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Related to secessions: secessionist, secessionism, seceding


The act of withdrawing from membership in a group.

Secession occurs when persons in a country or state declare their independence from the ruling government. When a dissatisfied group secedes, it creates its own form of government in place of the former ruling government. Secessions are serious maneuvers that lead to, or arise from, military conflict.

A secession can affect international relationships as well as the civil peace of the nation from which a group secedes. Most countries consider secession by a town, city, province, or other body to be a criminal offense that warrants retaliation using force. Because the primary mission of most governments is to maximize the comfort and wealth of its citizens, nations jealously guard the land and wealth that they have amassed. In rare cases a government may recognize the independence of a seceding state. This recognition may occur when other countries support the independence of the seceding state. However, for most countries, the involuntary loss of land and wealth is unthinkable.

Most countries have laws that punish persons who secede or attempt to secede. The United States has no specific law on secession, but the federal government and state governments maintain laws that punish Sedition and other forms of insurrection against the government. On the federal level, for example, chapter 115 of title 18 of the U.S. Code Annotated identifies Treason, rebellion, or insurrection, seditious conspiracy, and advocation of the overthrow of the government as criminal offenses punishable by several years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. These are the types of crimes that can be charged against persons who attempt to secede from the United States.

The U.S. Civil War was the result of the single most ambitious secession in the history of the United States. In February 1861 South Carolina seceded from the Union, and Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee followed suit shortly thereafter. These states seceded because they objected to attempts by the federal government to abolish the enslavement of black people. The mass secession led to four years of civil war and the death of hundreds of thousands of people. The seceding states established their own government called the Confederate States of America and fought the U.S. military forces with their own army. When the Confederate forces were defeated in April 1865, the seceding states rejoined the United States.


U.S. Civil War.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The judge didn't accept the secession plan Gardendale had proposed, but--having been persuaded that some of the local parents did have legitimate reasons for wanting to create their own school district--she decided that secession could proceed on a more limited basis.
(2) This latter distinction, unfortunately, has been largely ignored by historians, who most often describe secession as an act caused by political and economic factors while ignoring-or diminishing-the moral and theological rationale of the southern states and their leaders.
Les raisons de cette aversion envers les secessions
By using remedial secession theory as a baseline, this Note argues that a minority region that lacks internal self-determination and the right to negotiate for secession but otherwise meets the requirements for statehood should be permitted to declare independence.
(2) This puts it in a nutshell: secession and decentralization are from this sarcastic perspective indistinguishable from violent rebellion, a doomed course of action given the massive resources of the American national government and national military.
On the one hand, the right of independent secession protects single states from exploitation by the majority of states or by the entire union.
These thorny and divisive issues, with their potential for violence, are of critical importance in the context of the dissolution of a state or secession by a group within a state.
The case of Kosovo illustrates this reluctance to recognize unilateral secessions. The states that recognize Kosovo against the will of Serbia, notably the US, European Union countries and Canada, have taken endless precautions.
On the Sudanese level, some know that the issue of secession only came up due to the continuation of a "demagogic" policy which achieved the goal of division, after the country was besieged by sectarianism, racism, tribal wars, oppression and persecution, while Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir continued to issue threats from Khartoum, claim to have accomplished "fictive" victories, and raise slogans from the past as it was done by Arab leaders who - for a long time - gave their people the impression that they had secured victories that did not exist on the ground.
Rights to secession for ethnic peoples, groups or minorities outside the context of decolonisation are generally rejected if they pursue the separation unilaterally, i.e.
But secession struck to an even deeper level, to the very roots of popular government.
Accordingly, it referred to the Supreme Court of Canada three questions about the legality of unilateral secession. The case is generally referred to as the Quebec Secession Reference.