"C" is for Cooperationists

Feb 25, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"C" is for Cooperationists. In South Carolina the secessionist crisis of 1850-1851 saw the state divide into three factions. A small coterie of Unionists opposed secession outright. Cooperationists, did not oppose disunion, but believed that the state should secede only if other states joined with her. Separate secessionists argued for immediate secession even if South Carolina had to go it alone. Cooperationists invoked the experience of nullification when the state was without a single ally in an impending armed confrontation with the federal government. Separationists and Cooperationists agreed to make the 1851 election for delegates to a Southern Congress a referendum on separate secession. The Cooperationists triumphed, collecting 58.8 percent of the votes cast and carrying all but one of the state’s congressional districts. The Cooperationists’ victory postponed South Carolina’s secession for a decade.