The period called Reconstruction was no less insidious then the actual War itself, it was just as destructive, if not more so because it drastically changed the entire structure of the government of the United States and the proper relationship between the federal and State governments.
The actions of the Radicals was almost thwarted when New Jersey, Ohio and Oregon rescinded their former ratification of the 14th Amendment, or course this was ignored and each of those States were counted as ratifying the amendment, contrary to the will of the People of those States, contrary to the Consent of the People of those States.
Now, a very interesting point concerning the ratification of the 14th Amendment and the expansion of federal control and national citizenship, is that initially the votes came in as 22 votes yes and 12 votes no and 3 not voting there were 28 votes needed to ratify the Amendment. With the defeat of the Amendment the Northern Unionist Congress members changed rules to ensure passage by declaring the Southern States remained outside the Union, to deny majority rule in the Southern States by the disfranchisement of large voting blocks of voters. Then to put the icing on the cake, they required all the Southern States to ratify the Amendment in other to be allowed back into the Union. So, in 1861 the North refused to allow the South to leave the Union and in 1867 it essentially refused it rejoin the Union.
The most amazing, most revealing and one of the most important pieces of Legislation to ever come out of a State came from a Northern State after the War. Suddenly, it appears they realized what the goals of Lincoln and his followers had done.
The Joint Resolution, No.1 of the State of New Jersey on the Rescission of the 14th Amendment had some harsh words for those who sought to continue Lincoln's usurpation of the Constitutional government.
In the Rescission, the Resolution states:
"The Legislature of the State of New Jersey having seriously and deliberately considered the present situation of the United States do declare and make known:
"That it being necessary, by the Constitution, that every amendment to the same should be proposed by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, the authors of the said proposition, for the purpose of securing the assent of the requisite majority, determined to, and did, exclude from the said two Houses eighty Representatives from eleven States of the Union, upon the pretense that there were no such States in the Union; but, finding that two-thirds of the remainder of said Houses could not be brought to assent to the said proposition, they deliberately formed and carried out the design of mutilating the integrity of the United States Senate, and without any pretext or justification, other than the possession of power, without the right, and in palpable violation of the Constitution, ejected a member of their own body, representing this State, and thus practically denied to New Jersey its equal suffrage in the Senate, and thereby nominally secured the vote of two-thirds of the said House."
As you can see, the Radical and Totally Dishonest Policies of Lincoln were still wielding the usurping hand of good "ole honest Abe".
It goes on to say:
"The objective of dismembering the highest Representative Assembly in the nation, and humiliating a State of the Union, faithful at all times to all its obligations, and the object of said amendments were one to place new and unheard of powers in the hands of a faction, that it might absorb to itself all Executive, Judicial and Legislative POWER, NECESSARY TO SECURE TO ITSELF IMMUNITY FOR THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS IT HAD ALREADY COMMITTED, AND THOSE IT HAS SINCE INFLICTED ON A TOO PATIENT PEOPLE.
The subsequent usurpations of these once national assemblies in passing pretended laws for the establishment, in ten States, of martial law, which is nothing but the will of the military commander, and therefore inconsistent with the very nature of all law, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING TO SLAVERY MEN OF THEIR OWN RACE IN THOSE STATES, OR COMPELLING THEM, CONTRARY TO THEIR OWN CONVICTIONS, TO EXERCISE THE ELECTIVE FRANCHISE IN OBEDIENCE TO THE DICTATION OF A FACTION IN THOSE ASSEMBLIES; THE ATTEMPT TO COMMIT TO ONE MAN ARBITRARY AND UNCONTROLLABLE POWER, WHICH THEY HAVE FOUND NECESSARY TO EXERCISE TO FORCE THE PEOPLE OF THOSE STATES INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THEIR WILL; THE AUTHORITY GIVEN THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO USE THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT TO COUNTERMAND THE PRESIDENT'S ORDERS AND TO CERTIFY MILITARY ORDERS TO BE THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, WHEN THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY KNOWN TO BE CONTRARY TO THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTION, THUS KEEPING UP THE FORM OF THE CONSTITUTION TO WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE ACCUSTOMED, BUT PRACTICALLY DEPOSING THE PRESIDENT FROM HIS OFFICE OF COMMANDER IN CHIEF, and suppressing one of the great departments of the government that of tribunal of the nation the jurisdiction to examine and decide upon the conformity of their pretended laws to the Constitution, which was the chief function of that august tribunal as organized by the Fathers of the Republic; all are but ample explanations of the power they hoped to acquire by the adoption of the said amendment.
TO CONCEAL FROM THE PEOPLE THE IMMENSE ALTERATIONS OF THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW THEY INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH BY THE SAID AMENDMENT, THEY GILDED THE SAME WITH PREPOSITIONS OF JUSTICE, DRAWN FROM THE STATE CONSTITUTIONS; BUT LIKE ALL THE ESSAYS OF UNLAWFUL POWER TO COMMEND ITS DESIGNS TO POPULAR FAVOR IT IS MARKED BY THE MOST ABSURD AND INCOHERENT PROVISIONS.
It proposes to make it part of the Constitution of the United States, that naturalized citizens of the United States shall be citizens of the United States; as if they were not so without such absurd declaration. It lodges with the Legislative Branch of the government the power of pardon, which properly belongs, BY OUR SYSTEM, to the Executive.
It denounces, and inflicts punishment for past offenses, by Constitutional provision, and thus would make the whole People of this great nation, in their most Solemn and Sovereign Act, guilty of violating a cardinal principle of American Liberty: that no punishment can be inflicted for any offense, unless it is provided by law before the commission of the offense.
It usurps the power of punishment, which, in any coherent system of government, belongs to the Judiciary, and commits it to the people in their Sovereign capacity.
It degrades the nation, by proclaiming to the world that no confidence can be placed in its honestly or morality.
It appeals to the fears of the public creditors by publishing a libel on the American People, and fixing it forever in the national Constitution, as a stigma upon the present generation, that there must be Constitutional guards against a reputation of the public debt; as if it were possible that a people who were so corrupt as to disregard such an obligation would be bound by any contract, Constitutional or otherwise.
It imposes new prohibitions upon the power of the Senate to pass laws, and interdicts the execution of such parts of the common law as the national Judiciary may esteem inconsistent with the vague provisions of the said amendment, MADE VAGUE FOR THE PURPOSE OF FACILITATING ENCROACHMENTS UPON THE LIVES, LIBERTIES AND PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE.
It enlarges the Judicial power of the United States so as to bring every law passed by the State, and every principle of the common law relating to Life, Liberty or Property, within the jurisdiction of the federal tribunals, and charges those tribunals with duties, to the due performance of which they, from their nature and organization, and their distances from the People, are unequal.
IT MAKES A NEW APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE NATIONAL COUNCIL, FOR NO OTHER REASON THATN THEREBY TO SECURE TO A FACTION A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF THE VOTES OF A SERVILE AND IGNORANT RACE TO OUT WEIGH THE INTELLIGENT VOICES OF THEIR OWN [IT] WAS INTENDED TO OVERTHROW THE SYSTEM OF SELF-GOVERNMENT UNDER WHICH THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE FOR EIGHTY YEARS ENJOYED THEIR LIBERTIES, AND IS UNFIT, FROM ITS ORIGIN, ITS OBJECTS AND ITS MATTER, TO BE INCORPORATED WITH THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF A FREE PEOPLE."
"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun
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