The U.S. government makes a lot of noise about recognizing people’s right to “self-determination” — people in other countries, anyway. Unfortunately, that right doesn’t extend to people who live under its control. What if you no longer trust the U.S. government? Do you have the right to withdraw from its control?
The right of people to determine what political entity they want to be a part of seems as though it should be pretty obvious. The right of secession for independent entities who join together in a union should be even more obvious. Up until the middle of the 19th century, the American Union was generally referred to in the plural — “the United States are…” — because the states were seen as sovereign individual members of a union. Unfortunately, because of the way history was written starting in the late 19th century, you can’t have a rational discussion of the issue without someone yelling, “slavery,” or, “racism.”
The war that most people call the U.S. Civil War was nothing of the sort, so I generally refuse to call it that. I sometimes jokingly call it the War of Northern Aggression, but a more neutral and accurate label — which used to be heard more often — is the War Between the States. It wasn’t a war between two factions for control of one nation. It was the federal government’s aggressive war to take back member states that had voluntarily withdrawn from the Union.