South Carolina became first state to secede from the US

On December 20, 1860, South Carolina passed an ordinance of secession, becoming the first state to formally secede from the US. The ordinance was fully ratified on December 24, 1860. The remaining twelve states to secede all did so within the year 1861, beginning with five in January 1861. South Carolina's ordinance was drafted and unanimously passed by a 167-person convention of delegates put together following the election of Abraham Lincoln as president. The convention also passed a Declaration of Immediate Causes explaining the reasons for secession and establishing South Carolina as a sovereign nation apart from the US.

Learn more about secession from the JURIST news archive.


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This Day at Law is JURIST's platform for legal history, highlighting interseting and important developments that shaped the law and the world.

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