Friday, May 22, 2015

Confederate Memorial Day Speech by Dr. Cecil Williamson at the Alabama State Capitol - Part 3 (The Constitutionality of the Confederacy)


(An Address given at the Alabama Division United Daughters of the Confederacy Confederate

Memorial Day Celebration in Montgomery, Alabama April 27, 2015)

What happened between 1861-1865 was not a civil war. Classically, a civil war is when two

opposing factions within the same country are fighting for the control of the government. The

South wanted its independence, not control of the government in Washington or control of the

northern states. No reasonable person believes the Confederacy once established was going to

invade the north and try to rule a united nation from Washington. It was no civil war in which

our ancestors fought and fell.


There is no provision in the United States Constitution to compel a state to remain in a

union it voluntarily joined. There is no provision in the Constitution giving the federal

government the power to militarily coerce a state to remain in the Union. Both James Madison

who drafted the Constitution and Andrew Hamilton who favored a stronger central government

said the Constitution left the federal government, in Madison’s words, “unclothed with any

powers of coercion over the States“. In the Convention Madison said, “the use of force against a

State would be a declaration of war and be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all

previous compacts. “ Hamilton stated, “To coerce a State would be one of the maddest projects

ever devised.” Interestingly, a proposal was made at the Constitutional Convention to give such

a power to the national government, but was rejected by every other state delegation. That is

why when after the war President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned that the Chief Justice of the

United States Supreme Court advised the federal government, “if you bring these leaders to trial,

it will condemn the north, for by the Constitution, secession is not rebellion”. And they were

never tried!


The South was right about constitutional government in 1861 and it is still right today.

That was the principle upon which our ancestors stood and fought and that is the principle for

which more than 250,000 southerners were willing to give their lives: for the just causes of

constitutional liberty and government and for southern independence..

The leftist elist press, the poverty pimps down the street, and those who worship the pagan

deity political correctness do not get to define our history. It is not their prerogative to

determine why we honor our Confederate ancestors or celebrate Confederate Memorial Days.

We honor Confederate soldiers because we understand not only how they fell but why and for

what they fell.


The Declaration of Independence which our forefathers used to justify their secession of

the 13 colonies from England clearly states: “ “…it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish

it (government) and institute new government…organizing its powers in such form as to them

seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” The Southern states had as much moral,

legal and constitutional justification in instituting a government suitable to them as the colonies

did in 1776. If Lincoln really believed his high sounding words at Gettysburg about

“government of, for and by the people”, how could he oppose the Southern states having a

government of, for and by the southern people?


How do we rightly remember our ancestors? To remember the fallen- continue to fight, we

carry their dreams and we finish what they start. Today we are continuing their fight for

limited, lawful constitutional government. We again have a would be tyrant from Illinois in the

White House who like Lincoln believes he rules by divine fiat, is answerable to no one, can ignore

the Constitution and the Congress, can make laws with his pen, and can coerce states and

individuals to submit to his dictatorial whims.


Our ancestors did not run. They did not retreat in the face of an invading army of more

than 2 million destroyers of life and property, Neither should those of us run today who love our

heritage and our families. We should remain committed to Christian principles as the

foundation of our struggle against tyranny. We should answer every attack on our heritage in

the press, movies and on television with letters and public outrage. We should observe all of our

Confederate holidays and birthdays by flying our flags, having parades and public gatherings

such as this. We should never be ashamed of our southern heritage, but we should be ashamed

of those who are.


The South was right in 1861. We are right today. The constitutional cause for which our

ancestors fought was just and righteous. Issues settled at the end of a gun barrel will never be

settled in people’s hearts. We should have the courage to stand against tyranny, as our

Confederate ancestors did.


Long live the righteous and constitutional cause for which our ancestors fought and fell.

Long live those who will defend truth and our southern heritage. God will vindicate. God save

the South!

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