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*      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 (Nineteenth-Century lawyer, abolitionist, entrepreneur)

*      Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance. Our cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again. - Jefferson Davis

*      I am with the South in life or in death, in victory or defeat. I never owned a negro and care nothing for them, but these people have been my friends and have stood up to me on all occasions. In addition to this, I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principles of the government...We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be let alone. Patrick R. Cleburne

*      If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution. – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1861

*      I tried all in my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, for twelve years I worked night and day to prevent it, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came, and now it must go on till the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize the musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence, and that, or extermination  President Jefferson Davis, Confederate States of America

*      Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision. -General Pat Cleburne, CSA

*      If centralism is ultimately to prevail; if our entire system of free Institutions as established by our common ancestors is to be subverted, and an Empire is to be established in their stead; if that is to be the last scene of the great tragic drama now being enacted: then, be assured, that we of the South will be acquitted, not only in our own consciences, but in the judgment of mankind, of all responsibility for so terrible a catastrophe, and from all guilt of so great a crime against humanity. -Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America

*      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

*      We protest solemnly in the face of mankind, that we desire peace at any sacrifice, save that of honor. In independence we seek no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the states with which we have lately been confederated. All we ask is to be let alone – that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms. This we will, we must resist to the direst extremity. The moment that this pretension is abandoned, the sword will drop from our grasp, and we shall be ready to enter into treaties of amnesty and commerce that cannot but be mutually beneficial. So long as this pretension is maintained, with a firm reliance on that Divine Power which covers with its protection the just cause, we must continue to struggle for our inherent right to freedom, independence, and self government. – President Jefferson Davis' first address to the Confederate Congress

*      In our government-controlled schools we are taught that Lincoln was our greatest president because his war ended slavery and saved the Union. As usual, the other side of the story – the side that reflects poorly on the government – somehow gets lost. – Richard J. Maybury, The Abe Lincoln Hoax

*      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 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

*      For 134 years the American people have been led to believe that the right of secession had been overturned by a "verdict of arms," but that isn't true … It is true the shot fired at Fort Sumter was a mistake since it provided the pretext for the Southland to be invaded by foreign troops, but the right of secession realized through the ballot box remains an essential part of our constitutional order. – George Kalas, Chairman Emeritus, The Southern Party

*      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

*      The future inhabitants of [both] the Atlantic and Mississippi states will be our sons. We think we see their happiness in their union, and we wish it. Events may prove otherwise; and if they see their interest in separating why should we take sides? God bless them both, and keep them in union if it be for their good, but separate them if it be better. – Thomas Jefferson

*      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, 1860

*      The error is in the assumption that the General Government is a party to the constitutional compact. The States … formed the compact, acting as sovereign and independent communities. – John C. Calhoun

*      The procedure of secession was to have an election for delegates to a state convention, to meet in convention, and to adopt ordinances of secession. This was done in accord with the Southern understanding of what would be in keeping with the United States Constitution. It had, after all, been ratified by the states acting through conventions. Could they not "un-ratify" it – secede from the Union – in the same fashion? – Clarence Carson, A Basic History Of The United States

*      Our government is an agency of delegated and strictly limited powers. Its founders did not look to its preservation by force; but the chain they wove to bind these States together was one of love and mutual good offices … – Jefferson Davis

 

 

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