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States and of the Constitution itself, considered as the basis of a Federal Union. * * * To realize the perfection of this Union, we must view the General Government and the States as a whole, each in its proper sphere sovereign and independent; each perfectly adapted to their respective objects; the States acting separately, representing and protecting the local and peculiar interests; acting jointly, through the General Government, with the weight respectively assigned to each by the constitution, representing and protecting the interests of the whole, and thus perfecting, by an admirable but simple arrangement, the great principle of representation and responsibility, without which no government can be free or just. To preserve this sacred distribution as originally settled, by coercing each to move in its prescribed orb, is the great and difficult problem, on the solution of which the duration of our constitution, of our Union, and in all probability, our liberty depends. * * I must think the fear of weakening the Government too much in this case to be in a great measure unfounded, or at least, that the danger is much less from that than the opposite side. I do not deny that a power of so high a nature," [that of demanding the judgment of a convention of States on questions disputed with the General Government,] "may be abused by a State; but when I reflect that the States unanimously called the General Government into existence, with all of its powers, which they freely surrendered on their part, under the conviction that their common peace, safety, and prosperity required it; that they are bound together by a common origin, and the recollection of common suffering and common triumph in the great and splendid achievement of their independence; and the strongest feelings of our nature, and among the love of national power and distinction, are on the side of the Union; it does seem to me that the fear which would strip the States of their sovereignty, and degrade them, in fact, to mere dependent corporations, lest they should abuse a right indispensable to the peaceable protection of those interests, which they reserved under their own peculiar guardianship, when they created the General Government, is unnatural and unreasonable."

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Such were the just views and noble sentiments of the man whom Webster and his party hounded as a traitor, and who

has gone down to history in Yankee books in the utterly false character of a Disunionist.

The failure of Mr. Calhoun's scheme to bind up the rights of the States with the interests and glory of the Union, was to the consolidation school a new and decisive era of power. State-rights fell into a loose disrepute from which they never recovered; the sectional controversy between North and South went on with increased force; and influences were combining to force the South at last to abandon all conservative expedients and to accept the conclusion of Disunion. That conclusion remained as the only possible protection against that Northern party which founded the school of consolidation only to use the Government at Washington as the organ of numerical majorities and the engine of sectional oppression.




A Fourth of July sentiment in 1851.-Slavery not the Cause of Disunion.-The war of 1861.-What it has decided.-The incense of weak minds to the Yankee.Last sentiment of President Davis.

On the Fourth of July, 1851, the foundation was laid for an addition to the Capitol at Washington. Under the cornerstone of the addition, Daniel Webster deposited a paper, in his own handwriting, containing the following sentence: "If therefore, it shall be hereafter the will of God that this structure shall fall from its base, that its foundations be upturned, and the deposit beneath this stone brought to the eyes of men, be it then known that on this day the Union of the United States of America stands firm-that their constitution still exists unimpaired, and with all its original usefulness and glory, growing every day stronger and stronger in the affections of the great body of the American people, and attracting more and more the admiration of the world."

But ten years after this glowing tribute to the permanency of American institutions, the Union was rent in twain, and the States which composed it were ranged in one of the most immense and violent wars of modern times. On the Fourth of July, 1861, a remnant of Congress met at Washington, to raise armies and means for a war upon the Southern States, which having realized the constitution as a farce, and the Union as the penalty of association of the oppressed with the oppressors, were prepared to take their political destinies in their own hands.

The disruption of the Union, in 1861, was by no means the direct or the logical consequence of the slavery discussion. The dispute on that subject had at last narrowed down to a solitary point-whether it was competent for the Congress of the United States, directly or indirectly, to exclude slavery from the territories of the Union; and to this proposition the Supreme Court of the United States had given a negative


The terrible war which ensued on Disunion must be taken as the result of a profound and long-continued conflict between the political and social systems of North and South, with which slavery had a conspicuous connection, but was not indeed an independent controversy; a conflict on which was ranged on one side the party that professed the doctrines of consolidation and numerical majorities; that represented the material civilization of America; that had the commerce and the manufactures, the ships, the workshops, the war-material of the country-on the other side, the party that maintained the doctrines of State-rights, studied government as a system of checks and balances, and cultivated the highest schools of statesmanship in America; that represented a civilization scanty in shows and luxuries, but infinitely superior in the moral and sentimental elements; that devoted itself to agriculture, and had nothing but its fields and brave men to oppose to a people that whitened every sea with their commerce, and by the power of their wealth and under the license of "legitimacy," put the whole world under tribute for troops and munitions.

It is said that in this war the material civilization of the North has conquered; that the principle of consolidation is supremely triumphant, and that hereafter, under the captivating title of an Imperial Republic, it is to found, without dispute, a new and permanent order of things in America.

The latter part of the proposition we dispute. The principle of State rights, which for three generations has been harbored in the American mind, cannot be destroyed by an act of war. The just opinions of men are immortal; suppressed or terrified at times, they reassert themselves on opportunity; punished in one instance, although they may never resort again to the fatal experiment, they discover new resources of contest, and find new modes of expression and activity.

Since the close of the war, a newspaper published by Virginians in Virginia has thus attempted to state the issues it decided:

"We accept the verdict; we renounce our theory of the Federal compact; we abandon our ideas of State sovereignty; we abjure our faith in the right of secession. Henceforth, in our conception, the Federal Government is supreme."

The declaration is gratuitous; it is not even demanded by the enemy; it is the passing and ephemeral incense of weak minds to the Yankee. We shall find in another instance a truer indication of the future of the South, and a better expression of what remains of its spirit. When Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States, was seeking safety in flight, a fellow traveller remarked to him that the cause of the Confederates was lost. He replied:

"It appears 80. But the principle for which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form."


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