacts made between the several countries. You can imagine how busy the South was while all this was going on as they were defending themselves from norther aggression. Before the first year of Confederate sovereignty was up, full war had broken out between the 2 nations. Through the Confederate States emissaries, treaties were signed for commerce and to aid in defensive measures.You'll have to show me where a legitimate offer was made to give up slavery. Austria, Belgium, Bremen, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Prussia, and Spain, to name a few, sent full time diplomatic representatives to the Confederate States. Belgium sent full recognition papers to the Confederate States but no copy has been found, to my knowledge, with CS official signatures on them (they were assumed burned - the only known record is that Belgium sent them) Waffler, I know this research does not help you progressive political correctness but, oh well.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    NO FOREIGN GOVERNMENT EVER REOGNIZED THE CONFEDERACY. THAT IS A PERIOD! I don't deny that they were asked to or that they may have sent emissaries to find out what was going on here. In Mexico and most of the European influenced world slavery was illegal. Texas fought for independence from Mexico so that they could practice slavery, why would Mexico then recognize its former runaway province. Think Mike think, I know it is difficult, but the exercise would really be good for you.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    When did worldwide recognition become the test of soverignty? Does the fact that Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Cuba, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen fail to recognize Isreal's soverignty mean that Israel does't exist? No. It means that other governments have their own interests and their own agendas. A soverign government or confederation of governments is defined by those consenting to be governed.
     -- Justin, Elkland, Missouri     
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    Waffler, you're wrong again. Besides Justin here being spot on, Belgium for at least one, formally recognized the Confederate states (that's according to Confederate and Belgium documents - maybe not archived in the U.S. Congress' papers) All European nations also accepted Confederate State's passports and currency for exchange. As to your logic of Texas and Mexico, hmm Great Britain recognized the U.S. after that successful war of independence. As to your not recognizing another nation for political, moral, or religious reasons or exercises, why would foreign nations recognize the U.S. when they had monarchies, they were non- Christian, or they believed in a collectivist tyranny when the U.S. was so totally different from them? Think, Waffle, think, I know it is a difficult new experience for you, but the exercise would really be good for you. Try and see things as they are instead of a redefined something else, just to support your fascist theocracy's political correctness.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Waffler, lets say for argument's sake you're right. What's your point? What is the greater issue that you are trying to prove?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Unlike you Mike I have no agenda but the truth. It drives me nuts to see your misstatements or lack of history or twisting history for some reason apparently of your own. I have faith that things will work out if but only if we tell the truth. My knowledge of you is that you don't. If you don't believe or don't care that world wide recognition of The Confederate States of America was a significant issue you got more marbles loose than I ever thoght before. The issue I am trying to prove is you don't know what you are talking about.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, lol, your agenda is anything but truth and hides somewhere in a socialistic theocracy. And, you being driven nuts happened long before you and I conversed here. I have to smile when you take chosen sound bites out of the whole of history, put your own socialistic theocratic spin on it, and call it other than twisted. You confuse me again. My entire dialogue here was to show, what I believe, that being, much of the world (I don't know about all) recognized the Confederate States and that was a significant issue. That demonstrates that there were 2 nations occupying 2 separate land masses, 2 nations having separate relationships with many nations (buying - selling, paying separate imposts and duties, traveling on specific passports, negotiating tariffs and treaties, etc.) 2 nations concerning themselves with separate issues, 2 nations having different accepted currencies, etc., etc., etc. So because I believe and care about the truth and recognition, both being significant issues, my marbles are still in tact? hmm
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike you lie. No nation recognized the Confederate States of America. You speak of driving on the wrong side of the street as your right and priviledge. What is it with you?
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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