In 1777, Vermont declared her independence from Britain, ratified her own Constitution (which was nearly 100 years ahead of the U.S. Constitution in outlawing slavery), and became an independent Republic. Fourteen years later, in 1791, Vermont made what may be the biggest mistake in her history by joining the United States.
Since that fateful day 200 years ago, Vermont's history has been one of increasing oppression by the federal government. They tax us, they bully us, they tell us how we must live, and all the while, they send thousands of tourists who are amazed how we do live and how we have avoided the trap of forgetting about life in the drive for bigger, better, faster, more. And the irony of that is those tourists end up destroying what they come to see. Have you visited rustic Stowe lately? How about lovely, scenic Manchester Center? You can't chuck a snowball in either of those towns without hitting a flatlander there to gawk at the Vermonters.
VRA proposes to rectify that mistake, to reclaim our future from the flatlanders. In short, we propose that Vermont secede from the Union and reclaim her rightful heritage as an independent republic. We were free once, we can be free again.
We're not fools. We remember very well what happened last time a state seceded from the Union. Vermont did more than any other state in the Union to win that war. We sent more of our young men per capita to fight and die in that war than any other state. And we fought well. It was the 14th Vermont Brigade that flanked and broke Pickett's charge, winning the Battle of Gettysburg for the Union and turning the tide of the Civil War. But don't be fooled into believing that we fought that war to preserve the Union, or because we didn't believe in states' rights. We fought that war to end slavery.
Remember Vermont's Constitution. Remember that it was a Vermont judge that demanded "a bill of sale from the Almighty" before he would return an fugitive slave to his erstwhile master. Where is that bill of sale now, when we are being sold acre by acre, mountain by mountain, to the flatlanders?