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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 ?
"Aus der Sezession." Acht Jahre Sezession (Marz 1897-Juni 1905): Kritik, Polemik, Chronik.
He was very involved in the German politics of his day, and he founded the Berliner Sezession in 1899--a group of Impressionists and Art Nouveau artists--and he was a member of the Berlin Academy until he had to resign under Nazi pressure in 1932.
(134) See the Katalog der ersten Ausstellung der Hamburgischen Sezession (exh.
Critical acclaim eluded him,despite his acceptance into the Vienna Sezession movement in 1917,and he died just one year later,aged only 28.(FIVE, 7.30pm) NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Intimate insight into growing up in care,including a teenage girl who dreams of living in a real family again and a 15-year- old boy being fostered on a Welsh farm in a last attempt to get him off drugs.
Born in 1897 in Bratislava, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Derra de Moroda studied ballet, yet first became known as a modern dancer, making her debut at Vienna's anti-establishment Sezession in 1912.
It was also an artistic capital and home to the Vienna Sezession, where Gustav Klimt's paintings overturned conventions, as did Gustav Mahler's music and Adolf Loos' architecture.
This quickly became the main showcase in Germany for the members of the recently founded Berliner Sezession and for such representatives of the non-German avant-garde as Renoir, Segantini, Hodler and Munch.