A View on Secession! How you view the secession question depends upon your view of the Constitution. Those who take a strict, constructionist viewpoint took the position that the Tenth Amendment was vitally important. In this they are correct, and their contention is being borne out in our day. The Tenth Amendment deals with those powers NOT delegated to the United States being reserved to the individual states or to the people of those states. The key word is DELEGATED! The states did NOT surrender their sovereignty to an all-powerful central government. This has been the goal of the Communists – by-pass the states, and they would have only one battle to win – Washington, D.C. The states delegated to the central government certain functions, and ONLY certain functions, that it was to perform. Everything else was left to the individual states and to the people of those states respectively.
Alexander Stephens stated: “The government of the United States was created by the States. All its powers are held in trust by delegation from the States. These powers are specific and LIMITED … Sovereignty itself, from which emanates all political power, I repeat, remains and ever resides with the People somewhere. And with what People? Why, of necessity, it appears to me, with the same People who delegated whatever powers the general government has ever been intrusted with; that is, the People of the several states; not the whole People of the United States as one mass, as can be most conclusively demonstrated. (A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States, Vol. 1, pages 40-41). In regard to delegation of powers, Stephens correctly stated that: “The exercise of supreme powers may be by delegation. In this country it is entirely by delegation; but whatever is delegated may be RESUMED [taken back] by the authority delegating” (Ibid, pages 39-40).