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SOUTHERN HISTORY OF THE WAR.
THE FIRST YEAR.
Delusive Ideas of the Union.-Administration of John Adams.-The "Strict Con structionists."-The "State Rights" Men in the North.-The Missouri Restriction.General Jackson and the Nullification Question.-The Compromise Measures of 1850. -History of the Anti-Slavery Party.-The "Pinckney Resolutions."-The Twentyfirst Rule.-The Abolitionists in the Presidential Canvass of 1852.-The KansasNebraska Bill.-The Rise and Growth of the Republican Party.-The Election of President Buchanan.-The Kansas Controversy.-" Lecompton" and "Anti-Lecompton."-Results of the Kansas Controversy.-The John Brown Raid.-"Helper's Book."-Demoralization of the Northern Democratic Party.-The Faction of Stephen A. Douglas.-The Alabama Resolutions.-The Political Platforms of 1860.-Election of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.-Analysis of the Vote.-Political Condition of the North.-Sccession of South Carolina.-Events in Charleston Harbor -Disagreements in Mr. Buchanan's Cabinet.-The Secession Movement in Progress -Peace Measures in Congress.-The Crittenden Resolutions.-The Peace Congress.l'olicy of the Border Slave States.-Organization of the Confederate States Government.-President Buchanan.-Incoming of the Administration of Abraham Lincoln. -Strength of the Revolution.
THE American people of the present generation were born in the belief that the Union of the States was destined to be perpetual. A few minds rose superior to this natal delusion; the early history of the Union itself was not without premonitions of decay and weakness; and yet it may be said that the belief in its permanency was, in the early part of the present generation, a popular and obstinate delusion, that embraced the masses of the country.
The foundations of this delusion had been deeply laid in the early history of the country, and had been sustained by a false, but ingenious prejudice. It was busily represented, especially by demagogues in the North, that the Union was the fruit of the Itevolution of 1776, and had been purchased by the blood of our forefathers. No fallacy could have been more erroneous in fact more insidious in its display, or more effective in
addressing the passions of the multitude. The Revolution achieved our national independence, and the Union had n connection with it other than consequence in point of time. It was founded, as any other civil institution, in the exigencies and necessities of a certain condition of society, and had no other claim to popular reverence and attachment, than what might be found in its own virtues.
But it was not only the captivating fallacy that the Union was hallowed by the blood of a revolution, and this false inspiration of reverence for it, that gave the popular idea of its power and permanency. Its political character was misunderstood by a large portion of the American people. The idea predominated in the North, and found toleration in the South, that the Revolạtion of '76, instead of securing the independence of thirteen States, had resulted in the establishment of a grand consolidated government to be under the absolute control of a numerical majority. The doctrine was successfully inculcated; it had some plausibility, and brought to its support an array of revolutionary names; but it was, nevertheless, in direct opposition to the terms of the Constitution—the bond of the Union—which defined the rights of the States and the limited powers of the General Government.
The first President from the North, John Adams, asserted and essayed to put in practice the supreniacy of the “National" power over the States and the citizens thereof. He was sustained in his attempted usurpations by all the New England States and by a powerful public sentiment in each of the Middle States. The "strict constructionists" of the Constitution were not slow in raising the standard of opposition against a pernicious error. With numbers and the most conspicuors talents in the country they soon effected the organization of a party; and, under the leadership of Jefferson and Nadison, they rallied their forces and succeeded in overthrowing the Yankee Administration, but only after a tremendous struggle.
From the inauguration of Mr. Jefferson, in 1801, the Federal Government continued uninterruptedly in Southern hands for the space of twenty-four years. A large proportion of the active politicians of the North pretended to give in their adhesion to the State Rights school of politics; but, like all the alliances
of Northern politicians with the South-selfish, cunning, extravagant of professions, carefully avoiding trials of its fidelity unhealthy, founded on a sentiment of treachery to its own section, and educated in perfidy-it was a deceitful union, and could not withstand the test of a practical question.
While acting with the South on empty or accidental issues, the "State Rights" men of the North were, for all practical purposes, the faithful allies of the open and avowed consolidationists on the question that most seriously divided the country -that of negro slavery. Their course on the admission of Missouri afforded early and conclusive evidence of the secre disposition of all parties in the North. With very few exceptions, in and out of Congress, the North united in the original demand of the prohibition of slavery in the new State as the indispensable condition of the admission of Missouri into the Union; although the people of Missouri, previous to their application to Congress, had decided to admit within its jurisdiction the domestic institution of the South. The result of the contest was equally unfavorable to the rights of the South and to the doctrine of the constitutional equality of the States in the Union. The only approach that the North was willing to make to this fundamental doctrine was to support a 66 compromise," by which slavery was to be tolerated in one part of the Missouri Territory and to be forever excluded from the remaining portion. The issue of the controversy was not only important to the slave interest, but afforded a new development of the Northern political ideas of consolidation and the absolutism of numerical majorities. The North had acted on the Missouri matter as though the South had no rights guaranteed in the bond of the Union, and as though the question at issue was one merely of numerical strength, where the defeated party had no alternative but submission. "The majority must govern" was the decantatum on the lips of every demagogue, and passed into a favorite phrase of Northern politics.
The results of the acquiescence of the South in the wrong of the Missouri Restriction could not fail to strengthen the idea in the North of the security of the Union, and to embolden its people to the essay of new aggressions. Many of their pol: ticians did not hesitate to believe that the South was prepared to pledge herself to the perpetuity of the Union unon Northern