Causes of secession: Arkansas

From the Arkansas causes of secession, the first two items: The people of the northern States have organized a political party, purely sectional in its character; the central and controlling idea of which is hostility to the institution of African slavery, as it exists in the southern States, and that party has elected a President and Vice President of the United States, pledged to administer the government upon principles inconsistent with the rights, and subversive of the interests of the people of the southern States.

Causes of secession: Texas

From the Texas declaration of causes, right after the preamble: Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings.

Causes of secession: Louisiana

Louisiana didn’t publish a causes of secession document, but they did send a secession commissioner named George Williamson to Texas. Williamson explained: History affords no example of a people who changed their government for more just or substantial reasons. Louisiana looks to the formation of a Southern confederacy to preserve the blessings of African slavery, and of the free institutions of the founders of the Federal Union, bequeathed to their posterity.

Causes of secession: Georgia

Georgia were to the point when setting out why they were declaring secession: The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

Causes of secession: Virginia

On 17 April 1861, the Virginia Secession Convention approved the wording of the state’s ordinance of secession, which seeks to repeal the US Constitution completely and make Virginia a sovereign state: AN ORDINANCE To Repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution: The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention, on the 25th day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eight-eight, having declared that the powers granted them under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States.

Causes of secession: Alabama

Alabama passed an ordinance stating their reasons for declaring secession: Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the officers of President and Vice-President of the United States of America by a sectional party avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the Constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security; Therefore,

Causes of secession: Florida

Unlike many of the other southern states who sought to leave the US, Florida did not publish a document setting out the reasons for their declaration of secession. However, a draft document was found in the state archives, which apparently reads as follows: The Congressional halls where the members should meet with fraternal feelings, a just regard for the interests of all the States there represented and respect for the feelings of all its members has been prostituted to the daily denunciation and vituperation of the slave holding States as sanctioning oppression robbery and all villainies, thus subjecting the members from these States to the degradation of gross and constantly repeated insults, and compelling the exclusion from our public press of the debates of our national Legislature or the circulation of the most incendiary matter.

Causes of secession: Mississippi

The second state to declare its secession was Mississippi. They set out their reasons in a document, beginning as follows: In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world.

Causes of secession: South Carolina

South Carolina was the first southern state to declare its secession from the United States. It explained its reasons in a lengthy document, complaining that northern states were no longer carrying out what it saw as their constitutional duty to return escaped slaves to their owners in the south: We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.