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secession,in art, any of several associations of progressive artists, especially those in Munich, Berlin, and Vienna, who withdrew from the established academic societies or exhibitions. The artists of Munich formed a secession in 1892 that spread to other German cities. The Berlin Secession split away from the Verein Berliner Künstler in 1892; in 1899 it held its first exhibition in its own building. The group was led by Max LiebermannLiebermann, Max
, 1847–1935, German genre painter and etcher. He went to Paris in 1873, where he was impressed by the Barbizon school of painters. In Holland he was influenced by Frans Hals and Jozef Israëls.
..... Click the link for more information. and included Lovis CorinthCorinth, Lovis
, 1858–1925, German painter and graphic artist. He studied in Paris and Munich, joined the Berlin secession group (see secession, in art), and later succeeded Max Liebermann as president. His early work was naturalistic in approach.
..... Click the link for more information. , Hans van Marées, and Franz von Stuck. When, in 1910, young artists of Die BrückeBrücke, Die
[Ger.,=the bridge], German expressionist art movement, lasting from 1905 to 1913. Influenced by the art of Jugendstil (the German equivalent of art nouveau), Van Gogh, and the primitive sculpture of Africa and the South Seas, the Brücke
..... Click the link for more information. were excluded from the Berlin Secession exhibition, Max PechsteinPechstein, Max
, 1881–1955, German expressionist painter and graphic artist. Early contact with the art of Van Gogh stimulated his development toward expressionism. In 1906, Pechstein joined the Brücke group.
..... Click the link for more information. led the rejected painters and organized the New Secession group. The Vienna Secession was organized in 1897 by 19 leading Austrian artists. Their leader was Gustav KlimtKlimt, Gustav
, 1862–1918, Austrian painter. He cofounded the Vienna Secession group, an alliance against 19th-century eclecticism in art, and in 1897 became its first president. In the following decade Klimt became the foremost painter of art nouveau in Vienna.
..... Click the link for more information. , whose decorative, exotic murals exemplify Secessionstil, the Viennese version of art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
..... Click the link for more information. . The Photo-Secession group was an American association of modern photographers founded in 1902 by Alfred StieglitzStieglitz, Alfred
, 1864–1946, American photographer, editor, and art exhibitor, b. Hoboken, N.J. The first art photographer in the United States, Stieglitz more than any other American compelled the recognition of photography as a fine art.
..... Click the link for more information. and Edward SteichenSteichen, Edward
, 1879–1973, American photographer, b. Luxembourg, reared in Hancock, Mich. Steichen is credited with the transformation of photography into an art form.
..... Click the link for more information. in New York City in reaction against pictorial photography.
secession,in political science, formal withdrawal from an association by a group discontented with the actions or decisions of that association. The term is generally used to refer to withdrawal from a political entity; such withdrawal usually occurs when a territory or state believes itself justified in establishing its independence from the political entity of which it was a part. By doing so it assumes sovereigntysovereignty,
supreme authority in a political community. The concept of sovereignty has had a long history of development, and it may be said that every political theorist since Plato has dealt with the notion in some manner, although not always explicitly.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The U.S. Civil War
Perhaps the best-known example of a secession taking place within the borders of a formerly unified nation was the withdrawal (1860–61) of the 11 Southern states from the United States to form the ConfederacyConfederacy,
name commonly given to the Confederate States of America
(1861–65), the government established by the Southern states of the United States after their secession from the Union.
..... Click the link for more information. . This action, which led to the Civil WarCivil War,
in U.S. history, conflict (1861–65) between the Northern states (the Union) and the Southern states that seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy.
..... Click the link for more information. , brought to a head a constitutional question that had been an issue in the United States since the formation of the union. It was the principal point in the controversy over states' rightsstates' rights,
in U.S. history, doctrine based on the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The secessionists argued that the union created by the Constitution was only a compact of sovereign states and that power given to the federal government was only partial and limited, not paramount over the states, and effective only in the specific fields assigned it. The states, being sovereign, had the legal right to withdraw from the voluntary union. The opponents of the right of secession believed that the Constitution created a sovereign and inviolable union and that withdrawal from that union was impossible. Prior to the Civil War secessionist sentiments were evidenced in both the North (see Hartford ConventionHartford Convention,
Dec. 15, 1814–Jan. 4, 1815, meeting to consider the problems of New England in the War of 1812; held at Hartford, Conn. Prior to the war, New England Federalists (see Federalist party) had opposed the Embargo Act of 1807 and other government measures;
..... Click the link for more information. ) and South, but as the North grew more powerful, talk of secession became more common in the South.
in U.S. history, a doctrine expounded by the advocates of extreme states' rights. It held that states have the right to declare null and void any federal law that they deem unconstitutional.
..... Click the link for more information. movement, which held that any state could declare null and void any federal law that infringed upon its rights, was an attempt to eradicate the need for secession by giving the states complete sovereignty. Measures such as the Missouri CompromiseMissouri Compromise,
1820–21, measures passed by the U.S. Congress to end the first of a series of crises concerning the extension of slavery.
By 1818, Missouri Territory had gained sufficient population to warrant its admission into the Union as a state.
..... Click the link for more information. and the Compromise of 1850Compromise of 1850.
The annexation of Texas to the United States and the gain of new territory by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the close of the Mexican War (1848) aggravated the hostility between North and South concerning the question of the extension of slavery into the
..... Click the link for more information. were merely delays in resolving whether the states or the federal government was to possess sovereignty. Desiring to maintain the slave system and threatened by the North socially and economically, the South finally seceded from the Union soon after the election of Abraham LincolnLincoln, Abraham
, 1809–65, 16th President of the United States (1861–65). Early Life
Born on Feb. 12, 1809, in a log cabin in backwoods Hardin co., Ky. (now Larue co.), he grew up on newly broken pioneer farms of the frontier.
..... Click the link for more information. . The defeat of the Confederacy in the bloody war that followed settled the constitutional controversy permanently.
Other Historical Examples of Secession
An early example of secession is that of northern Israelite tribes from the larger Davidian kingdom after the death of Solomon (933 B.C.). Venezuela and Ecuador were created in 1830 when they seceded from Gran Colombia. Military action by Finnish nationalists enabled Finland to secede from a weakened Russia after 1917. In the 1960s the attempts of KatangaKatanga
, former province, c.200,000 sq mi (518,000 sq km), SE Congo (Kinshasa); called Shaba from 1971 to 1997. Katanga bordered Angola on the southwest, Zambia on the southeast, and Lake Tanganyika on the east. The capital and chief city was Lubumbashi.
..... Click the link for more information. to secede from the newly independent CongoCongo, Democratic Republic of the,
, republic (2005 est. pop. 60,086,000), c.905,000 sq mi (2,344,000 sq km), central Africa. It borders on Angola in the southwest and west, on the Atlantic Ocean, Cabinda (an Angolan exclave), and the Republic of
..... Click the link for more information. and of BiafraBiafra, Republic of,
secessionist state of W Africa, in existence from May 30, 1967, to Jan. 15, 1970. At the outset Biafra comprised, roughly, the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of the Federation of Nigeria, where the Igbo people predominated.
..... Click the link for more information. to break away from NigeriaNigeria
, officially Federal Republic of Nigeria, republic (2006 provisional pop. 140,003,542), 356,667 sq mi (923,768 sq km), W Africa. It borders on the Gulf of Guinea (an arm of the Atlantic Ocean) in the south, on Benin in the west, on Niger in the northwest and north, on
..... Click the link for more information. were both crushed in long and bloody civil wars. By contrast, the secession (1971) of BangladeshBangladesh
[Bengali,=Bengal nation], officially People's Republic of Bangladesh, republic (2005 est. pop. 144,320,000), 55,126 sq mi (142,776 sq km), S Asia. Bangladesh borders on the Bay of Bengal in the south; on the Indian states of West Bengal in the west and north, Assam
..... Click the link for more information. (formerly East Pakistan) from the state of Pakistan was accomplished successfully with the help of India, the Baltic states regained independence from the USSR immediately before its dissolution, and EritreaEritrea
, officially State of Eritrea, republic (2005 est. pop. 4,562,000), c.48,000 sq mi (124,320 sq km), NE Africa. It is bordered on the northeast by the Red Sea, on the southeast by Djibouti, on the south by Ethiopia, and on the northwest by Sudan.
..... Click the link for more information. seceded from Ethiopia in 1993 after the overthrow of the latter nation's government.
See J. T. Carpenter, The South as a Conscious Minority (1930); D. M. Potter, Lincoln and His Party in the Secession Crisis (1942); K. M. Stampp, And the War Came (1950); D. L. Dumond, The Secession Movement, 1860–1861 (1931, repr. 1963); U. B. Phillips, The Course of the South to Secession (1939, repr. 1964); L. C. Buchheit, Secession (1978); G. Craven, Secession (1986); J. A. Rawley, Secession (1989); R. J. Cook et al., Secession Winter: When the Union Fell Apart (2013).