POSTED: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 10:42pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:55am
What are the facts?
Governor Rick Perry mentioned it last summer and began a heated discussion in the press.
Secession…what are the facts and is it really possible?
“We’ve got a great union,” Perry said. “There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may happen.”
It was the bloodiest American conflict…because all the soldiers on both sides were American. But did the civil war really settle the issue of secession?
“In 1869 the Supreme Court in Texas v. White settled the whole issue,” says Dr. Alex Mendoza of UT-Tyler. “The Supreme Court Justices in a 5 to 3 decision, Salmon P. Chase, said explicitly, that Texas never left the union, that the United States is not a compact of states, that it is an indissoluble union.”
Dr. Steven Stine of Tyler Junior College agreed, “White v. Texas, Salmon Chase, made it very clear that the Supreme Court saw the constitution creating an indissoluble union.”
So why did we join the union in the first place? Dr. Mendoza says, we shouldn’t look back on the days of the republic with such nostalgia.
“Was the Republic of Texas actually a success,” he wonders, “since it couldn’t provide money, defense. And men like Houston knew this, and as a result of this, actively moved toward the thought of annexation.”
“When Texas was a republic,” Stine added, “and we were a republic for nine years, we were always broke.”
And then there’s the great Texas urban legend…
“When we came into the union in 1845,” Perry observed, “one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”
“Texas historians call that mythhistory, says Mendoza, ”a combination of myth and history. Reading the annexation document, going all the way back to 1845, there never was any such provision.”
And the legendary Sam Houston knew the original secession was a mistake…
“He thought it would be a calamity,” Mendoza declared. “Up until his death 2 years after the original secession convention, he thought it was the biggest mistake Texas had ever made. The idea of carving out sections and setting up an independent republic with potentially Chuck Norris as its first president, is in many respects a pipe dream.”