Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States? Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War. On the contrary, the principles of self-government and voluntary association are at the core of our founding. Clearly, Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort. Writing to William Giles in 1825 he concluded that states "should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left are the dissolution of our union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.