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Second Vermont Republic
SVR flag
Flag adopted by the SVR movement
AbbreviationSVR
Formation2003
TypePolitical organization
Purpose/focusSecession of Vermont
LocationCharlotte, Vermont
LeaderThomas Naylor
AffiliationsMiddlebury Institute, Vermont Commons
Websitehttp://www.vermontrepublic.org/

Second Vermont Republic (SVR) is a secessionist group within the U.S. state of Vermont which seeks to return to the formerly independent status of the Vermont Republic (1777–91).

HistoryEdit

The organization was founded in 2003 by Thomas Naylor,[1] a former Duke University economics professor who published the book The Vermont Manifesto that same year.[2] Previously in 1987, University of Vermont professor Frank Bryan, who is on the Advisory Board of Second Vermont Republic,[3] had co-authored with Bill Mares OUT! The Vermont Secession Book, a tongue-in-cheek scenario for secession that begins with the exploding of bridges connecting Vermont with its neighboring states.[4]

In 1989, Bryan, with John McClaughry, president of Vermont's Institute for Liberty and Community and who, during the administration of Ronald Reagan, was Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Policy Development, authored a call for the restructuring of Vermont democracy in their book The Vermont Papers, Recreating Democracy on a Human Scale. In it they propose replacing the structure of Vermont towns with decentralized shires that maintain more local decision-making akin to British county councils. The ideas put forth in this book were not reliant upon, nor called for, Vermont's separation from the federal union. In a September, 2006 Los Angeles Times story about SVR, John McClaughry said, "This really is a good-natured cult. Intellectually, they've got some horsepower, but mostly this is the whole left-wing litany, seen through an interesting prism." Secession, said McClaughry, "is not going to happen, and no one believes it is going to happen."[5] However, in June 2007 Bryan stated that " the cachet of secession would make the new republic a magnet" and "People would obviously relish coming to the Republic of Vermont, the Switzerland of North America."[6]

The Second Vermont Republic web site asserts the group is "committed to the peaceful return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic and more broadly the dissolution of the Union."[7] Supporters of the Second Vermont Republic endorse Vermont's current commitment to small and sustainable towns, farms and businesses, and encourage residents of the state to buy products made locally and sold in small locally-owned stores. They also believe in direct democracy at the local level and desire to turn back as much power as possible to local communities.[8]

GreenMtBoys

Flag of the Green Mountain Boys used by Vermont during the period it was an independent state, 1777–1791, and after statehood through 1804.

The flag adopted by the Second Vermont Republic is similar in design to the flag used by Vermont while it was an independent state from 1777 until 1791. Vermont continued to use the flag after admission to the United States until 1804. The flag was first used in the 18th century by the Green Mountain Boys as a regimental or war flag supporting Vermont's quest to become an independent state.[9]

Though the group no longer issues memberships,[10] as of January 2005, the Second Vermont Republic "boasted" it had 125 card-carrying members.[11] As of January 2008 the organization's website claimed "nearly 1,000 supporters."[12]

The Second Vermont Republic hosted a "radical consultation" in Middlebury, Vermont in November, 2004 which resulted in the creation of the Middlebury Declaration[13] and the establishment of the Middlebury Institute. In April, 2005 members of Second Vermont Republic started the Vermont Commons quarterly publication.[14] In November 2006 its representatives attended the First North American Secessionist Convention in Burlington, Vermont which brought together secessionists from a broad political spectrum.[15][16][17][18] The convention issued the Burlington Declaration.[19]

In May 2008 Feral House published Thomas Naylor's book Secession: How Vermont and all the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire. Author Kirkpatrick Sale wrote the foreword.[20] Professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University writes: "A serious examination of our God given right of self governance and that right’s implication for secession. Dr. Naylor has made a persuasive case of the identical response to today’s ‘train of abuses’ that led the Founders to secede from King George’s tyranny."[21]

ControversiesEdit

In early 2007 an anonymously written blog revealed some advisory board members had affiliations with Neo-Confederate groups, such as the League of the South (LOS), resulting in internal and public controversy. The blog was written by someone with "a long history of monitoring hate groups" and drew its initial criticisms from material published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[22][23]

In reaction, SVR co-founder Thomas Naylor told The Vermont Guardian that the organization has no direct link to LOS, except a link on the SVR website, and that SVR is not racist. He told a radio audience: "The SPLC is a well-known McCarthy-style group of mercenaries who routinely engage in ideological smear campaigns on behalf of their wealthy techno-fascist clowns. It’s all about money, power, and greed."[24] In June of 2008 Naylor denounced the SPLC expose of Second Vermont Republic as a "CIA witchhunt."[25][26] However, in July of 2008 Naylor asked the League of the South to consider several "actions aimed at eliminating once and for all any perception that the LOS is a racist organization."[27]

In April 2007 SVR advisory board member Frank Bryan and Vermont Commons publisher Ian Baldwin authored an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, "The Once and Future Republic of Vermont."[28] A month later in his column at the Vermont Secretary of State's website, Vermont State Archivist Gregory Sanford countered several quotes in a "news release by two Vermont supporters of secession." A reading of the Bryan and Baldwin opinion piece shows that they are the same, word for word, as the "news release." Sanford held that each of quotes was "based on historical facts of dubious reputation," illustrating the point by "juxtaposing italicized quotes from the press release with quotes from historical documents." Sanford said his point "is neither to argue with our current secessionists nor denigrate the beliefs of the authors of the press release." Rather it was to argue "the importance of having accessible public records to evaluate the rhetoric of public figures."[29]

Georgian seeks allianceEdit

The Confederacy of Independent People is asking to have alliance with the Second Vermont Republic.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. John Curran, In Vermont, nascent secession movement gains traction, Boston Globe, June 3, 2007.
  2. Thomas H. Naylor, The Vermont Manifesto, Xlibris Corporation, October 7, 2003.
  3. Second Vermont Republic website list of Advisory Board Members.
  4. Frank Bryan and Bill Mares, OUT! The Vermont Secession Book,, The New England Press 1987, 6-8.
  5. Elizabeth Mehren, "Dispatch from Windsor, VT.; Secession -- a Revolutionary Idea" LATimes September 24, 2006 (subscrip req); Or see mirror of article at SVR website.
  6. John Curran, Vt. Secession Movement Gains Traction, Huffington Post, June 4, 2007.
  7. Second Vermont Republic official web site.
  8. Second Vermont Republic website list of principles.
  9. Cooper, Grace Rogers Thirteen Star Flags. Smithsonian Institution Press. 1973.  Available online (21.7 MB)
  10. Second Vermont Republic "get involved" page.
  11. Christopher Ketcham,Long live secession! Salon.com, January 20, 2005.
  12. Second Vermont Republic "The Second Vermont Republic Needs You!" page.
  13. Text at Middlebury Institute website.
  14. Second Vermont Republic "Four Years of SVR" page.
  15. Gary Shapiro, Modern-Day Secessionists Will Hold a Conference on Leaving the Union, The New York Sun, September 27, 2006, 6.
  16. Kirkpatrick Sale, The First North American Secessionist Convention, Breaking Away, CounterPunch, October 5, 2006.
  17. Paul Nussbaum, Coming together to ponder pulling apart, Latter-day secessionists of all stripes convene in Vermont, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 6, 2006, reprinted at FindArticles.Com.
  18. Call for Representatives and post-convention report at Middlebury Institute website.
  19. Text of Burlington Declaration at Middlebury Institute website.
  20. Thomas Naylor, Secession: How Vermont and all the Other States Can Save Themselves from the Empire, foreword by Kirkpatrick Sale, Feral House books, 2008.
  21. Second Vermont Republic Announcement.
  22. Second Vermont Republic/Vermont Commons Tied to White Supremacists, Vermont Guardian, February 9 2007.
  23. Is Second Vermont Republic Affiliated with Racists?, Seven Days, February 28, 2007.
  24. Christian Avard, Secessionists or racists? Concerns raised over Vermont links to neo-Confederates, Vermont Guardian, February 23, 2007.
  25. Heidi Beirich, North Meets South: Vermont Secessionists Meet with Racist League of the South, SPLC, Summer 2008..
  26. Thomas Naylor, SVR Target of CIA Style Witch Hunt, Second Vermont Republic site, June 10, 2008.
  27. Thomas Naylor, To the League of the South from Vermont with Love, Second Vermont Republic site, July 4, 2008.
  28. Frank Bryan and Ian Baldwin Op-Ed: The Once and Future Republic of Vermont, Washington Post, April 1, 2007.
  29. Gregory Sanford, Vermont State Archivist, Voice From The Vault: Myths and Documents, May 2007.

External linksEdit

Links to similar groups Edit


fr:Second Vermont Republic lij:A seconda Repubbrica do Vermont ja:第二バーモント共和国 pl:Druga Republika Vermontu

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