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Secession (Channing, 1922)

Textbook
Edward Channing, A Student’s History of the United States, 4th ed. (New York: MacMillan Co., 1922), 441-442.
On the day Secession of (December 17, 1860) that Senator Crittenden brought forward this conciliatory proposition, the South Carolina convention met at Charleston. "Commissioners" and leading men from other Southern states were present to urge haste, but there was at least one memorial urging delay; it was suppressed. Three days later the convention adopted unanimously an "ordinance to dissolve the Union between the state of South Carolina and other states united with her under the compact entitled ' The Constitution of the United States of America.' It also adopted a “Declaration of the immediate causes which induce and justify the secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union." Before March, 1861, six other states had joined her: Mississippi (January 9, 1861), Florida (January 10), Alabama (January 11), Georgia (January 19), Louisiana (January 26), and Texas (February 1).

Nothing shows more clearly the stagnation of Southern constitutional life than the action of these conventions. They proceeded precisely on the lines of the conventions of the Revolutionary epoch. The democratic spirit of the nineteenth century, which had so profoundly influenced political action in the North, had not produced the least effect in the South. Only one of these ordinances of secession was submitted to the people for ratification, and that one (Texas) only because the election of delegates to her state convention had been so irregular that it could not well be avoided.

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