AB INITIO QUESTION
AB INITIO QUESTION. The ab initio question arose in the Constitutional Convention of 1866 over the legal status of secession. Radical Republicans led by Morgan C. Hamilton maintained that secession was null and void ab initio ("from the beginning") and that all laws and transactions based on laws passed since secession in 1861 were null and void. Moderates led by Andrew J. Hamilton contended that secession was null and void as a result of the war but preferred to validate all laws not in conflict with the laws and constitution of the United States. Moderates opposed ab initio because of possible economic and political consequences. Had the radicals won, no government act in Texas between 1861 and 1866 would have been valid. The ab initio theory was rejected by Elisha M. Pease, by the military, by the constitutional conventions, and by the Republican state committee.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Seymour V. Connor, "AB INITIO QUESTION," accessed March 30, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/mqa01.
Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.