Free and Proper Elections

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Free and Proper Elections - NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

Defend Or Refute The Assertion That Lincoln Was An Unconstitutional Dictator During The War?

The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and these, in uniting together, have not forfeited their Nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the States chose to withdraw its name from the contract, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so … – Alex de Tocqueville, Democracy In America
If [the Declaration of Independence] justifies the secession from the British empire of 3,000,000 of colonists in 1776, we do not see why it would not justify the secession of 5,000,000 of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861. – New York Tribune, December 17, 1861
The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals. No principle, that is possible to be named, can be more self-evidently false than this; or more self-evidently fatal to all political freedom. Yet it triumphed in the field, and is now assumed to be established. If it really be established, the number of slaves, instead of having been diminished by the war, has been greatly increased; for a man, thus subjected to a government that he does not want, is a slave. And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man’s ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure. – Lysander Spooner
The American people, North and South, went into the [Civil] war as citizens of their respective states, they came out as subjects … what they thus lost they have never got back. – H.L. Mencken
I saw in States’ rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy…. Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization, and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo. -Lord Acton, in a letter to Robert E Lee right after the war
The wording of the Emancipation Proclamation did not include slaves held in slave states that never joined the Confederacy or to slaves in Union controlled parts of the Confederacy, essentially establishing the principle that a slave could not be owned unless the owner was loyal to the Government of the United States.
The Gettysburg Address is beautiful prose but erroneous in its assertion the Union was fighting so a “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth”. Indeed the Confederacy did not wish to destroy the United States government, but to merely reduce the number of its member states. It was the Confederacy that was fighting for the right of self-government.
The seeds of the war were planted in 1828 with the passage of the “Tariff of Abominations” which led to the South paying up to 80% percent of the support of the US government and Lincoln wanted to raise tariffs. When the South seceded, the primary “tax base” left the Union.
So the case stands, and under all the passion of the parties and the cries of battle lie the two chief moving causes of the struggle. Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as of many other evils … the quarrel between North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel. – Charles Dickens, as editor of All the Year Round, a British periodical in 1862
The two most populated Southern states, Virginia and North Carolina, did not secede with South Carolina and the others who followed in quick succession, nor upon Fort Sumter. What pushed them out were the orders received from the US government to raise armies for the purpose of invading and forcing their sister states to consent to a government they didn’t want. That was a break with faith in the principles the Founders fought for and won during the Revolution.
Further reading:

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  • crunch says:

    Try the History or Homework sections.

    February 12, 2013 at 3:51 am

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