Friday, April 17, 2009

Texas History Review for the Guv

Memo to Governor Rick Perry--

The state of Texas did NOT negotiate the right to secede from the Union when it joined the United States. And I believe the issue of secession in general was settled at Appomattox, if memory serves.

Texas WAS given the right to divide itself into up to 5 states by the Joint Resolution admitting us to the United States in 1845. This was given in the context of the pre-Civil War struggles on slavery. The idea at the time was that, if divided, areas above the Missouri Compromise line would be free states and those below would be either slave or free based on popular vote. Read this from the state historical archives, if you don't believe me.

Technically, Texas still has the right to sub-divide. Practically, although it might be nice to have 10 Senators instead of 2, I doubt proud Texans across the state would stand for it.

Here endeth the lesson.


Rev Kim said...

Interesting. I was one of those who thought Texas had the right to secede. But then I left Texas before I had the chance to take Texas History.

Elaine said...

"If memory serves."

You mean you're THAT old?

Norman, Oklahoma

Mac said...

Just because it is an interesting historical argument, let's consider this statement: "And I believe the issue of secession in general was settled at Appomattox, if memory serves."

Settled by force of arms, yes. Settled as a legal principle? Maybe. But settled only until (1) there is another civil war, God forbid, in which the secessionists win by force of arms or (2) a weak federal government just sighs and says goodbye (which is what the CSA was hoping for).

Quotidian Grace said...

I meant settled by force of arms. Your option number 2 is the most likely scenario.

Jan said...

My daughter in Seattle told me this, but I didn't know it until she did. So I am very glad you posted about this for us ignorant Texans!

Anonymous said...

Technically Texas is the only state that does have power to secede due to the fact that it was once its own country.

Ryan, Keller Texas
P.s. We're not ignorant, we're just stubborn.