The War Between the States
as it really was

Secession

The War Between the States and Economics

The Civil War and the Rise of Modern America

James Ostrowski on Secession

H.L. Mencken on the Gettysburg Address

Robert E. Lee on States' Rights

The War For a Great National Idea

Civil War Quiz

Ulysses S. Grant on the Civil War

American's Founding Father's Vs. Abraham Lincoln and the Northern Unionists
Founding Fathers
Lincoln and the North

“If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation... to a continuance in union... I have no hesitation in saying, 'let us separate.'” Thomas Jefferson, letter to W. Crawford, June 20

"...they [the South] commenced by an insidious debauching of the public mind. They invented an ingenious sophism which, if conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps, through all the incidents, to the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is that any State of the Union may consistently with the national Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully, withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any other State." - Lincoln, in his Special Message to Congress July 4 1861.

“[We should be] determined…to sever ourselves from the union we so much value rather than give up the rights of self-government…in which alone we see liberty, safety and happiness.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to Madison in August 1799.

"...they [the South] commenced by an insidious debauching of the public mind. They invented an ingenious sophism which, if conceded, was followed by perfectly logical steps, through all the incidents, to the complete destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is that any State of the Union may consistently with the national Constitution, and therefore lawfully and peacefully, withdraw from the Union without the consent of the Union or of any other State." Lincoln, in his Special Message to Congress July 4 1861.

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” United States Constitution

"You will take possession by military force, of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce... and prohibit any further publication thereof... you are therefore commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command, the editors, proprietors and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers... and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission." - Order from Lincoln to General John A. Dix, May 18, 1864.

“The use of force against the [individual] state would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.” James Madison

“There can be no such thing as a peaceable secession. Peaceable secession is an utter impossibility… No, Sir! No, Sir! I will not state what might produce the disruption of the Union; but, Sir, I see as plainly as I see the sun in heaven what that disruption itself must produce; I see that it must produce war…” Daniel Webster

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite… The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government.” James Madison, Federalist # 45

“‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’…I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.” Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858

“To coerce the States is one of the maddest projects that was ever devised.... Can any reasonable man be well disposed toward a government which makes war and carnage the only means of supporting itself – a government that can only exist by the sword?” - Alexander Hamilton, during the Constitutional Convention.

“The Union, in any event, won't be dissolved. We don't want to dissolve it, and if you attempt it, we won't let you. With the purse and sword, the army and navy and treasury in our hands and at our command, you couldn't do it.... We do not want to dissolve the Union; you shall not.” Lincoln, in a campaign speech in Galena, Illinois, Aug. 1 1856.

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union... let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." ~ Thomas Jefferson, first Inaugural Address, 1801.

“... the right of a state to secede from the Union [has been] settled forever by the highest tribunal – arms – that man can resort to.” Ulysses S. Grant'. “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission and offer my sword to the other side.” Ulysses S. Grant

“Resolved…That the Government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and no the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common Judge, each party has an equal right to judge of itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress….” Thomas Jefferson, Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

“…these States together…live and stand under a government… …nor those other words of delusion and folly, ‘Liberty first and Union afterwards,’ but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every true American heart – Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!” - Daniel Webster, ‘Liberty and Union Speech’, 1830

“It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the state governments will in all possible contingencies afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.” Alexander Hamilton, Federalist # 28

“The central idea pervading this struggle is the necessity of proving that popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now; whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. If we fail it will go far to prove that the incapability of the people to govern themselves.” - Lincoln, after the attack on Fort Sumter

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." - Declaration of Independence, 1776.

"There is a higher law than the Constitution which regulates our authority over the domain. Slavery must be abolished, and we must do it."-- Wm. H. Seward.

“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." - Thomas Jefferson, Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.

“…let there be no compromise until every breathing soul who holds to the old American principles of Constitutionalism ceases to breath.” - Wendell Phillips, Republican Senator of Massachusetts

“…the very chief end, the main design, for which the whole Constitution was framed and adopted was to establish a government that should not be obliged to act through state agency or depend on state opinion and state discretion.” Daniel Webster
Site Meter